J.C. Garden credits the School of Journalism for his success

By Dale Johnson Posted: July 28, 2016 6:00 a.m.

J.C. Garden, who’s held a variety of positions at CTV Regina, now is news director.
J.C. Garden, who’s held a variety of positions at CTV Regina, now is news director. Photo courtesy of Karyn Mulcahy, CTV Regina

Since J. C. Garden graduated from the School of Journalism in 2004, he’s been a news reporter, anchor, weather presenter and program host at CTV Regina – and he was recently named news director.

“When I started my career in news, I didn't think I would ever do the weather. When I started doing the weather I didn't think I would ever be in management. You can't predict the future, but you can put yourself in position to succeed. I think having a university degree gives you that edge,” Garden says.

Garden is finding that as his career evolves, he’s making use of what he learned at the University of Regina.

“The broad range of subjects you learn about can really prepare you for future challenges, you just might not realize it while you’re sitting in the lecture hall. A university education gives you a solid base of knowledge, and forced me to think critically about subjects I never really appreciated before. I never really understood why I needed to take economics and psychology. Why couldn't I just skip to the journalism courses? But I need what I learned in those classes as often as my knowledge in journalism,” he explains.
Garden – who says he always had an aptitude for public speaking – recalls that he was in high school before he decided to go into journalism.

So why did he decide to attend the University of Regina?

“Journalism and the program at the University of Regina seemed like a perfect fit. It had an excellent reputation and it was very difficult to get into. In fact, I didn't get in right away. I remember I was on a waiting list. It was very humbling. I was accepted eventually, but I used that experience as motivation to push myself when I was going through the rigours of J-School.”   

And Garden has plenty of fond memories of his days at the U of R.

“The School of Journalism connects you to some pretty amazing journalists. The CBC hosted a Town Hall at the University when I was there. Peter Mansbridge, Adrienne Arsenault, Keith Boag and Trina McQueen were just a few of the speakers. There was a reception following the Town Hall and these tremendously accomplished journalists sat with my classmates and I and shared their stories with us. Let me tell you, listening to Peter Mansbridge tell war stories while having a good glass of scotch in the U of R Faculty Lounge was worth every penny of my tuition that semester.”

Garden’s counterpart as news director at CTV Saskatoon is Dani Mario – who is also a graduate of the U of R’s School of Journalism. Sometimes these two news directors work on joint projects.

“We now do the selection for prospective journalism school interns. We've come full circle; we were once the students vying for the best internship opportunities, now we are the ones giving them out. Both of us can say to internship candidates ’we know exactly how you feel’ because were in the exact same position not that long ago.”

Garden is glad he went to the School of Journalism at the University of Regina.

“Journalism School prepared me to present the news. University prepared me for the workplace. The internship program is second to none in the industry. That experience alone gave me the opportunity to work at CTV Regina. I don't know where I would be if I explored any other program,” Garden says.

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