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CDDHS Co-op Corner: Orangeville Citizen and Shelburne Free Press

November 16, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Written By Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams, a Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS) co-op student, is diving into journalism at the Orangeville Citizen, where she is learning the ropes and gaining hands-on experience.

The Orangeville Citizen Newspaper, founded in 1974, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. The Claridge Family, who founded the newspaper, began with the Shelburne Free Press (formerly the Shelburne Economist) before expanding to Orangeville. 

“It was just a community newspaper focused on the community,” said Doug Rowe, the Orangeville Citizen’s general manager. 

Working alongside Rowe is the paper’s editor, Sam Odrowski, classified advertising and office manager Carolyn Dennis, production and graphic designer Rebecca Samborsky, reporter Paula Brown and sales manager Heather Erwin.

Danielle has seen various career paths within the newspaper during her co-op journey. Classified advertising is a professional who manages and organizes classified ads that are typically short, text-based listings. The production department is responsible for making display ads in the newspaper, along with its physical creation and layout. A sales manager sells advertisements in the physical newspaper and maintains positive relationships with clients. Lastly, the general manager is responsible for financial management, staff supervision, ensuring the newspaper adheres to industry standards, and maintaining customer and partner relationships. 

Rowe highlights the Citizen’s contribution to the community by simply stating, “Our whole paper is about promoting the community and promoting the events.” 

The paper intends to support the non-profit charitable sector of the community, hold the government accountable, and advocate for local causes. 

“We eat, sleep, and breathe community,” says Odrowski, emphasizing the Orangeville Citizen’s dedication to shining a light on the local community. 

Danielle’s day-to-day workload consists of planning interviews for potential stories, writing stories, reflecting on the edits made by her editor, and then the process repeats itself. As she continues with her co-op, she is perfecting many skills like, accountability, the rewards of asking questions, and problem-solving. All skills play a big role throughout her placement.

In her role as a junior reporter, Danielle is getting valuable insights into the field of journalism. After being given a camera and notepad, she set out on jobs. She’s had the privilege to go to events, reach out to people about potential stories, and contribute three original articles for the Orangeville Citizen and Shelburne Free Press. She’s honing her skills in question formulation, story creation, determining newsworthiness, research, photography for news stories, and even page layout and design.

As Danielle gets comfortable in her co-op environment, juggling article due dates, she is slowly being introduced to what an everyday work week would look like, preparing her for the future. 



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