By Karen Kelly
Photos by Bryan Gagnon
Carleton’s journalism program has a reputation for being both the best in Canada and very demanding. But Levi Garber says there is one attribute people forget to mention—just how much fun it is.
“We had a close group of students and professors who were very supportive. They really wanted to see us grow and gain the tools to be good journalists in any format, whether writing, radio, TV, multimedia, or data,” says Levi. “And if you wanted to cover a topic, they never said ‘no’.”
That’s how Levi found himself in Saxony in Eastern Germany reporting on the rise of right-wing populism. He spent a month there and in Berlin, interviewing supporters of the Alternative for Germany party, as well as those who oppose them, for his Master’s Research Project.
“Germany is at a turning point in its history and the battle for the soul of the country is raging,” says Levi, who speaks German. “It is really unclear whether we will see a serious rise in the far right. A lot of people are fighting on each side.”
Levi received a travel bursary from the Faculty of Public Affairs to support his international reporting. He also worked with an inspiring advisor, Journalism Professor Paul Adams.
“He was a guiding light throughout,” says Levi, referring to Adams’ input on his six-chapter research project. “This was storytelling on a massive scale. There’s no way I could have done this before I started this program.”
Another highlight was Levi’s trip to Yukon as part of the Stories North project. He spent two months reporting on Indigenous stories under the guidance of Professor Kanina Holmes.
“I would love the opportunity to work on Indigenous issues in the future,” he says. “This is something Canadian journalism really needs to work on.”
Lastly, Levi managed to complete an internship with Canadian Press as well as two placements with CBC’s London bureau during his two-year degree.
Levi credits the journalism program with helping him on the next step of his journey, as well. He recently won a CBC Donaldson Scholarship, which includes three 5-week placements. He will work at a local newsroom in St. John’s, Newfoundland; for the CBC podcast Front Burner; and on the television program, The Fifth Estate.
“I was able to draw on all of my experiences at Carleton and sell myself as more experienced and adaptable than others,” explains Levi. Another MJ student, Olivia Robinson, also received the scholarship.
After the 15-week program, Levi hopes to continue working in daily journalism.
“I love radio; I love writing. I feel like the door is really open for a wide variety of different opportunities,” he says. “I’m excited to see what the options are.”
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