Alumni Memory: Cathy Wolters, BJ ’84

Memories to Last a Lifetime

At 17 still wearing the high school jacket across the canal from Carleton U in the Dominion Arboretum.

Phyllis Wilson and Wilf Kesterton were legends and dynamic instructors.

Phyllis was a kindred spirit when it came to sports. She cancelled class so we could watch the Expos playoff game in Oct 1981. But, we had to write a story about the game. There were moans, but not from me. At least not until after the game was over. “It was Monday, Rick Monday…” was how my article started.

I’ll never forget Wilf’s lecture on slander, libel, community standards and SNAFU. And, that he let those of us who lived half a continent away write a take home exam at Christmas.

Thanks to Barbara Freeman and Radio News I often still reflect on adjectival pile-up. Barbara also provided a great overview of the name one might use depending on the network: Catherine Wolters, CBC News. Cathy Wolters, CTV News. Kate Wolters, NBC News.

We heard Elly’s presentiment statement during TV that people would watch a whole hour of weather. I still analyze TV news with his voice in my head about reporters on camera, length of stories and being visual.

There were innumerable journalism and life lessons in those 4 years. And so many people. Bylines and voices conjure memories. For example, I can’t hear Laura Lynch without remembering how we westerns extolled Old Dutch BBQ chips to disbelievers.

I remember being apprehensive about something called Telidon we heard about in first year. I’d read Ray Bradbury and Orwell, burning books and Big Brother. Technology has changed journalism: the demise of newspapers, a plethora of competing voices, misinformation and fake news. At the same time, social media has been a medium of reconnection.. J-School was one of my best life decisions. – Cathy Wolters (BJ ’84)

Alumni Memories are part of Carleton Journalism’s 75th Anniversary.

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 in
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