People have asked me before what I enjoy most about my job,so I will go into detail about one reason I enjoy the reporter lifestyle. One of my favourite things about journalism is the many different types of people that you meet. It is truly the people that make the news.
It may be a story about an organization’s decision, a local issue or a sporting event, but if you do not have the human aspect, you do not have the story.
With council stories, you have to ask yourself ‘how and who does this affect?’ and ‘how will these decisions hit home?’ That is where the true story comes from.
As well, I know that there is the cliché “No I in team”, but when covering sports games, sometimes you need to grab that one person’s thoughts leading up to the big game winning home run if you are talking about baseball for example. As a sports reporter at Durham College and handling sports for The Standard newspaper, I’ve talked to many athletes, some humble and some that like to boast. They are all unique humans with different thought processes. Like Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, some are more prone to slumps, while others can find the magic formula to remain calm and produce. Some strategize, and some just react.
Sometimes it is like I am trying to get inside their head. What were you thinking? What were you feeling? What’s next for you?
It reminds me that the people that you look up to, idolize, they are human. The decision makers that affect your lives are also human. They are all faced with similar decisions, temptations and pressures that many of us face.
Not only that, but each person has their own unique story, they are not all cookie cutters based on their jobs. Case in point, some may remember my story on Jasmine Rutschmann. She was the young artist who started her own gallery after being rejected from an established gallery. I have talked to several different artists since writing that story and each and every one has had a unique story, a unique upbringing and different motivations and personality.
I could do 1,000 stories on what seems like the same type of people and never have the same story. It is never boring, because none of these people are ever exactly the same as the others.
As well, each person also has a unique person that inspires them or is their hero. These are the people that they model themselves after and hope to be like. Once you meet or talk to that person, it adds a whole other dimension. I’m getting to know someone through someone else, while also learning more about that person.
That is why I like seeing people out reading the paper, to hear back from people that I have interviewed, or comments from people in the community. In some small way, something I wrote has informed and affected their daily life. Maybe the story has stirred an emotion or just made people think.. In any case, I have been somewhat involved in their unique life.
That has been my goal in journalism. When all is said and done, and I have retired from the position, I hope that people remember the stories that I have done and that I’ve informed and hopefully made a change in people’s lives.
I love telling stories, and I will continue to tell stories for The Standard readers.
One thing that has always baffled me as a journalist is how many people take interest in the Royal family.
When Prince William and Kate Middleton had officially chosen the name of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, it became the top trending story on Facebook, the CTV news story had over 14,000 shares and the CBC news story was shared about 2,000 times. Not to mention that wherever I went in town, you could hear residents having a debate about the name.
This whole thing happened before when Prince George was born. The Monarchy became more popular in our country. The National post did a study that showed the before and after of the effect of the Royal birth. In May 2013, 45 per cent of Canadians studied were in favour of abolishing the monarchy and then two months later that number dropped to 37 per cent. We buy the royal merchandise and follow what they wear and where they go. This Royal fever may make sense to some, but not to me.
It may be the fact that I did not grow up with the Queen as a big influence in my day- to- day life, but I just can’t comprehend why there’s this big interest in modern royalty.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, and the Queen has very limited powers in our government. To me, she is merely a figurehead or an adviser, and her only voice is through the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors. What the Royals do in Canada is quite limited. So they are really just an interesting part of our history that-to me- seems stuck in time. However, whenever they arrive or do anything of interest, we flock to find out what is up.
People could equate them with sports celebrities or the actors and actresses that we follow on the entertainment channels, but that would be a mistake. Those people have done things to get their fame. In sports, Lebron James or Wayne Gretzky got famous by showing off their talents in their respective sports. Movie stars Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence and others garnered fame because of their acting ability. But the Royals are famous because they were born. That’s it.
If they were not born into this family, these would just be normal people, living everyday lives. It would be their friends and colleagues that would be the most interested in their day- to- day lives, instead of being adored and focused on by entire nations of people. They garnered fame because they were born into a family with so called Royal blood. However, when they twist their hands to wave, we all want to bow.
No disrespect to the members of the Royal family, they may in fact be talented, kind and interesting people in some way, but at the end of the day their biggest contribution to our landscape is being a Royal.
As well, we only love William and Kate because they bring something new to the Royal family. It’s the youth dynamic. People are so used to the monarchy being older; 89 year-old Queen Elizabeth, 66 year-old Prince Charles and 67 year-old Camilla. We tend to relate more to the younger Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge.
For the Royal family to truly no longer become relevant in our country at all, it would take a federal amendment to the constitution that would require the support of the federal government as well as all 10 provinces and three territories. That does not seem to be in the cards anytime soon. For now, many people will probably continue to keep their ears tuned to whatever developments happen in William, Kate and Harry’s lives, as well as with the Queen, even though it does not make sense to me.
Happy Mother’s Day this weekend everybody!
Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy