Digital Journalism faculty and students hold event honouring grants from the University’s Strategic Priority Fund and the Walter J. Blackburn foundation.




Digital Journalism faculty and students hold event honouring grants from the University’s Strategic Priority Fund and the Walter J. Blackburn foundation.

On November 25th, the Digital Journalism faculty and students held an event in Lambton Tower, Studio A, honouring grants from the University’s Strategic Priority Fund and the Walter J. Blackburn foundation.

With these grants the program was able to create a mobile production unit and purchase a drone.

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During the event, speeches were made by Blake Roberts, chair of the Digital Journalism Program, Dr.Lydia Milijan, who all thanked The University’s Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) and the Blackburn Foundtion. Jon Sinasac, professor and creator of the mobile production unit shared how his students were able to do a live broadcast and share content live by connecting to the web. Bob Becken, who works for both Blackburn and the University of Windsor shared how happy Blackburn Radio was to be able to help the future of journalism.

30 students from Riverside Secondary School were also invited to attend the event to promote the program and what it has to offer. Once the speeches were over, everyone was invited to enjoy food and beverages.



Blake Roberts and Jon Sinasac

The University’s Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) has helped enabled many initiatives designed to improve curriculum, enhance student experience, promote research, and build a basis for future developments in many University of Windsor programs, such as the Digital Journalism Program. The Walter J. Blackburn foundation donated $30,000.


The mobile production unit will allow students to “take the show on the road” – says Blake Roberts. With the mobile production unit, students will be able to connect to the web and do live broadcasts from all over the city and share on their website, .


Third-year digital journalism student showing Riverside student how to use the switcher


The drone flying around the digital journalism studio

Selina McCallum, a first-year digital journalism student said, “I have used the mobile production unit in my Introduction to Audio Visual Production class. We were able to film two Lancer volleyball games. We were able to do a live broadcast, which is something that I have never done before. In this program we are offered technology that other university program don’t have and I’m glad that all of this was possible because of the generous donations.”


Riverside student as a talent in a production done by the students

After taking a lunch break, the students were given demonstrations by third-year digital journalism students on how to use camera, switchers, and the mobile production unit and then allowed to do a production themselves.

Jordan Worsell-Collins, a third-year digital journalism student and promotions manager for, said “I feel that the students from the high school had a good experience. It is invaluable at that age to have seen something like our studio space and all the technology us UWindsor students have at our fingertips. It can really fuel a passion in the minds of those high school students, a passion that may translate into them enrolling in digital journalism.”

Jon Sinasac, the Communication’s Engineer who made the decision to purchase the drone, said “Drones in particular gives us a unique perspective we never had before, or only had via helicopter. Obviously only big news agencies were able to afford to have a helicopters. Today with the drone technology, it allows basically any news channel with a minimal budget to have the ability to cover things from the sky. Now, our students can cover traffic, weather, and big events with a large audience. You can see the crowd better from above than on the ground.”

The event ended with Jon Sinasac also showing the students how to fly the drone.


The drone

With this new technology, students in the digital journalism program at the University of Windsor will be able to work with technology they will have to use when they graduate. With at least 60 students in the program, they will all have access to the mobile production unit and drone in the four year program.IMG_0615To see footage both from the drone and the live broadcasts on the mobile production unit check out them out on

This was Gabrielle Rohit for



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