David Lucas has travelled the world working with some of the top names in the Canadian newspaper industry. Since he graduated in 1997 from Loyalist’s Photojournalism program, he has held photojournalism positions with The Canadian Press, The Ottawa Sun, Metro and The Toronto Sun. David is now the Night Photo Editor at The Globe and Mail, responsible for ensuring the best images are selected and being on top of any breaking news or early assignments on his watch.
When asked what he loves most about being a photojournalist, there is no hesitation: “The rush that happens when a big story breaks and you are scrambling to get on top of it and out to the readers.”
David’s career has had many highlights. He describes two experiences that had a significant impact – covering Hurricane Rita, and going to Sri Lanka and Indonesia following the tsunami.
“I was covering Hurricane Rita as it came ashore – one month after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast,” he said. “Being in the middle of that storm was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. It was very rewarding to be able to overcome the logistical challenges of getting pictures back to the paper when there was no electricity, phone lines or internet.”
“The tsunami experience was very different. I went to Sri Lanka and Indonesia for the one-year anniversary of the Christmas tsunami that devastated the two countries. So much had already been rebuilt – the people were truly amazing. It was very moving.”
A busy career and personal life haven’t stopped David from maintaining strong ties with Loyalist. He is a member of the Photojournalism advisory committee – something he considers one of the program’s greatest strengths. “Students have a phenomenal networking opportunity here. Some of Canada’s top photojournalists and picture editors are on the advisory board, helping to guide the program and the students throughout the year. You will not find that type of mentorship anywhere else.”
The media landscape is changing, but David views these changes as exciting opportunities. “Because of the way people are now consuming the news, the internet has endless possibilities for photojournalists to tell stories. Whether it’s with a single still picture, multiples in a gallery, a short video, a longer documentary piece or a multi-media presentation, the only thing limiting you is your imagination.”
When it comes to being prepared for the job, David’s career speaks for itself. Yet according to David, his greatest learning experience was not a technical skill. “I would have to say the most valuable thing that I took away from Loyalist is the high level of ethics. The significance of this was emphasized in every class that we took and it was not until I started working that I truly realized how important this is.”
Loyalist’s program is Canada’s only multi-year Photojournalism program working exclusively with digital image capture. Students put their classroom training to work photographing, reporting, writing and editing assignments for the College’s online news service, QNET News. They contribute content throughout the year, building a strong portfolio of published work and transferable skills.
For more information about Loyalist’s two-year Photojournalism diploma, contact Professor Frank O’Connor at o’firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-969-1913 ext. 2204 to arrange a campus tour.