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.


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