Vassy Kapelos has been passionate about current events for as long as she can remember. We asked her what it’s like covering the new Federal government.


Follow her @VassyKapelos.

What is it like to be reporting out of Ottawa?

It’s exciting. A change in government means getting to know all the new key players and keeping on top of all the promises that got the new government elected. A ton of opportunity for accountability makes for fast-paced and unpredictable days.

What is it like covering the new government? Did you face any challenges?

Covering the new government is a whole new ball game. There is a lot more access, which means more scrums, more press conferences and a greater ability to add meat to the story I’m working on. The challenge is trying to get meaningful answers though. It’s great the new government is more available to journalists, but ensuring you get a substantive answer isn’t always easy.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up at 6am and start reading anything and everything. Emails, tweets, Facebook posts, then I go through our website and then I hit all the papers. At 7am I start flipping between Global’s morning show and the American networks. I head in to work thinking about what story I’m going to pitch to cover and I usually make that pitch by 8:30am. Then it’s off and running, digging into that story and trying to advance it, find my own angle and gather interviews. I start to write by about 3:30pm and the story is in to editing by 4:30pm, and it airs an hour later. All the while I try to tweet and think about how the story will unfold online. After my story airs I stay to dig into other stories and follow up on the more long term projects I’m working on because it’s hard to find the time during the day. I cap the day off by watching the other networks national newscasts to see how they covered the day’s news. 

What’s your number one tip for PR people?

Know who you’re pitching to and why. I cover politics, and several subsets (defence, security, energy) and sometimes I get pitched stories about a new health product. Just know who’s on the receiving end of that email!

Favourite story you’ve ever worked on?

Has to be this past federal election. Just me and a video journalist on the road – on our own – for seven weeks straight covering a wild election. By far, the most rewarding experience of my career.

Dream story you’d love to work on?

I’d love to go to Greece now that some of the dust has settled and now that the world’s eyes are off the struggle there and see how things are really doing. What does economic survival (and barely that) look like for people there? How do they reconcile their pride and the past few years’ experience? Being Greek and a political nut, it’s a story that I’d love to tell.

Coffee or beer?

Coffee and lots of it during the week, beer on the weekend.

About Nadine Tousignant

Nadine Touisgnant is Senior Manager, Media and Audience Relations at Cision. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.

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