Tara Bradbury and the Telegram are like Ron Burgundy and Channel 4 News: she’s a favourite face of the company, with a winning personality, and is a great reason to tune in. As it turns out, she’s your favourite journalist in town. We applaud your decision, get to know her a little more:
Where Did You Get Your Start, and How Long Have You Been at The Telegram?
After journalism school my first job was at the International Labour Office in Geneva, Switzerland. I was a researcher in the department that deals with journalists’ rights and obligations, and I contributed to a UN report on media and technology. After that, I spent a few years as a journalist in the UK before I moved back home in 2002. I worked with VOCM for a brief time, but I’ve been with The Telegram since 2003. I was six years old when I decided I was going to be a writer for the Evening Telegram when I grew up.
Do You Remember Your First Published Story?
Haha, yes! My first published story was as a sports reporter for The Link, the student paper at Concordia – it was a wrestling story. My first story published in The Telegram was when I was an intern in 1997. We had received news that an elderly lady in Renews had lost control of her car and crashed into a pond, and was rescued.
It was the first time I ever had to make a cold call – I just called up a gas station in the area to see if they could tell me how to get in touch with the woman’s family. I remember being terrified to pick up the phone and call a random person from the phone book! In the end, I connected with the woman who rescued the driver. The story was only about five paragraphs but it was on the front page. I have the page plaque mounted.
How about Your First Big Mistake on the Job?
While I was in my second year of journalism school, I covered a press conference with supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who was patron of the Montreal Breast Cancer Foundation. I asked for a photo with her, which was not the most professional thing to do. #sorrynotsorry
Is There a Piece You’ve Written Whose Story Has Always Stayed with You?
Yes, many. I did a series on domestic violence a few years ago and spent a fair amount of time at Iris Kirby House. The stories I heard and the women I met there are etched on my brain.
Years ago I covered a murder trial where the victim was a woman my age at the time and had two small children. I was fine covering the trial and then I’d go home at night and not be able to get her off my mind. On the positive side, I’ve interviewed a lot of creative, courageous, intelligent and witty people who have left me in awe and inspired. I think of those stories a lot.
Is There Something about Yourself People Would be Surprised to Hear?
That I am willing to publish in The Overcast, you mean? Haha! I have a blue belt in judo. I also know every word to every Meatloaf song. One of these things I am proud of, the other I am not necessarily.