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Known well for her “Steele on Your Side” consumer segment on CTV News Vancouver,Lynda Steele has become a household name. A BCIT grad and an award-winning journalist, Lynda was born in Edmonton and anchored Edmonton’s News Hour for well over 25 years. In celebration of Lynda’s new show on CKNW, “The Lynda Steele Show”, we turned the microphone on Lynda to get her thoughts on journalism today and her tips on how to pitch a journalist. Here is the next edition of Five Questions with…Lynda Steele.
1. You have a successful and longstanding career in journalism. What trends have you seen lately that you think are positive for the field of journalism?
Positive trends? Well, these are challenging times for mainstream media, as the audience is increasingly being fractured by social media. The upside is, the efforts being made by the mainstream media to deliver content on a multi platform level – that includes and embraces social media. The audience wins by having instant access to credible, researched information, instead of relying on hearsay and citizen journalists who may not have all the facts, or may not bring context to what they are posting online.
2. We know you must receive lots of emails and phone calls from PR professionals. What is the most effective way for a PR pro to share a news story or tip with you? Any tips to help improve communication from the PR world?
Brevity is the key. We get so much information thrown at us in a day, it needs to be clear, concise and instantly apparent that there is value in your pitch for our audience. If we get back to you – then send the extra detail. Sometimes a pitch is too long and muddled, and we just don’t have time to find the “news nugget” buried in the text.
3. How are you adjusting to the switch from tv to radio? Has anything surprised you since hitting the radio airwaves with CKNW?
I’m loving radio? Loving my new colleagues at CKNW! I loved TV news as well, but the immediacy and intimacy of radio is instantly rewarding. If it’s happening now – we are talking about it right now, instead of waiting several hours for the 6pm news broadcast.
4. Some Canadians who are studying journalism are concerned that citizen journalism has become mainstream and that the role of professional journalist is disappearing. What advice do you have for those graduating in journalism and who are facing these challenges and doubts?
Citizen journalism will never replace the mainstream media. The people sharing news online, are usually sharing news collected by the mainstream media. Having said that, if you want to be a success in this ever changing media world, you need to be multi skilled and flexible. Social media has to be part of your news arsenal – but you must use discretion and good judgment when it comes to sharing news information online that is not verified.
5. With twitter and other social media channels becoming a 24 hour news source, how do you keep up? How do you leverage social media platforms to keep audiences informed on developing stories?
I find Twitter the easiest way to share and glean information. I am following mostly trusted news sources, so I am able to scan my Twitter feed during my live broadcast for new and breaking stories that might be of interest to my listeners. I am also using Facebook to promote my daily guests…and to keep in touch with the audience – answering questions and developing a relationship. I wish I had more time to cultivate and grow my social media platforms![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]