On Sept. 24, the communications department hosted Andrew Chang, one of the four anchors of CBC’s The National in Allard Hall. Chang met with a room filled with professional communications and journalism students to open up about the journey that led him to his profession as a journalist in Vancouver.
Although he was passionate about math in high school and applied to two universities’ math programs, he also applied to Carleton University’s journalism program on a whim. After being accepted, Chang made a sudden decision not to pursue a career in the field of mathematics.
After joining CBC in Montreal as a researcher in 2004, he worked up the ranks and found himself hosting CBC Vancouver’s News at 6 from 2014 to 2017. In the summer of 2017, when Peter Mansbridge retired from The National, Chang became one of the four hosts of the program.
During his stop at MacEwan University, Chang addressed a number of questions from students. When asked what advice he would give to new reporters, Chang advised students not to take criticism too personally.
Chang noted that although students may get a lot of personal attention in their classes, they will be tasked with quick turn-around times when working in newsrooms. In that type of environment, their bosses will not be able to give them the same personal attention that they’ve become accustomed to in the academic setting. Once a student makes the transition to the real world, any criticism given by their boss should not be taken as an attack on their work, but rather as feedback from a professional working under a strict deadline.
Chang also addressed questions about ethics in reporting, regarding how reporters should approach sensitive subject matters. For instance, there may be a great story to be told, but a journalist must recognize when they are not the right person to cover the story.
He also covered the importance of self-care when covering stories such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks and the people who are affected by them. A journalist must find balance between having sympathy for victims and maintaining distance in order to cover the story objectively, Chang said.
The National airs nightly from Sunday to Friday at 10 p.m. on CBC.
Cover photo via CBC.