This interview was conducted before the election.
Annie is an on-air television reporter with CTV Ottawa. Prior to joining the number one local station in Ottawa, Annie was a parliamentary affairs reporter for iPolitics in Ottawa, Canada. There she received more than 460 bylines. Annie holds a master’s in journalism from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York City, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto. While in Manhattan, she worked in Sports Illustrated’s video and social media department creating content for SI.com. She also interned at the CBC’s New York bureau, where she helped produce stories for The National, and contributed radio reports to The World This Weekend. Annie was on the news desk at CityNews in Toronto prior to joining iPolitics in January 2013. Her work has appeared in various news outlets including the Bleacher Report, SI.com, CTV National News, iPolitics.ca, CBC Radio 1, the Huffington Post, CTV News Channel, VOCM Radio in Newfoundland and the Coaches of Canada magazine.
+1 On which social channel are you most likely to lose time?
Twitter is without a doubt the social channel I find most important and the one I follow almost obsessively. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and usually the last thing I check before going to bed. For journalists, it’s a tool to keep a finger on the pulse, to find sources, to follow breaking news, to get story ideas and to connect with people in the community. It’s also a great curator of news and that alone helps me stay up-to-date with what’s going on in my community and across the globe.
+2 What’s your top tip for PR pros?
I think it’s important for PR pros to know their audience. I get pitches all the time and the majority of the stories have nothing to do with local news. Take the time to figure out who might be interested in the story and tailor your press release or pitch to that person. When pitching on the phone, remember you are talking to a person and not giving a prepared speech. I often get calls from people who launch into memorized talking points about their issue before even saying hello and that is an automatic turn off.
+3 The last book you read was…?
I’ve just finished two books, both of which are journalism related. The first is called It’s What I Do by Pulitzer Prize winning war photographer Lynsey Addario. The second was written by Jenny Nordberg, a fellow Columbia J-School alumni. Her book is called The Underground Girls of Kabul.
+4 Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
That’s a tough question. I love food, so I try to go to new restaurants as much as I can. I’m a big fan of the breakfast sandwich at Kettleman’s on Bank Street, the oysters from Whalesbone and the classic breakfast at the Elgin Street Diner.
+5 What’s the best part of your job?
Journalism gives you a great excuse to ask questions that people would otherwise find nosy, annoying or intrusive. That’s a big bonus for someone who is naturally curious and enjoys learning. Honestly, though, I love getting to tell stories about the people in my community. I used to cover Parliament Hill and the personal stories often get lost in the debate around policy and politics. Being a local reporter gives you a different perspective on what matters to your neighbours and gives you a platform to talk to people who might otherwise be ignored. We have the ability to change people’s lives. My colleague recently profiled a woman desperate to get a wheelchair to travel the world but couldn’t afford it. The story resonated with people, and now she’s got her wheelchair thanks to a hugely successful crowdfunding page and is preparing for a trip of a lifetime. Every day is a learning experience and that’s the best part. I’m never bored and I’m always doing something new and meeting someone new.