My Walkabout

“Do what scares you.”

That’s the motto of my Fundamentals of Reporting class this semester. We wasted no time.

Our first assignment was to get in touch with our curiousity by walking around a neighbourhood ( I chose Ottawa’s trendy Glebe area on Bank st. near Landsdowne Park) and allowing the little things in everyday life to inspire an organic story idea. Intimidating as the assignment may have been, I had a really interesting experience, and met some surprisingly lovely people. One of them was Glenn Foran. The manager of a local Home Hardware, his passion for engaging his community, especially the nearby student population, inspired me to take on a current affairs story about student reactions to a new city composting initiative. It’s amazing what a short conversation with a stranger can uncover!

The story was actually picked up by my school newspaper this week, adding a rewarding end to the new experience.

Here’s what I learned:

-It’s not as scary as you think talking to strangers. Most people have no problem giving you their opinion– especially those in cafés and barbershops.

-As a reporter, it’s good to take an issue and somehow relate it to something current. The large student customer-base at the Home Hardware was my starting point, relating it to the new green bin initiative made it newsier.

-Sometimes it’s worth it to jump in a cab and race down to a coffee shop where you know you can catch a city councillor, even if you know there’s a good chance you’ll either a) miss him or b) appear really desperate and weird if you do get to talk to him.

Find the story here:


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