CBC Journalist, Tokyo Japan
I was born/grew up in: St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada
I now live in: Tokyo, Japan
I completed my training/education at: at Memorial University. My journalism training has been gained through various volunteer and on-the-job activities
Describe what you do at work.
On any given day, I write news stories, edit news stories and also gather news stories. In order to do my job, I have to use computers, video cameras, radio recording equipment and editing software. Many news stories in Japan are about topics that touch on science, technology, engineering or math. So, having a background in STEM has really helped me do my job. The show I work for does international news but is based in Tokyo. In Japan, news stories are told a little differently from what we are used to in North America. Each day I have to check stories and make sure they flow logically. That means I often have to change the structure of a story to make it easier to understand and more interesting. It is like I do word puzzles all day long.
When I gather a story I plan to present on television, I have to decide what the story is and how best to tell it in an interesting but succinct way. The CBC has what is called a digital first strategy, which means I have to stay on top on the latest in technology. I am constantly trying out new Apps on my iPhone that help me with broadcasting audio and video. Being a reporter means I have to interact with people all the time. I work with teams of people to get the news ready and I meet people every day for interviews.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
Journalism is often called the first rough draft of history. Whether it is for breaking news or a big news investigation, the questions of “who, what, when, where and why” all have to be asked and answered. The answers can lead to change for issues that are important to people. News stories can also help people understand a topic. If a scientist thinks she has experimental evidence that supports one of Einstein’s theories, people will find out by watching, reading or listening to the news.
What motivates you in your career?
I get excited when I find a story that affects people but has not been told before. These types of stories are often called investigative or enterprise journalism. They are the stories that can matter the most to people. They are stories that ask tough questions of government and people who have power over others. When a story like this is done well, government policy can change, bad people can get arrested and held accountable. I am also passionate about covering news from other countries for Canada. I think it’s important that we know what is going on in the world and why/how it affects us.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
In high school, I took a heavy science related course load. In university I did an Arts degree but I did electives in science. My path to journalism started when I was working in South Korea and I asked if I could write for an expat magazine. After a few months, they asked me to be a content editor. That job eventually helped me get a reporter/copy editor position with the Korea Herald (South Korea’s biggest English daily). My experience in Korea was enough to get a job as a reporter with VOCM News in St. John’s and after eight months with them, I got a position with CBC. Since then I have worked hard to continue to develop my skills as a journalist. I also never say no to an opportunity where I can learn and develop my craft.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
When I am not reading about the news, I enjoy taking pictures, exercising (jogging and boxing), and cooking. In Canada I was also an officer in the Naval Reserves. I learned navigation which required a lot of mental math and also engineering knowledge.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
If you want to be a journalist, talk to people who are working as journalists now and ask them for advice. Work at a university or high school, newspaper, radio station. Try to get an internship with anyone. Never turn down an opportunity because you think it will be hard or because it isn’t exactly what you want. Building your career is a series of baby steps that after time add up to a lot.