Yes, yes, I know…it’s been a while since my last post, but a lot of things have changed.
First of all, I don’t anchor at NEWS 1130 anymore…the change actually happened this past Friday. I am walking over to the television counterpart to work for CityNews Vancouver! Yes, it is very exciting, yes, I am incredibly nervous, and yes…I also can’t wait to get started.
The change was an obvious progression for me as I’ve been working on more television pieces and projects, so much so that I didn’t realize I’d inadvertently created enough content for a demo reel, which was really cool. If I ever decided to go into TV, it was important that I stayed with Rogers, because I knew there were far more creative, ‘think outside the box’ options available to me at CityNews.
I’ve always been MORTIFIED to try television, and there are many reasons why.
While there is the journalism aspect that I love and respect about television, there is something so weird about appearing in a story that isn’t even my story. When I first started journalism school, there was a constant push for stand-ups. Having a background in Anthropology, especially with a…I guess for the sake of this piece, we’ll call it an ‘ethnic lens’ (my perspectives as a Filipina have always challenged the White dominant lens of story-telling and I was easily able to pinpoint that in this industry) I felt that stand-ups were exploitative and borderline perverse; exploitative in the sense that we were using someone else’s story to say, ‘hey, I’m here! Trust my voice, listen to me!’ This is why I’ve always believed in the perspective of collaboration when it comes to story-telling, and why I operate the way I do as a journalist. (I will note that my methods don’t always work in this day and age; there are certain kinds of reporting, like court reporting, where you still have to be careful.)
And then, there is always the whole ‘looks’ issue.
I have struggled with my appearance all my life…and while I won’t go into detail here, what makes it tougher is that I have been clinically diagnosed with a mental illness that plays into how I perceive myself. (I will share my story one day…just not now.) In the last year or so, I was able to get help, and the barrier for the most part has come down, which is great. In journalism school, however, you’re not talked to a lot about the whole ‘looks’ aspect of the job; the dynamic between men and women and how that plays out – especially cruelly – online and in emails to station managers…and even right to your inbox. The ethnicity can also play a role, unfortunately: I’ve had people call me ‘exotic’ and ‘dirty’ because of my Philippine heritage, which of course is stupid, and definitely more their issue than mine…but it still hurts.
I knew I could only tackle television when I accepted my power as a Filipina-Canadian woman…not the power you hold over someone to tell them to piss off with their negativity, but knowing that perhaps there are others like me out there who want to see someone like me report the news.
So, that was also part of what inspired to keep me going.
Lastly, family and friends played a huge role. Sometimes you just need to hear it from others…and radio has been my safe space; the blanket to my Linus. Taking a chance on something new is always scary, but I’m excited for what the future has in store.
In the meantime, I am trying to figure out whether I will keep this site up. I’m giving it another year as I have been so busy with so many projects that it can be hard to keep things going here at RenoufWrites. No one else operates the site…it’s all me. So we’ll see how it goes over the next 12 months, and we’ll see how I feel about it!
In the meantime, please feel free to catch my work on CityNews Vancouver and on NEWS 1130. My hope is to be able to file for both shops once I’ve learned how TV news operates.
And to everyone who inspired me to take a chance, no matter how big or small…thank you so much!