Tag Archive | social media

How to Get Started as an Independent Journalist

Understanding and developing your journalistic writing skills is extremely useful for ANY advocating and communicating you will be doing in the future.


Find a topic you have a lot to say about, pitch the story, write it down and publish it. There are many independent media outlets that will publish your piece.


1. Planning a story

2. Doing your research

3. Making contact or finding a voice(s)

4. Conducting the interview

5. Writing the story

6. Covering your tracks to avoid legal ramifications.


I highly recommend taking a look at the fantastic media cooperative that incorporates local advocacy and activism, the Vancouver Media Coop. A great resource filled with the complete steps, tips and journalism guidelines is Paley & Ling’s ‘So you want to Write for the Media Coop?’. Also, check out my powerpoint presentation- 825 How to, Independent journalist

Karen Spring


Must-see YouTube Channel: Doc Mike Evans

I have a love-hate relationship with YouTube.  I love that I can visit YouTube and find a video about every event imaginable, search for any scene from my favourite tv shows, look for that memorable performance I missed last night or stumble across the classic scene from that famous film.  On the flip side, I hate that I am tested every time I visit YouTube and forced to exercise a large degree of self control to see whether I am disciplined enough to simply watch that one video I initially went online to find or instead, spend the next several hours clicking on the various video suggestions that automatically come up on the right hand column of the page.

However, I recently came across the YouTube Channel Doc Mike Evans and find myself less guilty for watching video after video that I never intended to watch.  In the theme of social marketing, Doc Mike Evans (in my opinion) successfully manages to utilize social media in a creative way for health communication.  Having been described a leader in “sticky health messaging”, he brings me back to childhood nostalgia by using cartoon illustrations while narrating to provide entertainment education.

Doctor Mike Evans is a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto.  He describes himself as someone “interested in engaging users and people with varied skills, particularly creatives, and mushing them together with researchers and clinicians to re-invent patient education.” So, he launched a video back in December 2011 called “23 and ½ hours” (see below)

that went somewhat viral (not Psy Gangnam style calibre) but has now been viewed by more than 3 million people (and I just noticed that this video was posted in How to Add Some Pizzazz to Your Blog Posts.  What I appreciate and find unique about his style is that he is extremely knowledgeable but simplifies the health information using artistic expression so that it is understandable.  Additionally, he does all the narration and producing but gives credit where its due at the end and most importantly, thanks you for listening to him (if you make it to the end of his videos).

In one of my undisciplined YouTube sessions, I came across one of his recent posts from December 2012 called “What is the Single Best Thing You Can Do to Quit Smoking?” (see below)

and thought it was especially fitting for our class.  In this video, he discusses steps of the stages of change theory (without identifying it as that) on exactly what the title says, what the single best thing you can do to quit smoking.  It was a compelling visual aid for me, a non-smoker, to be guided through the thought process of smoking patterns by breaking it down into different parts of change.  I felt like he provided me with accurate and valuable information that raised a level of self-awareness about relationships, describing it as a journey, which helped me gain a better understanding from a non-smoker perspective.  It’s a little bit of a longer YouTube video but if you have 12 minutes to spare, watching the video will introduce you to Doc Mike Evans attempt to use social media and marketing to provoke what I believe is positive behaviour change.

Maybe I’m the only one who is this obsessed with YouTube.

Maybe I need an intervention and I need Doc Mike Evans to create a video on YouTube addiction.

But if you share my love-hate relationship, I do recommend subscribing to Doc Mike Evan’s channel for some creative social marketing.