The Troy Reeb 2003 Distinguished Alumni Internship offers a unique opportunity to a Digital Communications and Media student; a two week all-expenses-paid internship in a major market newsroom.
I’m exhausted! That is to be expected considering I woke up at two in the morning so I could travel to the Calgary airport and make it to my flight on time. I can’t begrudge this, of course. I wouldn’t have slept anyway. I am way too excited!
Toronto is everything I could have possibly imagined it to be. Like a toned down L.A. without the annoying palm tree aesthetic – the buildings are towers, the scenery is beautiful and every tiny detail speaks wonders of “big city life”. I am staying at the Westin Harbour Castle which is right off the coast of a gorgeous lake. I’ve never seen so many boats in my entire life! I swear there was like fifteen of them docked about a block away from my hotel. It’s so awesome.
Anyways, apart from my mild fascination with the boats, I have nothing else to report. It’s time for me to go to bed and mentally prep from my first foray into Toronto’s News Industry.
I spent the morning at the Morning Show – which had a friendly but extremely intimidating atmosphere to begin with. Liem, Carolyn and Jeff were fantastic and it was awe-inspiring to see their composure on the job.
It was interesting to see how much movement was involved regarding the live sets. Liem would be on camera reporting the weather, and then the control room would take to the graphics and the crew would be changing the set behind him as Liem walks wherever he needed to be next. It was fascinating to see how fluid the process was. I could liken it to watching a ballet where everyone in the show inherently knows the steps. It was as if they knew the process so well that it was part of them. Their guests were also quite amazing – Drag Queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race and the Wiggles. Completely brilliant.
After the Morning Show, I joined them for their ‘after show meeting’ where they talked about what was good/bad and what would happen the next day. We did this in school after a broadcast as well!
Next up, I got to sit in on the filming of a Youtube series called ‘Living in Colour’. The title really says it all! The episodes consist of different issues and experiences POC’s have just living their everyday life. They have an episode on online dating, mental health, general stereotypes ect. I really enjoyed sitting on this because this is the sort of content that I, as a writer, thrive on. I like people stories and I got to sit in and listen to a bunch of people with different experiences of the same subject.
I thought one of their more interesting points was that racism can cause Post Traumatic Stress. When they first said that, I was dumbfounded because it seems like it obviously can but it’s not something I have ever heard people talk about before. I think these segments and Youtube series’ are a really good idea and I look forward to when they are published.
I spent lunch with Troy which was really awesome! I know how busy he is but I was happy that I had to opportunity to pick his brain about some stuff and talk about where we thought the industry was going.
After lunch, I went to the AM Radio station. I’ve never really been into AM radio but I have to say that the first afternoon I spent there had me hooked! I had the opportunity to sit in with an op and shadow her as she ran things for the host. What was even more exciting, though, was that I had the chance to shadow radio producers.
Mary Feely was a great person to follow! Her approach to producing was both jarring and helpful and she gave me some life advice that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Mary was my last stop of the day, and I went back to my hotel feeling excited for the next day to begin. The only thing that could probably make my day better was if I had been able to figure out where the hotel restaurant is. (Update from future December: it was on the roof!!! Not in the Lobby!!! Who knew?)
So, I am positive that three in the morning doesn’t agree with me (or anyone) and I’m extremely curious as to how the people at the Morning Show arrive to work at five with such chipper attitudes. Seriously. What are they putting in their coffee? Apart from my grumpiness at being awake at any time before 7 in the morning, I had a pretty great day.
They put me on the head sets so I could hear the control room (pretty cool) and I spent the whole morning talking to the prompter/entertainment news writer, Shane. I don’t actually remember what his job title is, unfortunately. But we had a fantastic conversation about the industry, it’s politics and upcoming trends. We also talked about equipment and programs. Altogether, Shane had a wealth of knowledge that I am happy he could share with me. I hope we can keep in touch!
I spent the afternoon once again with the radio station! I met so many people from so many departments that my head was spinning by the end of it. They were all fantastic, patient and answered any question no matter how idiotic (and some truly were) they ended up being. I got to spend the end of my day with Colter – an announcer from one of their FM stations.
He taught me a lot about line up and repetition. He also showed me the importance and the challenge of decreasing dead space.
Last day at the Morning Show (and hopefully the last day of waking up at 3)! Today was great! I had the head set on, they let me run the prompter (which I didn’t mess up on, thank goodness!) and I got to play with their fancy crane camera. It’s really sensitive and I’m glad I didn’t have to operate it during the show because I think that would be disastrous to the integrity of their content. But it was super cool and I’m glad I could do it!
For the afternoon, I said goodbye to the Corus building and made my way to Barber Greene for Global. The building was like the Tardis – it’s bigger on the inside. Even after getting a tour I got lost trying to leave the building at the end of the day. The tour consisted of the news room, the virtual sets (both MMC and daily news), control rooms and ET Canada. Before lunch, I had the chance to watch the News at Noon with the director. The programs she was using were way different than the ones we used at school so it was helpful that she took the time to explain everything.
The cafeteria at Barber Greene was brilliant. The food tastes like home feels which is comforting when entering an intense workplace. After lunch, I went to an editorial meeting. This is basically a time for reporters to pitch, vet and go over ideas and angles for their news stories. It was great to see everyone work cohesively as a unit in what is undoubtedly a competitive field of work.
Erica Vella is magic, I swear. I shadowed her today and she did her stand up in a loud environment, with people everywhere while walking backwards in heels. She didn’t seem to stumble on her words or act like any of the experience was stressful to her and I’m in awe. They didn’t end up using the take, but she was still fantastic. How does she do it?
Well, I asked and she said it was all in practice.
Apparently, when she was just starting out, she had to do five or six takes during a stand up. Still, I don’t think that even a hundred years of practice could prepare me to do a stand up backwards in anything but orthopedics.
We went to the Dyke March, which is more of a political protest than it is a celebration. It’s a lead in to the Pride Parade the next day. I followed along as we did streeters, interviews and took b-roll. (Though I had no part in any of the b-roll at all, god bless! Shoulder Cam is rough.) And though the day started off slow, fifteen minutes before the parade started, we hit the ground running.
We had to sprint to reach the front of the parade. It was exhilarating!
The editing process and the turnaround rate was quick too. James had the video turned out in like 20 minutes. I’m definitely going to have to practice my editing to reach that speed, which is good to know. What took him a half hour would take me about an hour and a half.
The entire experience was quite enlightening. I realized that much of what I learned in school was the exact same as what we did – though a bit easier because they had access to vehicle and I did not. It was a nice little review and it was extremely validating to my education.
I think overall, shadowing Erica made me a bit more confident within my skin. I have the skill, it’s just a matter of practice.
PRIDE DAY. YUSSS.
I love Pride and I’m so excited I get to be there while they cover it. (Even if it’s sopping wet and I have tiny water fountains in my shoes.
Our interviewee was an hour and a half late, which was funny because I thought for certain that with the credit of ‘Global’ behind a reporter, there would be less instances of lateness and no-shows. Turns out that no matter what company you’re from, people may cancel.
We were given a Pen #2 media pass but because Erica knew one of the organizers or had worked with them previously, we were given illegitimate access to Pen #1 (which was awesome!). There was some confusion regarding a media scrum. It was being held in a VIP area that basically no media outlets had access to – which seems silly but I guess for the sake of an exclusive interview, it’s okay? I don’t know how often that happens but thought it was interesting to note.
One of the other Networks did get a clip and offered to share it with Global’s assignment desk. (Which was very kind). I got to experience some journalism politics between Local and National groups.
At Global, sometimes National can’t spare reporters for certain events so local reporters supplement for the National show. The problems arise when they want the national package to highlight something different than the local package. We definitely only had time for one package. We had ten minutes to go before the deadline when James finished editing, and we were still on location when he was doing it.
It all turned out fine but it was interesting to see that side to the business.
I learned two big things today:
- The worst part of reporting on location is finding a parking space
- A close second is finding a bathroom
After James sent the video in, we went back to the station and I caught a ride back to my hotel.
MMC is both confusing and highly intelligent. I suppose that the best things normally are. Basically, the concept is that they cut down on man power by having one anchor broadcast across Canada in a pre - recorded (and sometimes live?) tape. It made more sense when I was there talking about it rather than when I’m reflecting on it now.
Either way, I am certain it’s completely brilliant! It wouldn’t have won an award otherwise and it saves money which is always a plus.
I hung out with Aemon today, who is the Manager for all things MMC. He says he likes working in the trenches with his people because he likes to know what’s going on. He also says that young people are the future and that we’re coming up with the innovative ways the industry is going.
We had a good, long and in depth discussion about the media and I think he’s probably the most interesting person I have met thus far. He’s worked at Global for forty years and has done absolutely everything. He’s also a teacher at an university in Toronto so he has a kind of wise professor tone of voice. If he was in a fantasy novel, he’d be the wizard that gives a prophecy to a young knight.
He displayed a passion for his career that I haven’t seen very often and it was refreshing to talk to him.
Meetings! Meetings! Meetings!
God, I love meetings!!!
Weird thing to enjoy – I know, but I think my favourite part of the internship so far has been to learn the inner workings of the industry from management positions. It’s so interesting!
I shadowed Sarah Kelsey and whoa! She has a lot of meetings in a day. First, we went to a story generation meeting where people pitched their ideas and basically let managers and each other know what was going on in the day. Then we went to an executive editorial meeting – where I contributed a source for a story for a reporter, which I am super proud of – where the managers got together with their manager and let him know what’s what. We got pulled out of that meeting early for a sponsorship meeting which was interesting because I didn’t even think about their online revenue and how they would make money that way.
I hung out with their social media guru and helped him create teases for social media (which I don’t think I was all that good at but I’m glad I tried out) and then went for lunch in the cafeteria. (Once again, the food was amazing! Good job Chefs!)
After lunch, I went to a newsletter meeting and only to get pulled into an AM/FM Radio meeting before I went back to my hotel.
I love administrative work and meetings are so much fun – which is extremely nerdy – and I hope I get to join in on them again.
Today I hung out with the online video team as they updated video to stories already published and created feature video for their Youtube page. Once again, the editing turn around blew my mind and reminded me to keep my skills up with my adobe suite. It’s almost mesmerizing to watch them edit so quickly. They were using hot keys I didn’t even know existed and did everything with a precision that can only be attributed to lots of practice.
In the afternoon, I bounced around from editor to editor before eventually making my way to Global’s Master of Youtube! He answered all of my burning questions about monetization of news content, flagged accounts and the ethics of monetizing specific content. (Like is it okay to monetize news content about a terrorist attack where a bunch of people die? Will Youtube allow you to do that? Etc.) We also talked about live streaming and the options opened to them by doing that for specific events, the demographics of channel and how that effects their content promotion and whether or not they have started promoting their feature content such as: ‘Living in Colour’.
The day was super informative, ending off with their breaking news team where I asked questions about the wire and the technicalities behind that. All in all, it was a great last day at Barber Greene. Next stop? Ottawa.
Travel Day! The airport is muggy and hot, security stresses me out and I think I’m about the have an anxiety attack because there are no seats and an excess amount of people. No matter – it will be all worth it once I’m up in the air.
It’s funny. I love flying but I hate heights. I’m actually so scared of heights that being on the second floor of a building freaks me out, but I like looking out the window when I’m flying. It doesn’t make any sense.
Anyway – nothing new to report. Check back in tomorrow!
Ottawa has such a fascinatingly different atmosphere to Toronto. They were a fast-paced, no nonsense lot. I suppose they would have to be in order to write for politics. Either way, the shift was interesting to see.
I spent the morning getting things in order for Canada Day. I walked to the press centre to get my press badge for Parliament Hill, organized an interview for that Sunday and did a bunch of research for an upcoming interview with Hamilton Band, Arkells.
In the afternoon, I went up the hill to parliament and toured around the coolest place ever. Seriously. My tour guide was extremely knowledgeable about the centre block and told me fun facts about the history of the building. My favourite part of the tour was the library. There were so. Many. Books. It was awesome!
I stayed a bit later that day to shadow the Arkells interview. The reporter ACTUALLY used my research and asked some of my questions which was really great!
I’m not sure anyone truly understands my absolute hatred of transcribing interviews. I helped my friend transcribe clips before from a focus group and it feuled my revulsion. It took three hours to do one clip. Alas, transcribing [AKA – bane of my existence] is what I spent my morning doing, and surprisingly…I was okay with.
Mostly I was just super excited because I was given the opportunity to write the Canada Day article on the Arkells. It’s on the Global website right now!!! https://globalnews.ca/news/4306520/arkells-canada-day-concert-ottawa/
I spent the afternoon shadowing a reporter on a story about a man who was let out from prison after the Supreme Court decided his sentence was too long. He was put there for hitting and killing a two-year-old boy with his car, but due to some external circumstances like vigilante justice (civilians kidnapped him and cut off his thumb with gardening sheers) and bad legal advice (he wasn’t intoxicated, he was distracted because he was arguing with his wife but his lawyer told him to deny police a breath sample), it was determined his original sentence was too long.
It was interesting to see the reporter put all the pieces together and a helpful reminder that it’s good to spend time in court (as a reporter, not as a criminal.) At the same time, another team was working on a Canada Day heat story which I completely under estimated at the time. (You’ll read about that in the next entry.)
The grand finale of my awesome internship was wiped away by a humidex of 47˚. I can safely say that I have never ever been as hot as I am right now. Standing makes me sick. Sitting makes me sick. And I want to tear off my skin because it’s far too stifling to be alright. I threw on a layer of sun screen this morning, and I can still feel the sun searing into my flesh. My shoulders are now beat red and I know in a few hours, they will be flaking like snake’s skin. I hate the heat.
I don’t think I’d be able to report in conditions like that! Even the reporting team admitted that by noon, they were feeling a bit woozy due to the heat. And what’s crazy is that they were the only team from Global Ottawa that was working that day. I watched them do two TV spots, multiple radio hits, regular social media updates and news gather. They were running around like crazy in the heat, lugging around a 30 lb camera and I have no idea how they got everything done.
It was certainly impressive!
The team let me go early that way I could enjoy my own Canada Day in the capital. What does that mean exactly? I went to a museum and looked at all the fun medieval artifacts. (Cause I’m a nerd.) I turned in before the fireworks went off so I could be ready for a morning flight.
I am so grateful for this internship – it’s revived my love for news and reassured me that I have the skillset to work within this industry. I’ve learned a lot of useful things about position and different areas of expertise I have never even thought of. I’ve received useful tips that will make my life easier in the future. And I have made connections and met people that I never want to forget. I am especially grateful to get a broader perspective from multiple different sources about where the industry is going and what is changing currently.
I am glad that I had this opportunity (it was awesome), but to be honest, I can’t wait to get home and away from the heat.
The Troy Reeb 2003 Distinguished Alumni Internship offers a unique opportunity to a Digital Communications and Media student; a two week all-expenses-paid internship in a major market newsroom.
The flight is early; the coffee isn't strong enough.
The plane is so cold that my toes, curled tightly in my shoes, are absolutely frozen.
None of that matters. I am on my way to an experience of a lifetime. To have the opportunity to intern with Global in Toronto is something many of my classmates will only ever dream about and here I am living it.
Upon landing I anticipated having to catch a cab to my hotel, however I was greeted at the baggage claim by a friendly face. Troy Reeb himself. The gracious host had taken time out of his busy day to meet me and take me to my hotel. This was amazing. I got some time to have a long face-to-face with the decorated alum. The problem? I was anticipating taking a cab and not seeing anyone important so I was certainly NOT dressed to impress. It was a great first impression if I do say so myself.
Upon getting to my hotel I was able to see that this area of the city is amazing! It is beautiful, and so luxurious. The hotel is gorgeous and they give every person checking-in a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie.
Following check-in I did some exploring downtown, had a great cup of coffee and went to bed early so I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed for conference day one.
I woke about an hour earlier than I anticipated and eagerly got ready for my big day at the conference. I was so nervous to be in a room with some of the biggest names in the industry.
The walk from my hotel was only about five minutes (thanks for the sweet hook up Troy!) and I got there much earlier than I should have. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the chance to network with some pretty snazzy individuals.
I met tons of people from various facets of the Global team. Producers, content creators, web contributors, managers and everyone else in between. On top of those individuals I had the opportunity to network with various personalities from CBC around the country, broadcast specialists from multiple organizations, representatives from Facebook and professionals from the Canadian Press.
I got to experience some incredible table discussions that really put the media industry into perspective for me. Some of the best in the industry just poured incredible experiences and knowledge onto an eager crowd.
There was one discussion that focused on the current state of the media industry, another that examined the publics’ ability to differentiate between real and fake news, the current climate on the radio industry and a detailed look into investigative journalism. They were all incredible and so relevant.
The conference concluded for the day and I had about an hour before I had to return for the President’s Awards dinner that same evening.
The dinner was another amazing opportunity to network with some amazing people in the industry. The food was amazing, the people were incredible and the evening was magical!
The conference continued in to day three, so I eagerly made the walk to the Sheraton to kick off my morning.
The first session of the day was specifically tailored for students; they called it industry speed dating. The session gave myself and students from surrounding broadcast schools the chance to have one-on-one networking with various industry leaders. We would start at one table and have five minutes to ask questions, get advice or just chat. It was wonderful!
To have the chance to sit down with multiple people from various facets of media was invaluable. I spoke with the head of Global News’ national digital team, a media consultant from New York, a VP from a Saskatchewan radio conglomerate and a producer from CBC. Each one had very unique insights into the industry. I could work in media for 20 years and never get the chance to connect with people of this caliber. What an amazing opportunity it was.
“You have a natural curiosity. If you have that, you’ll do just fine in this business,” said George Browne, Director of News Content for Global Online. Following the morning session we were treated to a presentation by JHR, an organization that helps to establish ethical and safe media outlets in third-world countries. The work they do is just amazing. They were most recently in South Sudan where they helped to procure safety for the reporters in that country. Check them out on their website to read some of their further success stories.
Once the morning sessions were done and lunch was had we moved on to the afternoon sessions. I attended a panel discussion that explored the importance of social media in journalism in our modern world. Liam Nixon from Global Lethbridge attended this session as well. He is great!
That was it, the conference was done! The only thing left to do was return to my hotel, put on my fancy clothes and attend the annual gala that same evening. The gala recognized 75 of the industry’s best and brightest and celebrated the extraordinary careers of Charles Adler and Terry Milewski with lifetime achievement awards. It was a night filled with marvellous moments and great company.
FREE DAY! FREE DAY! FREE DAY!
Troy and his team graciously gave me the day off to explore Toronto, and explore I did.
My cousin, who lives down the street from my hotel, and I planned a day full of activities that would take me all around the city!
Our morning started with a short jaunt down to Nathan Phillips Square. There is a small dog park there, so we took her adorable bulldog Lunchbox for a walk. There were so many cute dogs there. Honestly, if the day had ended there it would have been a success in my books. BUT, it got better!
We dropped Lunchbox off to enjoy the air conditioning while we ventured through town.
We kicked the morning off with a patio brunch complete with mimosas. The patio overlooked downtown Toronto. It truly was a breakfast of champions.
We took the subway (my first subway ride, what a thrill!) down to High Park, which was beautiful! We then went to the coolest free clothing swap where I got some awesome finds – including a Harry Potter wand!
We then walked down Bloor St. to find La Cubana restaurant. For those who know me, they know that I have been obsessed with Cuban coffee since I came back from Chicago a few years ago. I have never found a good place in Lethbridge! (Hit me up if you know one!) This lived up to the hype!
I had not one but two coffees, sweet plantains and the most delicious mango hot sauce. It was unreal.
From there we went to the Eaton Centre and embarked on some retail therapy. There were some great stores in there!
To finish our day, we again took Lunchbox out. This time we went to another park down by the Art Museum of Ontario and the CN tower. It was a great conclusion to a fantastic day.
WOW, how did I get to day five already? It’s hard to believe I have already spent four full days in the beautiful city of Toronto!
Today was the day I got to head to Corus Entertainment’s head office. First things first, the building looks like Google headquarters. It is modern, cool and equipped with a giant slide! It has to be one of the most incredible buildings in existence.
After my tour, I got started with the The Morning Show, hosted by Jeff McArthur, Carolyn MacKenzie and Liem Vu. It was so cool to be able to be a part of the action. It gave me an opportunity to see how the skills we learn in school are applied in the industry, and guess what? Paying attention in class totally helps, who would have thought?
On the show that morning, Serena Ryder dropped by to talk about her new album. It was so unreal! I had to do my best to not pull a fangirl watching her on set. She was very kind and gracious; she gave me a free copy of her new CD.
The morning concluded with the talented show team wrapping for the day and eagerly starting prep for the next mornings’ show.
I walked the daunting distance across the hall to the AM 640 team to begin my afternoon in radio. It was so intriguing to see how a major radio station operates just like our little one back at home. They use Burli (yes, Burli) for everything.
I got to sit in with the show producer while she fielded calls, monitored time, prompted upcoming segments and kept her hosts on track. It was interesting to see the dynamic between a music radio station and one dedicated specifically to talk and news.
After what felt like a whirlwind day, I said goodnight to my good friend Burli and bid Corus Quay farewell (for now) and retired back to the hotel for the evening. Knowing I had to be up by 3 a.m. the next morning for The Morning Show pretty much trumped any plans I had that evening and I hit the sack.
Wow, I don’t know if you have ever woken up at 3 a.m. to get your day started but, let me tell you, I do not like it. Nope. Not one bit!
After begrudgingly getting out of bed I made my way back to Corus Quay for another shot at the twisty slide.
I started my morning once again with the talented morning show team, and had a blast. We had a dog being inducted into the Purina Hall of Fame and my personal favourite, eight gentlemen from the Magic Men Live tour. Yes, this is the live version of the Channing Tatum movie “Magic Mike.”
The time I had at the Morning Show was absolutely incredible. It was informative, welcoming and most of all, unbelievably fun. The team there really knows how to make an Alberta gal feel welcome!
Next came my final stint with the AM 640 team. My duty today was audio clips. I was tasked with finding pop-culture related audio clips for planned segments that could tie in to the topics being discussed. It was so rad!
After finding all my audio clips I sent them off for review and my day was done.
I thanked everyone in the Corus Quay building that had allowed me shadow them and follow them for the past two days and bid the slide adieu. Tomorrow, I am on to the Global newsroom and I am ready to take the challenge head on!
Today was my first day at Global News’ office. I walked in to a HUGE building that had so many hallways, rooms and areas to explore. I was greeted by the friendliest staff members who were so eager to help me find my way.
I got the full tour and was AMAZED by how many different departments and people go in to putting together the news.
My day started with the Toronto news team. I was partnered up with an amazing reporter named Cindy Pom. We were assigned to cover the day’s breaking news.
We were dispatched to cover a story (you can see it here) where two teen girls were struck by a vehicle while crossing the street to their graduation ceremony. It was absolutely heartbreaking.
We had to do on-site research, interviews and follow-up. It was amazing to see how a story comes together from start to finish.
Heartbreaking, but incredible.
We stayed on-site all day, we were caught in a rainstorm, accosted by graduates, kicked out of the graduation all while attempting to get the story out to the public in a timely manner.
After an EXHAUSTING and emotional day, we packed it in after our story went on both the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
I headed back to my hotel and rested up for the next action packed day.
I arrived again at the Global News office, ready to start another exciting day!
I spent the day with the online team. They are responsible for globalnews.ca and all of the content that goes directly to web.
I worked with an investigative journalist named Andrew who had me transcribe his recent interviews and showed me some of the tips and tricks for optimizing stories for the web. It was interesting to see how much of the news industry is now focused on the online market.
Following that process I worked with the social media desk. I learned how integral this part of the job has become and how vital it is to the industries continued success!
When my day concluded, I headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night. Or so I thought.
My friend surprised me at my hotel and took me out for dinner. She drove in from Brampton to see me. We talked for hours; It was so nice to catch up.
Today was control room day! It was time to experience more of the technical pieces that keep the well-oiled machine working. I got a tour of the control room and my immediate reaction was that it was SO much bigger than ours at school.
The team that worked in the control room were amazing. They were helpful, informative and hilarious. They made me feel so welcome.
We got ready for the noon news and got in position. I sat with the producer and watched her masterfully execute a flawless newscast. It was awesome!
Then I shadowed Alan Carter while he prepared for the evening news at 5:30 p.m.
Carter anchors Global News at 5:30 and 6 p.m. and has been working in the industry since 1989. It was so beneficial to get to pick the brain of someone so talented who has cultivated such a long and successful career.
Before the newscast started, Alan let me sit at the anchor desk with him and read off the prompter. It was rad!
I then got to sit in on the rest of the production for the remainder of the evening. It was great!
Well, this is it, my last day with Global. It went by so incredibly fast.
For my final day they had me do some “streeter” interviews at various events happening around the city of Toronto.
The first event was the the Pringles Ketchup Slippery Slide world record. To mark Canada's 150th birthday and National Ketchup Day, Pringles not only officially launched their ketchup Pringles, they broke a world record. Pringles had former Toronto Blue Jays player Brett Lawrie hosting the event that featured a 50-foot ketchup-covered slip and slide in downtown Toronto and crowds of eager sliders.
I took some pictures – including a selfie with the Pringles man himself - asked some questions and jetted off to my next event.
The next event was the Canoe Heads 2017. This event was a collaborative effort by avid canoers and local businesses to raise money to send kids to summer camp. The group recognizes that the life skills and experiences kids have at camp are invaluable.
We watched as a group of amazing people walked 8 km carrying canoes on their heads before jumping in the water and canoeing back that same 8 km. It was inspiring to see what amazing work they were doing for charity. After interviewing a few participants and lucky kids who have been to camp thanks to this event, I jumped back in the camera truck and headed on to our third and final event.
The final event was a street festival. Major Toronto streets were shut down to accommodate street vendors and residents. It was so awesome. We didn’t need interviews for this particular piece, so all I did was follow the cameraman around while he shot b-roll. Regardless, it was still astonishing to see.
With that, we headed back to the Global studios and I prepared for my goodbyes.
I will never be able to thank the team enough for welcoming me and throwing me in to a series of new things so I could just gain experience. Every single employee I met was a wealth of knowledge that helped me grow, not only as a journalist, but also a person. Thank you.
Not much to report this day, I travelled from Toronto to Ottawa. I got to my hotel, unpacked my bag and toured the area a little bit. I walked down to the Parliament building and the river to check it out. Ottawa is beautiful.
I finished up my adventure, grabbed some food and got in bed to rest up for the big day at the Ottawa Bureau.
Today was WONDERFUL!
First order of business when I arrived at the Ottawa bureau was to obtain a media pass from the National Press Gallery. This pass would allow me to enter the House of Commons and various events in Parliament.
After my pass was acquired I prepped for the afternoon.
I was attending my first ever question period at the House of Commons.
Today, Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer faced off in their first debate since Scheers’ appointment as the Conservative party leader.
I got to sit in the media wing and watch all the action. I was initially concerned, as I don’t speak French, and they are required to ask and answer a certain percentage of questions in French. Turns out, media personnel all get these magic little ear pieces that live translate everything that happens throughout the whole period. What a lifesaver!
Following the question period, I joined a media scrum with the Prime Minister. I was literally less than two feet from our nations’ leader. It was unreal.
After the question period was finished I wandered around Parliament for a while and then went back to my hotel.
My Aunt and Uncle from Trenton drove out to see me for the evening.
We had a lovely dinner down at the market, walked around and enjoyed each other’s company. After three years, it was so wonderful to see them again.
Ottawa, round two.
So I got to the office just before 9 a.m. and was excited to learn that I would be watching a conference in which the Foreign Affairs Minister would be delivering a speech to caucus, with a question period to follow.
My job was to listen and shot list the encounter. Basically, tell them the times when individuals were speaking.
Following that, I got to attend another question period at the House of Commons. This time, when Prime Minister Trudeau came down the stairs, I got to shake his hand. How exciting!
I then got a tour of the Parliament Library, the Peace Tower and some other cool hidden gems of the building. Looking out from the top of the building really put in to perspective what an amazing city Ottawa is.
With that, my day took me back to the hotel as I was beat.
Last day! The time went by so incredibly fast, I can’t even believe it.
I packed my bags and headed out for my final day of this whirlwind adventure.
I got to the office, only to learn that I would be attending a meeting and press conference to unveil Canada’s new national defense policy. HOW COOL.
I walked down from the Global office to the national defense building and was escorted inside. Upon entering, my phone was taken and placed in a sealed envelope before I was ushered in to a sealed room. There was a media embargo on, and no one was allowed to release any information before a certain time.
This was such an unreal experience. There is little ol’ Lethbridge me, sitting with the amazingly talented Vassy Kapelos in a room full of some of our countries top defense leaders. They were unveiling the countries’ next 30 years of defense spending. To some this may seem boring, for me, I hung on every word that was being said.
The floor opened for questions and Vassy hopped at her chance to address the speakers. It was amazing to see her mind work so quickly and ask prolific and intelligent questions.
Following the media sit-in and the lift of the embargo, we joined a room full of Canadian reserve members and a whole pack of media to have a press conference. It was so interesting!
Once the whirlwind morning concluded it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful Ottawa team and make my way to the airport to return back to Alberta and normal life.
I got to the airport and got through security with enough time to reflect on my experiences before boarding the plane.
I only had 14 days to make the most of this huge opportunity. I bounced from online editing to political content to breaking news stories and I learned a few things along the way.
- Ask questions
- I’ve never personally had much trouble with this. In fact, when I was interviewing with Troy Reeb and the panel for this internship, I grilled Troy with question after question. I think he felt like he was being interviewed that day.
- In a fast-paced media environment, you have to stay ahead of the news, and get to the heart of a story. Asking questions can absolutely help get you there.
- Contribute ideas
- The newsroom is always on the hunt for the next story, so offering up ideas is always appreciated. Even if at first it seems that the story is nothing, there is often something deeper buried JUST below the surface.
- Besides, by offering up ideas it shows initiative and innovation!
- Make connections
- This could be one of the most important things that I learned throughout this experience.
- While it may be intimidating to walk into a new office, making connections can be the difference between an internship and a career and even more than that, it offers you the opportunity to draw upon years of experience you have yet to develop.
- Take advantage of every opportunity
- Opportunities present themselves every day but it is up to us to take them and make the most of them. Opportunities don’t just suddenly appear in front of our eyes. Many times, opportunities actually come to us in very stealthy ways - sometimes going completely unnoticed. Look out for them, better yet, hunt them down!
- Don’t be afraid to ask to work in areas that you’re interested in or maybe areas that you haven’t had that much experience in before, it’s up to you to make the most of your time.
This was a greater experience than even I could have ever imagined. I will never be able to put into words how amazing and beneficial this trip was. The experiences I had and the contacts I met will prove instrumental in my future and I can never thank Troy Reeb and Lethbridge College enough for this opportunity. It was truly life changing.
To Troy specifically, thank you for being a leader in this industry and a beacon for us newcomers to look towards for inspiration. You continue to put everything into this industry and attack each obstacle and challenge with passion and determination. You are an incredible mentor and I hope to have the opportunity to work together again in the near future. Thank you!