Forty years of The Medium


by Julie Tyios


Life at The Medium wasn’t always so great. In thirty-three years the paper has faced many challenges, but today The Medium is known as the UTM campus’s authoritative source for student politics, news coverage, arts, writing, and both professional and campus sports. 


The History Behind the Pages

The Medium rose from the fall of Erindale’s first printed medium, The Erindalian - Erindale’s sole form of student communication at the time, The Erindalian was a concept brought to life in 1969 by undergraduate students Bob Rudolph and Doug Leeies. “It all started on a shoestring budget upstairs at Colman House,” recalls Leeies. “Erindale was a blank canvas for us. Nobody else was doing what we were doing. We were cutting our own trail.” The Erindalian lasted four years. When it ceased publication Gregg-Michael Troyy formed Medium II, placing the paper under the jurisdiction of the Erindale College Student Union (ECSU).


The “II” in Medium II was a reference to the paper being the second form of student communication on campus, after Radio Erindale, which had started only few years prior – but still after the now defunct Erindalian. Both Medium II and Radio Erindale were owned by ECSU, an affiliation which caused problems for all three parties for decades. 


But on April 30 1983, Medium II Corporation was born. Medium II was given  an office, and purchased all of their furniture, computers, and office equipment from ECSU for a dollar. Freedom brought another tuition levy for full-time students, totaling $7.25 annually to alleviate the costs of running the paper. Staff pay was minimal, but the editors were free to report on the true nature of campus politics and accept all responsibility for their actions.


Despite the volatile nature of student politics, Medium II persevered as a separate entity, creating a strong force that pressured various campus institutions to act on behalf of the students – a force that remains strong today. In 1995, staff became tired of explaining the reason behind the “II” in the name, and changed Medium II to The Medium.


The Staff – Overworked and Underpaid (but better off for it)

Today, The Medium comprises a team of student editors, chosen both through election and through a hiring process. In early 2006, the staff doubled with the addition of assistant editor positions at the discretion of Editor-in-Chief Julie Tyios. These editors work under the section editors, helping with content, layout, and other issues that arise. The Medium constantly offers opportunities for the students of UTM to contribute to the newspaper, and offers workshops and mentorship in the fields of journalism and photography. Many of The Medium’s former editors have gone on to succeed in related career fields, citing their time at The Medium as invaluable experience. Many editorial boards have formed lasting friendships as well, with members noting fond memories of the paper as the best of their time at UTM.

Let There Be Print… (Or are we behind in the times?)

The Medium strives to remain at the forefront of advances in media, and has come a long way from the early days of The Erindalian. But operations remain limited by a relatively small budget determined by student incidental fees. Editors pre-2002 have fond memories of typing articles up on a word processor, printing the sheets, and pasting them on to large cardboard flats. In the fall of 2002, under Editor-in-Chief Tamara Sulliman, The Medium went digital in its operations and the paper’s operation improved tremendously. Things ran smoothly. Life was good for a few years. But along came the Internet. And with it the need for change.

Hot Front meets Cold Front: The Internet versus Print

Acknowledging the need for another form of media for the paper in late 2006, Editor-in-Chief Julie Tyios decided to expand the corporation’s operations by adding a multimedia section – Medium 2.0 - in coordination with UTM’s recently-created Media Generator program. Using cameras and other technology from the program, The Medium’s staff and volunteers create video clips of news events, interviews, and other points of interest for the student population. The clips broadcast to various websites, including Rogers Cable 10 in Mississauga – which offers students the opportunity to showcase their work on television. The fifteen-person multimedia section falls under the guidance of current Composite Editor, Ernest Volnyansky, who conceptualizes, shoots, edits, and assembles video projects to diversify the nature of campus media and reach students in new ways. The unification of video and print media by a campus newspaper is unprecedented. The Medium takes pride in this initiative, working hard through testing stages to solidify its place as a new, more advanced form of campus media. 

The Future of The Medium

Today’s editorial board works hard to bring authoritative media to the students of UTM on a weekly basis. News is kept up-to-date with frequent postings of online-only content in between the paper’s weekly print editions. The Medium remains a strong force on campus, and will continue to persevere through the obstacles posed to media today. The paper regularly receives accolades and high praises from the UTM community and The Toronto Star, a partner through the newspaper’s mentorship program. Whatever the future holds, The Medium will be there when it happens.