The JSchool has just published the longest edition ever of its acclaimed student news magazine, The Crow. Journalism's Mark Taylor explains the story behind the stories.

They say good things come to those who wait. If you’re a dedicated reader of this magazine, oh how you have waited! The Crow, the School of Journalism’s annual student news magazine, typically hits newsstands every November. However, this has been anything but a typical year. For starters we had an unprecedented variety and volume of material for this issue—so much that if we ran it all I’d still be laying this thing out. At 72 pages and 16 spreads, this is our biggest and most ambitious edition ever.

There is an exceptional piece from Jayda Noyes about how easy it is to pass a pooch off as a service dog—and how that affects people who rely on real working dogs. There is a gut-wrenching story from Ntibinyane Ntibinyane about Africa’s refugee camps and a former child soldier who now teaches at the University of Regina. There are two great Q&As with two great Canadian journalists by two up-and-coming journalists, Heidi Atter and Alexa Lawlor, who shot our cover for her piece about van life and also assisted with the layout and design of this issue. There’s an intimate look from Lynn Giesbrecht inside the mind (and office) of author Yann Martel and a fascinating meet and greet with an exorcist-in-training care of Harrison Brooks. And for the first time ever, we’ve also included a complete transcript of our Minifie Lecture. Connie Walker’s 2019 address, “We don’t a need a voice. We need more microphones,” was so powerful an excerpt just wouldn’t do.

Then, just when we were about to put this issue to bed, along came COVID-19 and the lockdown we find ourselves in now. The challenges of completing this edition were difficult enough we seriously considered not printing it. Would print shops be open for business? We found one. Could we—should we—be distributing magazines at a time like this? Would people even pick them up? Ultimately, we decided the work in this magazine was just too good not to print. That, and other than the teaser on the cover and Libby Giesbrecht’s piece about a para-athlete from Saskatchewan whose path to Tokyo has been put on hold due to the pandemic, this issue makes no mention of COVID-19. Consider it respite from our new normal. Staying home is hard. Hopefully this makes it a little easier. Enjoy and take care.

Mark Taylor
Department Head, School of Journalism
May 2020

The 'Crow's Nest' is reprinted with permission from The Crow (2019/2020). Our thanks to Mark Taylor.

25 May 2020