The Focus Interview Series aims to inspire

Header image for the article The Focus Interview Series aims to inspire Credit: FANSHAWE COLLEGE
The Focus is available to stream on Fanshawe's YouTube channel.

Fanshawe’s Journalism-Broadcast program coordinator, Jim Van Horne is hosting a new inspirational interview series called The Focus. The Focus showcases experiences by Fanshawe alumni, current students, and staff, on their successes and life lessons. The purpose is to help promote, attract, and excite members within the Fanshawe community.

“I’d have to give credit to the marketing office, they reached out,” said Van Horne on how the series got started. “They just asked me, and I was happy to do it. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I think it was a great idea.”

Sportsnet host and graduate of the Journalism-Broadcast program at Fanshawe, Caroline Cameron was the first guest on The Focus. Cameron shares memories from her college days at Fanshawe along with the triumphs in her sports broadcasting career.

“Caroline, of course, is a graduate,” said Van Horne. “And you know, I have kept in touch with her, I would count her amongst my good friends. Her and I could talk forever.”

The second guest, CEO of Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), Steve Cordes articulated the accomplishments of local youth resulting from the collaboration between his organization and Fanshawe College.

Cordes mentions a variety of the troubles faced by young people within the city, including homelessness. In addition, to better address the needs of local youth, his company, YOU, continuously increases and modifies its services.

“Isn’t he fascinating? And the work he does, amazing,” said Van Horne. “The way he defined and looked at food, and he said, ‘okay, you know, in this scenario here, if someone is experiencing homelessness, the first thing they probably need is a meal.’ And then a meal becomes this symbol of outreach, and then it turned into business training.”

Van Horne expressed his admiration for both speakers and their influences on the Fanshawe community. He hopes to interview individuals from a wide range of disciplines like police foundations, landscape design, culinary, business, aviation, and especially, within his program, broadcast journalism.

Moreover, Van Horne added, “I’d love to interview Katie Simpson, because she’s so entertaining. Bet she’s got so many stories to tell, since she’s now working for [the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] out of Washington.”

“Having her as a student,....she’s a character as well as a great storyteller. So, she would have an interesting interview.”

Van Horne expressed the importance of journalism, particularly during a time when more and more unmarked graves of Indigenous children at former residential schools have been confirmed in the media.

Further on, Van Horne discussed the overall importance of storytelling and its impact on troublesome stories.

“Every 30 or 40 years, society has a really big challenge, whether it be civil rights or racism,” said Van Horne, invoking George Clooney’s address to a group of journalists in 2009. “You know, some corrective measures that are taken are usually started by journalism. Things become better in society, usually, when the stories are told by journalists.”