Interview by Daniela Olariu (RSJ ’17)
What drew you to pursue a journalism career?
After I finished my Bachelor of Arts at University of Toronto, my first job out of school was an administrative job. I was always interested in film and film writing so I decided to apply for the Master of Journalism at Ryerson. I went into Ryerson thinking I would do more TV and TV documentary work but I was never really good in front of the camera or behind it, so I ended up practicing more long form writing such as feature and magazine. I kind of just fell into journalism but it has turned out to be really great.
What have you done since graduating from Ryerson?
After graduating with an MJ (with a focus on magazine) in 2012, I worked for Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine for two years. I knew nothing about insurance and it wasn’t something that really interested me, like film but it helped me develop my skills as a journalist in the real world. I pitched stories, wrote features and online news stories about all sorts of different things related to Canadian insurance. It definitely helped me get my foot in the door. After that, I decided to freelance for a while. Currently, I’m the news editor at Playback, which is an online film, broadcasting and interactive media magazine.
Editor's Note: since this interview Regan Reid has become a corporate communications specialist at Entertainment One.
You were a freelancer for a couple of years. What was that experience like?
It’s more difficult because you really have to get out there, pitch stories and sell them to different companies. Although it’s harder, it was very rewarding. Through freelancing, I expanded my skills while networking with industry professionals. You learn a lot about yourself and your passions and although it’s not for everyone, it certainly has made me a stronger journalist.
As news editor for Playback, what skills do you use that you learned at Ryerson and what new skills have you developed?
Ryerson taught me a lot of the fundamentals like how to write articles, going out and conducting interviews and copy editing. It also gave me the skills required to do long-form writing and spend long periods of time covering a story and making it better. When I began working at Playback, this changed since I was no longer doing long form but shorter news stories. I was constantly on deadline. This was a new skill that I developed over time by working as a news editor under pressure. Ryerson was great for learning the basics, but it was in the industry where I got to expand those skills.
What was your experience at Ryerson like?
My experience at Ryerson was really great! You have to make the most out of your internship and masthead because the skills and work done there will help you in the long run. Ryerson was also amazing for networking and making connections that helped me with my career. I kept in touch with many of my colleagues and we always supported each other. The professors were amazing, and even after I graduated, they helped me with my job search and gave me their reference.
What advice would you give journalism students now?
My advice would be to develop a niche or angle and work to be the best at whatever it is that you’re passionate about. I always kind of had my angle for film and that’s something that I strived for. Most importantly, use the time at Ryerson wisely and try to make the most out of it. It is the best place to make connections and network with people that will help you in the future.