Michael Robinson will be spending 10 days learning how to embed himself alongside Canadian military.
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Michael Robinson isn’t afraid of taking chances.
If he was, the local third-year University of Ottawa journalism student says he wouldn’t have accepted a 10-day journalism course that will teach him how to report during military conflicts. The 21-year-old was one of 12 students selected nationally into the course, which is being held in Calgary starting on May 12.
The course, sponsored by the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, provides a mixture of classroom theory and field experience, including riding in helicopters and tanks.
The students will also be expected to report during a war game scenario.
In an effort to prepare for this journey, Robinson has been reading about other war correspondents. He was told to bring his own washbasin, which he said gives him the impression that anything can happen.
“It’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Robinson said.
“My concern for my safety I think is negated when you’re in the moment. I guess I’m going to have to learn some techniques on how to make sure that I come out with all my limbs but at the same time getting the story.”
Robinson said they’re going to learn how the Canadian military operates overseas and how to use the Freedom of Information Act in order to obtain as much information as possible.
But the main message is staying safe.
“I’ve talked to other journalists who have gone to Afghanistan, Bagdad,” he said.
“You’re working but at the same time you’re trusting yourself with these people who may get hurt right beside you. You need to decide if you are going to stick to the job or are you going to release yourself from that responsibility and help out the guy that’s possibly dying.”
Robinson said being a foreign corresponded is something that he strives for. He’s worked as an intern for CTV’s the National and helped cover the deadly tragic events of the Boston bombings.
He said that was his first experience working an international story.
He added that chasing a story, whether it’s dangerous or not, simply fills him with a rush that’s incomparable.
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