This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca
As Co-Host of Steele & Drex on News Talk 980 CKNW, Lynda Steele reports on the biggest headlines of the day while offering conversational insights into the issues making waves in Metro Vancouver.
Follow her @steeletalks980
What is it like to be a radio host for News Talk 980 CKNW in Vancouver?
With the world upside down and a head spinning US election campaign underway, it’s a wonderful time to be a talk show host in North America! We are living in unusual times and I have a front row seat to history in the making with a live microphone and access to fascinating guests. Every day at CKNW is different, exciting and interesting.
How do you decide what to cover?
I start my morning by reading at least five newspapers and scrolling through a half dozen other online news sites. Each member of my team comes to the daily show meeting with ideas for stories they want to talk about, and suggestions for live guests. It’s a collaborative and creative process.
How does social media factor into your work?
I am a big social media user. My studio laptop has about eight screens open at all times. I find Twitter to be the most useful resource during the live show, especially during major breaking news. I follow hundreds of mainstream global news organizations and reporters. When a big story breaks, I often have three or four twitter screens open at the same time, scrolling for the latest details to colour in my live commentary. Throughout the four-hour show, I engage with listeners, answer tweets and promote upcoming segments. I also have a professional Facebook page and try to keep it fresh and up-to-date, but I find my Twitter page is vastly more interactive and useful in connecting with my audience.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day is spent scouring news sites, meeting with colleagues, prepping for interviews, and hosting the four-hour live show. When I leave work at 6 p.m., I am walking through my world eyes wide open, looking for stories, making observations, and brainstorming new content. I’m a total newshound, intensely curious about what’s going on in the world 24/7.
What’s your number one tip for PR people?
Pitch me and pitch me often. Keep it simple; no more than a few sentences. If the offer is enticing, we can talk more. It helps if your subject is topical – if your guest is local and able to come into studio.
What was your favourite story to work on?
Not fair! I’ve literally done thousands of stories in my career. From flying in the tail of the world’s largest plane to Kiev doing a national documentary on a relief effort – to witnessing brain surgery in the OR – shooting an AR-15 assault rifle in an attempt to learn more about how restricted weapons are controlled in Canada – to learning how to drive an open wheel race car at the Indy. My job is NOT boring!
What’s the story you’d most like to cover?
I’ve always wanted to be part of the on-air team covering the Olympics. Unfortunately, I’ve had the bad luck of always working for the broadcaster who did not have the rights to the Olympics each time they came around.
First website you load in the morning?
Twitter. I’m addicted!
Coffee, beer, or green juice?
Coffee! I can’t start the day without it and usually have about three and then a Red Bull for good measure right before the show. I need the energy to keep going for a four-hour live broadcast!