Hello everyone, Dana here
First up is a panel about blogging, babies and business: The 24-hour-a-day demands of journalism can turn life into a frantic balancing act. This panel will discuss the challenges of being a journalist and achieving (or attempting) a meaningful equilibrium between life and work. Topics will include relationships, parenthood, health and personal development.
Moderator: Laura DiBattista, host of CBC radio’s Here and Now
*Anne-Marie Mediwake, anchor/co-host of CBC News Toronto
*Philip Preville, freelance writer
*Suanne Kelman, author, acting chair, Ryerson University School of Journalism
*Carly Foster, co-owner, Sweet World Media, and publisher, Uxbridge
Town Talk and
Durham Region Kids
Moderator: Laura DiBattista is the host of CBC Radio’s Here and Now and, we’re proud to say, a Ryerson graduate. She is an award-winning broadcast journalist with a 20 year track record anchoring CityTV's CityNews At Noon, and reporting on a regular basis for CityNews as the health specialist. In taking over as host of Here and Now from Matt Galloway, Laura traded her work in front of the camera to move behind the microphone for the CBC's afternoon drive home program. Laura is a lifelong resident of the Beaches, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
DiBattista: Never allow your work to suck you in completely.
Panellist Anne-Marie Mediwake: News anchor Anne-Marie Mediwake is the co-host of CBC News Toronto at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. Prior to joining CBC, Anne-Marie co-anchored Global Television's Toronto flagship newscast; and nationally, she co-hosted CTV's Gemini Award-winning investigative current affairs show 21C. While at CTV, she also reported for the National News with Lloyd Robertson, Canada AM and Newsnet. In 2004, Anne-Marie hosted Sri Lanka A Journey Home, a network news documentary that gave Canadians unprecedented access to the 2004 Tsunami in her birth country of Sri Lanka. She has been nominated for Canada's Top 35 Under 35, and is passionate about her involvement with local charities. In 2007, she and her husband, TV journalist Darryl Konynenbelt, added triplets to their lives.
Mediwake and partner are parents of 4-year-old triplets
Panellist Philip Preville has earned his living almost exclusively as a freelancer for eleven years. He has written for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post, as well as Saturday Night, Toronto Life, enRoute, Western Living and Cottage Life magazines. His article on lobster fishing in the Magdalen Islands won the 2005 National Magazine Award for Travel Writing. He is a former Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College and a graduate of the Banff Literary Journalism Program. He and his wife, Lynn Mikula, have been married eight years and have three sons: Luke, age 5, and twins Ivor and Noel, 18 months.
Preville has three sons under the age of 5
Panellist Suanne Kelman: Suanne Kelman is currently the acting chair of the Ryerson School of Journalism and the author of All in the Family: A Cultural History of Family Life. Suanne’s journalism career includes producing radio and television documentaries at the CBC for shows such as Sunday Morning, The Journal and Ideas. Suanne has written for Toronto Life, Toronto, Destinations, R.O.B. Magazine, Chatelaine, Shape, the Literary Review of Canada and other magazines and newspapers. She is the only member of the Journalism School faculty ever to have written a gossip column (“The Tatler,” for the Globe and Mail), and even she lasted only six months before resigning in a fit of self-disgust.
Panellist Carly Foster: Carly Foster is an award-winning Ryerson Journalism School graduate and co-owner of Sweet World Media in picturesque Uxbridge. In between publishing a community magazine, designing websites and blogging on local parenthood, she's a mom to two crazy girls aged 5 and 2, wife to a handsome project manager and keeper of an aging Jack Russell Terrier. As such, she is a regular consumer of inexpensive wine and usually falls asleep with a book on her face. Prior to being her own boss, she worked at the Toronto Star, the Metroland Durham Region division, and Employee Benefit News Canada.
Kelman: the thing that will make life easier for freelancers? Marry money
Mediwake: like any goal in life, if you make your mission statement early, everything else will fall in.
Mediwake: if you don't want to work weekends, you don't want to work late at night? don't be a reporter.
The article is titled: "Out of work? You may live a little longer" Preville: The real lesson here is not having a job is good for your health. The term work-life balance -- that phrase is often code for, how can I have it all? Truth is, it means, "what am I going to give up?" That's the real decision you have to make.
After a decade of freelancing, Preville took a full-time, non-journalism job when he and his wife decided to have more kids. It was a high-paced, high-stress job with little support. It made him miserable -- even more so after his twins were born. So he quit after 14 months. Went back to freelancing, where "i can be my own boss, and pick and choose what projects I would do. And spend more time with the kids and do a lot of the cooking... my wife and I have a very traditional marriage, but the gender roles are reversed."
After a rough transition period, Preville and his wife have gotten into the swing of things -- and it's fantastic -- "freelancing saved me"
For a while after having her two daughters, Carly Foster was in search of a job at a golf course. Then she found a business partner (to co-launch a community magazine) who also has kids -- it's important to work with people that understand the needs of journalists with kids.
I'm sitting next to Ryersonian's live blogger (see below)... wonder what she's up to...
Kelman got married at age of 47 because her friends, unbeknownst to her, put an ad in the Globe and Mail.
Kelman, quoting another journalist: its infuriating that women in the field want it all. Women should sacrifice those things -- vacations, kids, husband -- for their career.
Kelman quotes another journo, Robert Hearst, on young journos today: "Where's the fire in the belly? "
Kelman: Being a journalist is not going to excuse you from being human. Responsibilities to your family, and especially to your health. But I fear things are going the other way -- and not just for journalists. Quantity is trumping quality.
Kelman: As a freelancer, I didn't actually have to work that hard, but was scared not to, in case there was a dry spell.
Kelman calls journalism a "cult" -- you're separated from normal people. Her advice? Spend time with them. "You need to live as something other than an employee." Being a journalist is not going to exempt you from being a human.
Mediwake: in the beginning stages of your career, you work your ass off. You're servicing a network: it's not just about you. Your decisions will give you the currency to turn down assignments.
Mediwake: You have to make decisions and choices that are good for the network as well. You have to give a little bit. But you also have to turn down things, and be willing to deal with the consequences.
Mediwake was asked to cover the Olympics in vancouver, but she didn't want to leave her husband alone with the triplets -- she turned it down, and worried it might cost her future gigs.
DiBattista: Drive to the gym (because I was fat), go to work, then go to my mom's to pick up my daughter, get home at 8 p.m., then make dinner -- wake up my daughter, because we were determined to have dinner together. I went to my boss, said I was at my wit's end. Boss said, what can we do? DiBattista wanted to leave at 5 so she could put her kid in daycare.
DiBattista: Boss said okay, but everyday, when leaving at 5, someone would ask: "Where you going?" Did it cost me some opportunities? Probably.
Preville: get an office outside the home.
DiBattista says that every time five p.m. rolled around her co-workers would comment.
Kelman: What Ann-Marie said about not being able to do this early in her career, it's true. These women are stars. If you went to your boss as a young journalist and said you wanted to leave at 5, you'd be laughed at, then fired. Does not work for bulk of people in big operations. If you want a better life, you're probably better in the lifestyle section then the news section, because it's more predictable and allows you to balance your time.
Here's a stat: Successful women in journalism are less likely than other successful women to have kids.
Kelma: if you want a predictable life, you're better off working in the lifestyle section.The news beat is too unpredictable.