Millennial J-School Grad Starts New Assignment – ‘Are We Screwed?’

TheTyeeLogoAs some of you know, the leading J-school in Canada remains Carleton University in Ottawa. That’s where Geoff Dembicki graduated in 2008, although as he puts it in a new-series debut column today for The Tyee, it hasn’t exactly since then been All The Prime Minister’s Men:

After pursuing them [my dreams] through four years of journalism school, I graduated disoriented and broke into the recession. Among my cohorts I was lucky to land steady work with The Tyee, and in addition to living through one global crisis after another, I now began to chronicle them.

After six years of writing about ecological collapse, industrial greed and a political system hostile to change, hope for the future was the last thing I expected to find. But recently I started to sense its faintest glimmers. The global grip of polluting companies is slowly slipping. Sustainability is becoming a cultural norm. Millennials, self-obsessed though we may be, are seeking alternatives to the consumer lifestyles that created our current mess. These felt to me like tremors of a generational shift.

Still, I wanted to be certain. So I persuaded The Tyee’s founder and editor-in-chief David Beers to let me drop all other reporting commitments and pursue the big – yet often unspoken – question of my generation: Are we screwed? Over the coming months I’ll be prospecting for hope on the frontlines of a cultural transformation led to a large extent by millennials like myself. More and more these days, I’m finding, those frontlines are being reconfigured in ways strange, fascinating and exciting.

Dembicki has traveled internationally for his reporting and received a Media Fellowship from the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada. In addition to his years with The Tyee, he has freelanced for Salon, Walrus magazine and the Toronto Star. We look forward to reading the Vancouver-based journalist’s upcoming AWS? musings.