Local Journalist joining CBC in the Northwest Territories

  • News   Thu, Jun 2nd, 2022   Lee Griffi
Former Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette reporter Rose Danen stands in front of the historical Tavistock Gazette print and publishing building at 119 Woodstock Street South.

Former Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette reporter Rose Danen stands in front of the historical Tavistock Gazette print and publishing building at 119 Woodstock Street South.

By Lee Griffi
Perth County native and recent university graduate Rose Danen is taking her talents to Yellowknife after being awarded an internship with the CBC. Danen recently completed a four-year stint at Ottawa’s Carleton University and leaves with a Bachelor of Journalism with minors in Sociology and Political Science.
Danen was raised on a farm just outside of Tavistock and was a regular contributor to the Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette in recent years. She says her upbringing in and around the town is part of why she is heading to the Northwest Territories. “In one of my interviews, they really liked my small-town experience and thought I’d be a perfect fit. I had to figure out my accommodations, so I was calling some residents, and they are the sweetest people ever. They were so kind and told me I was sending off good vibes and that I would be a perfect fit. I’m terrified I’m going to fall in love with the place and have to stay there.”
Despite working for Canada’s national broadcaster, Danen says she will be able to bring that rural feel to her newsgathering in Yellowknife. “One of the reasons I was attracted to CBC North is because it is a way for me to make it big doing something professional and big time, but in a small-town setting, something very familiar for me. I like to sit down with someone and have a 30-minute conversation and get to know them and get to know the heartbeat of the community.”
Many small news outlets have closed in recent years, making it difficult for citizens to find a reliable source of local news. Danen says what drives her professionally is being that voice for the people. “I want people to feel like they are represented in their local media. With small newspapers closing and privately-owned ones taken over by companies like Torstar or Postmedia, they’ve landed on general national and provincial news, so you don’t find out about all the little things going on in a community. That is what keeps people interested in their local paper. What’s happening with a construction project in my town? I want to know how I can get involved in a charitable cause. I hope someday I can find a way to integrate that into my reporting somewhere.”
As for the internship itself, Danen says it was a very competitive process. “It’s to encourage more young people to go north by offering new opportunities for recent graduates. I was up against Bachelor and Master of Journalism grads, so I had some stiff competition. A lot of my classmates are very good at what they do, so I feel fortunate to be selected.” The internship lasts two months, and as for what is next in her journalism career, Danen says there are many options for her to consider. “I have a two-month contract. I might be coming home; I might not. There is the possibility of an additional contract, so I will see how that goes. I’m very anchored here in Ontario, and I have family and friends who are important to me. Maybe I could be transferred to another CBC office; we’ll see.” No matter where she ends up, Danen sees the internship as a fantastic start to her career. “It will be an awesome experience to have and something cool to put on my resume, and I think it will open a tonne of new doors for me. That’s exciting.” She has also done an internship at The Globe and Mail and is open to returning to the national newspaper.
The position requires Danen to utilize all her training for the stories she files daily. “CBC has is set out that I will do one story a day in print, audio, and video. I have a little bit of radio and podcasting experience and a lot of print through my work with the Wilmot-Tavistock Gazette. Video is something I don’t have as much experience with, but my schooling has given me those skills.”
Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories and has a population of around 20,000. Danen says despite the small stature the city has plenty to offer. “There are a lot of amenities you don’t normally see in a town that size. There is a full bus service, a lot of big corporations, festivals, and a lot of big concert events that you normally would only see in Toronto. It’ll be interesting for sure.”
The internship was launched last year, but because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the first iteration of the internship program was conducted remotely. According to a University of Carleton release, “We’re really excited about the arrival of this year’s Carleton intern, Rose Danen,” says Mervin Brass, senior managing director at CBC North. “Her small-town roots and sense of community will serve her well in the North.”