Monday, November 21, 2011

Just chatting journalism with Dawna Friesen

Friday night was a very exciting evening for this aspiring broadcast journalist.

I was lucky enough to attend the RRC Alumni dinner, where Global National anchor Dawna Friesen was the MC. Thank you to the wonderful Rachelle Taylor who offered me an extra ticket to attend.  

Joanne Kelly, my journalism instructor and past reporter for CTV and Shaw, was kind enough to encourage me, along with a group of other aspiring young journalists, to actually go up to Friesen and speak with her. 

As her necklace and earrings sparkled under the lights, Friesen generously passed on some valuable advice. It was surreal to just be chatting about journalism with Dawna Friesen. She took the time to speak with us for was seemed quite a while, and even asked us all what we wanted to do in the future. She shared with us that she started out peeling potatoes and working as a waitress right here in Manitoba. However, she shared with us that she always thought about how she could turn where she was to where she wanted to go next in life. 

She also shared with us that even though we might be covering stories that don't seem like the best, to try and tell them the best we could, because you never know what it might turn into. She also shared that she pretends that she's telling a story to one person when she anchors the news. 

To be honest, I was a little star struck. It was and is so inspiring to see how much she's accomplished starting right where I am right now. I tried to absorb as much as I could from her as a fellow CreCommer put her arm around Friesen and basically interviewed her for the rest of us wide eyed journalism majors. 

Friesen was down to earth and happy to share her experiences with us. One of the best moments was that she told all of us that we "could do it." 

Other highlights of the night were meeting Sylvia Kuzyk, seeing Global reporter Lauren McNabb again (I interned with her on election night) and meeting Gord Leclerc. Did you know Sylvia Kuzyk actually went to Red River College for nursing and when she first started in television she was shy? 

It was very inspiring to meet all of these successful journalists from Manitoba and to hear their encouraging words. It definitely encourages me that my goal to one day work as a television reporter is possible with hard work. 

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