This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca
Emmy-winning journalist Chris Gailus co-anchors Global News Hour at 6 on Global BC with Sophie Lui. Winner of back-to-back Canadian Screen Awards, Gailus was previously a host and anchor for Good Day New York.
Follow him @chrisgailus.
What is it like to be an anchor for Global News in BC?
I have to be honest; it’s pretty cool. I work with a great team of journalists who are all passionate about what they do, which makes it energizing and exciting to come into work every day. Our viewers are very loyal and friendly and I enjoy getting to speak to them and get their perspective on stories that matter whenever I’m out and about. I get to see and do things most people don’t get to see and do. I also get to speak with news makers and high achievers every day who challenge me and educate me in many ways.
How do you decide what to cover?
This is a very difficult and unscientific process. I am part of an editorial team that takes a look at the scheduled events for the day, the stories we’re investigating and whatever breaking news happens during the day. Using our collective experience and knowledge, we try to predict which stories will most appeal, inform and enlighten to our viewers and in some cases, even entertain them. The discussions can get heated sometimes because there are many opinions, but we are all committed to maintaining an objective, unbiased viewpoint in how the stories are reported.
How does social media factor into your work?
I continue to believe that social media is an important tool in quickly assessing how much appeal a particular story or topic has on our audience. Our content is widely consumed and shared through platforms like Facebook and Twitter. We can then measure the rate at which they’re being shared which sometimes (although not always) informs our editorial decisions, giving us a greater understanding of what our audience wants. I also believe the online audience is different in many ways from our television audience and what works online and through social media doesn’t always work on the News Hour at dinner time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My shift starts at 11am with the morning editorial meeting where we discuss the news of the day and what we’re planning to cover. We pitch and talk about stories and look at what worked or didn’t work from the night before. Overall, it takes about 30 minutes. There are many people who contribute to the production of the News Hour.
We then begin the process of preparing the program for broadcast. The producer, co-producer, director and graphic artist all work together with Sophie Lui and I to define the dynamic look of the broadcast. It will often include a story or interview that I’m responsible for, so I will go out and shoot that. After that, I’ll communicate with our reporters on the road about what they’ve gathered and how their stories are coming along. I research the background of each of those stories as it’s Sophie and my responsibility to write what we call the headlines and promos that promote what is coming up on the show. These are just as important to the overall watchability of the broadcast as the individual stories themselves.
What’s your number one tip for PR people?
Know what you are pitching and to whom you are pitching it. Each of our news programs has a different look and feel and the content that works on Global News Morning might not be appropriate on the News Hour. Be familiar with the program you are pitching to and the person who is in charge of it. Find out the name of the producer and make sure your story pitch has some kind of news value to our viewers. Your client may think it’s the coolest thing, but if our viewers don’t see value in it, they’re going to change the channel. Most of all, remember that we are a visual medium. If you don’t have something cool or dynamic to show our viewers, it makes it much more difficult for us to tell the story.
What was your favourite story to work on?
The 2006 windstorm was incredible. It was a very dangerous and dynamic situation as we were broadcasting live from Stanley Park with trees coming down around us. The Stanley Cup riot was even more insane.
Recently, the Royal Visit was fun and exciting to cover. I lived in Dallas when 9/11 happened. Covering the results of that event in America was fascinating. In New York City after 9/11, the daily attention to safety and security and the rebirth of ground zero were all amazing things to be a part of. I also contributed coverage when the space shuttle Columbia broke apart over Dallas.
What’s the story you’d most like to cover?
The first manned mission to reach the surface of Mars.
First website you load in the morning?
Twitter. There are a million conversations all happening at once and I can drop in on any one of them I like.
Coffee, beer, or green smoothie?
All three, and throw in a margarita too.