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Industry Insights From CBC Journalist, Angelina King

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

Have you ever wondered what life as an investigative journalist looks like? Angelina King, a journalist at CBC Toronto, covers stories ranging from crime and justice issues to human interest pieces. Her work has taken her deep into the court systems, local crime and to discovering her own cultural identity. Here’s a peek at Angelina’s career path and her advice for aspiring journalists. 

Where did you get your start in journalism?

I wanted to go to a smaller market so I could get as much experience as I could. I think everybody should get their experience from a smaller market and then bring it to a bigger one. After graduating from Ryerson, I took a job in Saskatoon and I loved it. I took a really big interest in covering the courts. I would dig up files and just keep track of what was going on at court. I pitched a lot of court stories and there were some really high profile cases and trials to cover.

How was your experience covering the court system?

Ninety-nine percent of it was criminal court. If there was a murder, I would cover that and it would make its way through the court system. If there was a trial, I would cover that and get to know the families and people involved. I knew the case inside and out because I was there on the first day of the case’s inception to the very last when a verdict was made. Those cases resonate with you because you saw how it affected victims, their families and the community.

How did you navigate covering emotionally-heavy cases?

I think a lot of us do a good job of making sure we’re taking care of ourselves and our colleagues, but it took some time to learn. I was covering some very heavy and disturbing emotional cases and doing really intense interviews with family members. So, there’s navigating how to reach out to a family appropriately, how to respect their boundaries and also do your job. 

When it comes to your own mental health, I think a lot of it is knowing your limit and making sure you are decompressing. I would try and leave all that stuff at work. When I would come home, I would make sure I took care of myself. I had colleagues who pulled me aside at work to make sure I was okay, and that made such a big difference. I felt supported, and this allowed me to support other colleagues when they were covering similar topics. When we have a job to do, we need to keep in mind how that affects anybody involved in that particular situation.

What do you find compelling about covering the courts?

I found the justice system really interesting. I found ways that it served and didn’t serve society. Sometimes, I wish people knew more about what brought the judge to that decision or how the inner workings of the justice system work. It does affect everybody and our communities. I would do a follow-up story that wasn’t related to the case but was related to the justice system to try to inform the public about why this happened the way that it did. Why are these crimes happening in the first place and what do we do about them? How can we try to be proactive instead of reactive?

What do you find compelling about covering human interest stories?

I just love people. I love talking to people, learning about them and asking them questions. It sounds cliche, but I think everyone does have a story to tell. I do feel really grateful that people trust journalists to share their stories: good, bad, funny, interesting or sad. I think that’s a huge privilege and I know journalists take it seriously.

What advice do you have for aspiring journalists?

My advice is to listen, be curious and open minded. When you’re getting your morning coffee, is there a story about the shop owner that you walk past? What are the things you’re hearing that are bugging people?

What might not matter to you could really matter to somebody else, so be open minded to other perspectives and viewpoints. In the end, it’s just understanding each other, celebrating each other and holding people to account. When you really listen to what someone is saying, rather than being ready with your next thought or question, you can often dig below the surface with someone during a conversation or interview. 

Right now, I think journalism is really important. There is a trust with the public that has been shaky and I hope that aspiring journalists aren’t deterred. I hope that gives them some sort of extra inspiration or encouragement to become a journalist, to want to inform the public and tell stories that matter to their community.

Nikita Zhang

Toronto MU '22

Nikita's hipster high school teachers sparked her love for slice-of-life podcasts, books, and movies. Whether oversharing through introspective conversations or scribbling journal entries, she'll do whatever it takes to make sense of life. One day, she hopes to write stories for the screen, the radio, or for print. On the side, she bakes and plays the piano mediocrely but passionately.