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The daily grind of a newspaper beat reporter is very different from that of Global News 16×9 chief correspondent Carolyn Jarvis. Researching and developing stories can take up to four months! We had a chance to catch-up with Carolyn recently who shared some insight into her work process, her top tips for PR people and a look back at an eye-opening story experience.

Follow her @Carolyn16x9.

How does working on a current affairs show differ from a nightly newscast?

Current affairs is a completely different beast. The average length of time I work on a story is about four months – but some pieces take a year, others are turned around in a month (a month is very fast in my world). Given the investment of time and resources, story selection is crucial. Our team will spend days and sometimes weeks sussing out a story’s merits and possible impact before proceeding.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It really depends what stage of the editorial process I’m in – research, interviewing, writing, or editing. Because long-form journalism is about the marathon, not the sprint, the days are long and you ’take the story home with you’ every night. There is no ’typical’ day, except to expect the day will be long!

What’s your number one tip for PR people?

Please don’t spam me. Most often, those generic emails/press releases hit my trash can before they are ever opened. Develop relationships with journalists and only pitch when there’s a story that fits that reporter and their broadcast medium. The sort of story that can carry 30 minutes (on our show) is usually very different from a 90 second news story.

Favourite story you’ve ever worked on?

While I don’t have clear cut favourite one of the most memorable stories I’ve worked on is the piece I did on the polygamous community of Bountiful, BC. I spent two weeks inside the community and it was an eye opening experience.

Dream story you’d love to work on?

I’m pretty fortunate at 16×9, that if there’s a story or investigation I want to pursue – I have the ability to explore it. I’m pretty obsessed with my current story…. of course, you’ll have to tune in on Saturday night at 7pm to find out what it is 🙂

Coffee or beer?

Coffee …  and single malt.

About Amanda Laird

Amanda Laird was Manager, Communications at Canada Newswire.

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