Journalism, Web Content, Politics, Corporate
Soon after my hiring as a photographer at a newspaper that began publishing in my hometown, the sports editor quit. I was asked if I could write and I responded with a resounding “no”. However, I was convinced to take over the task and so my writing career began.
Looking back at my initial foray into journalism, my first stabs at creating news copy were almost unreadable. Over the year and a half that the newspaper continued to publish, however, I had a series of excellent journalists that taught me to write coherently in Canadian Press style. When the newspaper went out of business I threw my resume to the wind and ended up employed as a reporter and photographer at the Vernon Daily News in Vernon, BC. The newsroom had three former Fleet Street journalists. Fleet Street was the London, England headquarters of the United Kingdom’s national newspapers. My three mentors were tough as nails and put me through a rigorous and comprehensive apprenticeship that shaped my career. I started as a reporter but later had the opportunity to serve as the wire editor, responsible for the Canadian Press news feed. I also served as the city editor on weekends, having oversight of the newsroom.
I have since worked in several other community newspapers, and in conjunction with my wife, Debbie, owned, operated, wrote, edited and published the Vancouver Island Ridgeline newspaper, covering alpine events on Vancouver Island’s Mt. Washington and Mt. Cain.
In 1993 I began a 15-year career in the public service, working for two members of parliament. Communications were a big part of my responsibilities, providing news releases and other dispatches for local and national media. I also wrote research and other documentation that serves as part of the House of Commons records of proceedings in Ottawa, Ontario. I was on the leading edge of creating web content, managing the online presence of one of my employers.
I have also worked as a technical writer, preparing written resources for British Columbia apprenticeship programs.