Perils of Working for a Story

So my last interview, which I had to do via phone, I have mentioned I was sick for. Yet I persevered and got it done. Today, a new peril. Mere seconds before I had to initiate a call for an interview via phone, my laptop deems it necessary to go die on me. Well it didn’t persay… after the interview I did some investigating and decided everything did actually work, except for one key component. My external mouse was dead! I can now only move the cursor around the screen and utilize the scroll wheel. Pretty good right? So what could be “dead” about my computer mouse? I can not for the life of me left click on anything. Not a thing!

Well while I am still livid about the whole issue transpiring seconds before an interview, I am still puzzled as to the problem. Why would a computer mouse do everything perfectly well except allow me to left click on anything? This essentially means no opening any programs such as Microsoft Word or the internet. Note: My interview questions had been saved in Microsoft Word. So yes I am a mix of being ticked off and being frustrated, not to mention seriously annoyed. I did however learn something from this experience.

From now on, I am going to write down all my interview questions on paper, the old fashioned way. I love technology but if today taught me anything; I will not rely on it completely.  A writing piece on my own time is all well and good, but what if this had happened and I were in Grant MacEwan? It very well could have been an assignment then. To be blunt I would have been screwed!

So in essence, there is the great age of technology surrounding us but something must be said for the “old” way of doing things. Sometimes a pen and paper is just plain safer.

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100 Percent Objective Always, is it Even Possible?

Someone once told me “it’s not possible to be completely objective all the time.” I have been thinking about that statement ever since.  Is it possible to be objective at all times? Some journalists I have asked about objectivity principles, say it’s more important to be fair and mindful of the multiple angles of the stories they report on. Journalism aside, it can be tough at times to be fair. I try to be fair and diplomatic as much as possible. Yet undoubtedly we all are individuals, we all have individual likes and dislikes, beliefs, hopes and dreams and the list goes on.

 

I think it really depends on the topic(s) of discussion. Politics has forever been a touchy and personal issue for people. Religion, education and sports are some more examples of subjects where people can be quite vocal and yes, even opinionated. Given those subjects, I might be prone to side with the above quotation. In some cases, especially in jobs fields where diplomacy is paramount, it’s exceedingly important to keep objectivity. However, there are instances where even objectivity will falter. After all, have you ever gone to a sporting event and opinions and emotions didn’t lead the way?

Kulanu Center Believes in Inclusion

Inclusion, it’s a wonderful thing. Knowing that despite ability or disability you belong. Today while doing a Google search for disability news I found the Kulanu’s website (www.kulanukids.org). I was immediately intrigued. How did the Kulanu Center come to be? What sorts of services do they provide? I wanted to learn more, so I looked around their website a bit (http://kulanukids.org).

The Kulanu Center for Special Services was founded in 2000 by the parents of children with disabilities. These children had been repeatedly excluded from educational, social and even cultural activities and opportunities within the Jewish community. With the help of the community and Orthodox Caucus the Center was created.

Now the Kulanu Center is a busy place. It provides respite, camp programs, advocacy, and more. Kulanu helps children with a wide range of disabilities from Down’s syndrome, Asperger’s to children who are physically challenged. Kulanu means “all of us.”  In the realm of inclusive atmospheres it would appear Kulanu lives up to its name.

Crazy Week

What a week it has been! I worked on my cover letter and resume, and sent it off to a few businesses. Monday night I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Marcia MacMillan. Being that it was my first interview conducted over the phone, I was really nervous.  I did end up being a tad slow going on the typing, but not too bad. Thankfully, and to her credit, Ms. MacMillan proved very patient. Thank you Ms. MacMillan for the patience!

So first phone interview done, resume and cover letter sent out and then what? Thursday afternoon I received a phone call informing me the interview I had been trying to get for weeks, would be the next day. So Friday comes and I should be excited right? Well I do enjoy trying out my skills at interviewing and writing, but that morning I woke up with a major sore throat, pounding headache and feeling disoriented. After some tea, and soup and a Halls lozenge however, I made it through the interview.

Actually funny story, Friday turned out to be the day I drove over to a business that had a job posting so I could give them my resume and a cover letter. That was at 3:30 so it was a rush to get home. Just as I was taking my coat off, my cell phone rang. I had to hurriedly get my laptop on and away I went.

Well now it’s time to beat this cold in a hurry. I want to be absolutely healthy for the end of the month when I hope to go check out the CTV Rink of Dreams for the annual shoot out.

Interview with a Journalist-Marcia MacMillan

Continuing my interviews with journalists in various areas of journalism, here is my interview with Marcia MacMillan. Marcia MacMillan is a news anchor with CTV News Channel in Ontario, Canada. Thank you very much Ms. MacMillan for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer questions.

1. What was the biggest influence in your deciding to become a journalist?

When I was 10 years old I figured I wanted to be an actress. Watching TV news one day there was a woman anchor and something in the way she anchored made an impression on me. Since then I worked towards becoming a journalist myself.

2. What aspect of the job has given you the most satisfaction?

Interviewing gives me immense satisfaction. I feel very fortunate to be able to talk to so many extraordinary people.

3. Would you say there’s a specific role or job that you have had, that was more enjoyable for you or fulfilling? I.E reporting news vs. anchoring news.

I first started like reporting and overtime my anchoring skills developed. I am more comfortable anchoring news. I enjoy interviewing and asking the questions that need to be asked.

4. What is a typical day like for you on the job?

By mid-afternoon I have already read the newspaper and been watching and listening to news.

When I arrive at work I meet with the producer to talk about the day’s interviews and lead ins and then I do research for the interviews I’ll be conducting that day.  At five it’s time to go on camera and anchor the news.

5. What is one news story you have reported on that stands out to you as particularly memorable?

For 2010 it would be the Russell Williams case.  It was just hard to put into perspective, and hard to comprehend.

6. Are there any real differences between a national network/newscast versus a smaller market newscast/station?

National news tends to have more staff, resources,etc at National news. Local news has greater focus on what’s happening in community and are often PART of the community. CTV National is less folksy, takes a larger world view.

7. Any advice you’d have for aspiring journalists? Particularly in the realm of broadcasting.

My advice would be to read everything, work somewhere small to start, try hard every day and don’t be a diva (or whatever the male equivalent of that is.

8. Lastly, enquiring minds would like to know. What is it like to work with one of the journalist greats like Lloyd Robertson?

It is an honour. He is not only an amazing journalist and role model, but also a great gentleman, and easy to talk to. I am still thrilled to see him every day and will miss him when he retires later this year.

Defeating Defeat

I have mentioned in a previous blog post, I deal with depression on an ongoing basis. Where my depression stems from I am not certain but believe it to be, in part, due to the bullying,etc I experienced as a child. To this day I deal with the scars of this. Yet I am a fighter, and I am continously pushing myself through the negative self-doubt that is always there. For the most part it has become easier to combat the pessimistic thoughts playing in my mind. At times though, it can be exceedingly difficult.

 

Like, when I am planning a new project or about to experience something for the first time (i.e. first time on a rock climbing wall or going back to school after so many years). It is these moments that it can be a real struggle for me. I am sure I’m not the only one who feels this way at times. (There are over a million Canadians per year that have depression). Praying “please don’t let me mess this up” has become a regular mantra for myself, in these type situations. I am constantly having to be told by friends (as well as remind myself) that it is okay to mess up from time to time. To err is human, after all. I have made mistakes in my time. Some mistakes I have made have even been real doozies. I am learning, albeit slowly, to face my mistakes and learn from them; ultimately and hopefully never to repeat them. It is an uphill battle but with the help of friends and close family I am making strides. I am learning to no longer cry over spilt milk.

Interview with a Journalist – Jasmine Franklin

To continue with my idea of interviewing journalists in various areas of journalism as well as points in their careers (fledgling to house hold name), I set out to interview Jasmine Franklin, a young journalist just starting off in her career. From job influences to who her great role models have been in the journalist world. I hope you enjoy. Best of luck in everything Ms. Franklin.

1. First what influenced you to a career in journalism?

To be honest, journalism was never a career I considered growing up. I have always been a writer by nature and knew my chosen profession would involve writing but as to how, I was never sure. I can tell you however; once I got into journalism school I was astonished at how natural everything was for me. The whole profession challenged and excited me in a way I had never encountered before. In the most cliché’ description – it fit like a glove.

2. Did you have any journalists you looked up to, as you went about studying in journalism school and otherwise worked towards becoming a journalist?

I’ve never looked up to a specific journalist or aspired to be like anyone though I do believe Edmonton’s media has some truly talented individuals.  I’m still learning, and I hope to continue learning as long as I’m in this business. On that note, I do read other journalist’s work daily to see how they approach stories. I like to stay very in tune with those working around me.

3.What is a typical day for you, as a journalist with the Edmonton Sun?

A typical day for me includes a coffee run first thing in the morning, this is very important. I head into the office to get my assignments for the day and immediately begin making calls.

I usually have between one to four stories daily as well as shoot stand-ups videos for the website. Aside from being a general reporter, I am also acting editor for Edmonton Sun 24 Hours, so mid-afternoon I work on what will go in the next day edition of 24 hours. After that, I write my stories up, head into the editorial meeting and then send the needed content to Toronto.

I love the diversity and uncertainty in each day and assignment.

4.What has been one of the highlights so far, in your career?

I think the highlights of my career so far have been an accumulation of things. Firstly, the people I’ve had a chance to work alongside as well as interview have been incredible. It’s humbling to see such various talents all around you every day.

My most memorable stories though would have to be the first health story I wrote that broke across a few provinces as well as this summer’s past home explosion in Edmonton. I also had a chance to interview former Canadian journalist Mike Duffy who told me I was headed for TV – I’m not sure I believe him, but either way, he was awesome.

5.What has been one of the not so good moments for you, in your career so far?

As a young journalist I have faced a few challenges. One being, as a 21-year-old female who is generally always bubbly and happy, I do encounter a select few who don’t take me seriously. It took me a long time to establish myself as a serious journalist when I first started out. I had to work really hard and cover some difficult stories to prove my abilities.

Secondly, I’m continuing to learn how to separate myself from the job at times. There have been days where literally all I write about is sadness and death. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it can be hard to handle.

6. Do you have any future goals or hopes for your career that you would be willing to share?

I’m still figuring that out. For now, I want to become the best well-rounded journalist that I can be and learn as much as possible.

I do love being on camera for news stories but there’s something nostalgic and wonderful about print that I’m not sure I’ll ever want to let go of.

I do want to add one last thing – I’ve been extremely lucky to have a supportive family, co-workers and bosses who challenge and push me to my limits. There is a great group of Edmontonians who consistently read my work and there’s nothing better than knowing there is an audience out there that cares.

Thank you Ms. Franklin for your time for this interview. Best wishes in your future career endeavours.

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