- Posted On October 7, 2019
An instructor at Western University says that he steered a journalism student away from a possible internship at former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi’s show ‘Q’ because of a disturbing incident.But the university is saying something a little different. Sean Leathong visited the Western campus Monday — the university where he studied journalism — and he has this first-person account.I was speaking to Jeremy Copeland an instructor at what was then the University of Western Ontario, my former instructor in 2010, and he told me that part of this came from an incident that happened with a former student, after she had graduated, but nevertheless raised a red flag for the future.It was December of 2012 when Western University journalism instructor Jeremy Copeland was told a disturbing story by his former student.Jeremy Copeland: “It was a surprise that that happened to her. It would have never occurred to me before hand to say don’t go down there.”According to both Copeland and the Toronto Star, the young woman attended a taping of ‘Q’ where she had hoped to work. Afterwards, she said Ghomeshi touched her inappropriately and made advances — Enough that she was compelled to tell her former teacher. The following September, faculty at Western were discussing a wish list of potential internship placements submitted by a new class — one of which, had rated ‘Q’ at the very top.Jeremy Copeland: “I said, I spoke up, is it a young woman? and they said yes, I hadn’t met her, this student at the time and I said I don’t think she should go there.”Copeland says he was also aware of the Toronto Star investigation into Ghomeshi, while other faculty noted that a previous intern had a bad experience at ‘Q’ — unrelated to issues with Ghomeshi, but rather a lack of good journalistic experience: “So within about 60 seconds we had moved on to her second choice.”In speaking with other faculty members from the journalism program at Western, they say that they don’t recall in any meetings the conduct of Jian Ghomeshi coming up with regards to any internships. But the University did released a statement.The statement reads: “The faculty of information and media studies has not pro-actively sought opportunities for student internships to CBC’s ‘Q’ for the past six years. This position is of a direct result of a student returning from an internship at ‘Q’ in 2008 and reporting he had been assigned everyday errands not related to journalism.”Copeland says that this does not reflect at all on the CBC as a placement for interns in the future: “To me this is like one really bad apple in the CBC.”Copeland was careful to point out that it is extremely rare for the faculty to have fears about a student’s safety at a placement, so you can see why they wouldn’t want to take chances.This internship placement is a very serious part of the course as many students hope to get a job afterwards, so a student is trying their best to go above and beyond.