CEGEP salutes excellence

“You do not know today how much your choice to be in Cégep is decisive. ”
P resident of honor at the 32nd Evening of student merit, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Cégep de Sherbrooke, journalist Gérald Fillion had a very clear message to deliver to students gathered Tuesday evening at the Alfred-Desrochers room.

No less than 68 awards were distributed, and $ 18,000 in scholarships were awarded to recipients of the various categories during this emotional evening celebrating the hard work of the students.

A journalist specializing in economics at RDI and a graduate of Cégep de Sherbrooke, Gérald Fillion acted as president of the evening. It was therefore an ideal opportunity to dive back into the archives of the school, and to present a video of Mr. Fillion animating the 1994 edition of Cégeps en spectacle. The journalist also keeps excellent memories of his stay at Cégep de Sherbrooke: “These are two very rich years of my life. These years represent a great period of incredible creative bubbling, “he explains.

The beautiful story

The evening was brilliantly animated by the duo composed of students Léa Chicoine and Olivier Grimard. It should be noted that the 19-year-old has won the Award of Excellence in Science, Literature and the Arts as well as the Global Excellence Award for Pre-University Programs. “I am honored, especially with all the efforts made,” he said before humbly adding that many colleagues could just as easily have obtained such awards. The young man aspires to studies in medicine.

Marie-France Bélanger, Executive Director of Cégep, distributed the prizes at the beginning of the evening. The overall excellence award was presented for the technical studies programs to Marie-Noëlle Deslandes, a student in office technology. The Governor General’s medal went to Caroline Vignau, a student in the natural sciences. A special prize awarded on the occasion of the 50th Cégep was also awarded to Maxence Croteau, a student of science, literature and the arts, for his exceptional commitment. “I am happy that CEGEP is part of your history, and know that, reciprocally, you will always be part of the history of CEGEP,” said Ms. Bélanger.

Misinformation in the digital age

Disinformation is the biggest challenge for the media, says RDI economic journalist Gérald Fillion, during a conference on the challenges the media is currently facing.

Before nearly a hundred students, Mr. Filion drew a portrait of the situation of the media and the world of journalism in the digital age at the auditorium of the science pavilion at the Université de Sherbrooke. The conference was an initiative of the Regroupement des Etudiants en Economie at the Université de Sherbrooke (RÉÉUS). This was a second opportunity for Mr. Filion to discuss the journalistic community, who had made a presentation on campus in 2016.

Mr. Fillion identifies the main current challenge of the media: misinformation. “Misinformation has become our main enemy. It’s a problem we all face, it’s everywhere, “said Fillion. The journalist explains the fundamentals of this situation by mentioning the abundance of information present in cyberspace. It is this abundance that thus causes two behaviors among users: a decrease in attention and an uncertainty in identifying the true to the false in shared information online.

After Cambridge analytica

The scandal that struck Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the social network Facebook, has shaken the media community. It should be remembered that the data of more than 87 million users were used to target certain misleading information. The survey will allow us to have more information soon, but for Mr. Fillion, this event raises the risks of using data online. “I do not criticize advertising, but rather the criticism of data acquisition methods and the use that can be made of them,” he says. The journalistic challenge in the digital world is therefore to ensure that the data is not used for the purpose of manipulating the targeted users.


The last part of the conference aimed to establish some possible solutions to put in place to face the problem of misinformation. One of them is inspired by Alain Saulnier, former director general of information at Radio-Canada, and aims at specializing journalists in very specific fields. For Mr Fillion, however, there is no doubt that politicians and citizens will have to work together. “We need to invest in education. You have to read books, read political programs, “he says. The best way to turn around false news is to encourage critical thinking and learning.

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