On Sunday December 17th, 2017 I had my first ever interview with a working journalist.
[ image from cp24.com ]
I conducted the interview for my Interviewing and Research course here at Durham College. We had to create a human-interest profile piece and I decided to reach out to Cristina Tenaglia, a reporter from CP24.
CP24 is a specialty cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Bell Media. CP24 is based in Toronto, Ontario and launched March 30th, 1998 – 19 years ago. The channel covers local, national and international news. They also cover traffic, weather, sports and the stock market.
Cristina has been working at CP24 since July 2012. She went to Ryerson University for Radio and Television Arts and graduated with honours. In 2011, Tenaglia was the recipient of the RTDNA Canada President’s Fellowship, an award which allowed her to attend the celebrated Poynter Institue for Journalism in Florida.
The Poynter Institute has existed for over 40 years. Poynter teaches leadership, ethical decision making, fact checking and editing. They also teach reporting, writing and digital media skills. The Institute was created for journalists to focus on their craft and develop their skills.
I learned a lot about Cristina during the hour-long interview. She became very interested in the news when she was younger because her family, specifically her father, exposed her to current affairs. Her family had a subscription to the Toronto Star. Cristina was always very aware and curious: “I was always asking questions.”
Cristina reinforced how stressful her career is but in the end, it is very rewarding. “The people I work with are some of my best friends,” said Cristina. Her job is ‘nuts’ but ‘very fun’ and I definitely agree. Being a journalist requires flexibility, devotion and the willingness to jump up and cover a story spontaneously.
Near the end of the interview, I asked Cristina what her favourite thing about journalism was. She told me that she enjoys “being a part of history” and she thinks it’s important holding people accountable for what they’ve said. She told me that interviews are on the spot and impromptu; there’s no editing done on live television. Editors aren’t allowed to change perspectives or ideas that may later seem controversial to the public. CP24 is a genuine news network that gets real and accurate information across to its viewers in a timely fashion. She told me that CP24 constantly fact-checks content from multiple sources before they break the news because it’s important to get the correct info out later rather than the wrong information out right away.
It was so much fun interviewing Cristina, I feel so privileged to have gotten the chance to speak with her about her life, journalism and CP24. Such an interesting and memorable experience.