Christie Blatchford is a Ryerson graduate and Eyeopener staff alumnae. Since then she has worked as a journalist and column writer for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, and the National Post. Currently, Ms. Blatchford is living in Kingston while covering the Shafia trial. She was kind enough to partake in an online interview. Callan Field caught up with her to learn about her experience working on this newspaper and her career since.
Eyeopener: How did you get your start in journalism?
Christie Blatchford: [I] started off at the Globe as a copy editor while still in second year; I was terrible, but there were some nice older guys on the desk who were kind to me. Then, when I graduated, I got a full-time job as a reporter on the city desk.
EO: Was journalism something that you were always interested in or was it something that came about due to your time with the Eyeopener?
CB: Always interested. Wrote and produced a little newspaper when I worked at my Dad’s hockey rink, gave it away for free to everyone who came in the doors.
EO: While looking into your background, there wasn’t much information about your education. When you worked for the Eyeopener, were you also a student at Ryerson?
CB: Graduated Ryerson Journalism, 1973. It was then just changing from a diploma program to a degree program; had I taken another course, I would have got a degree but by then I was already working.
EO: What was your position with the newspaper? What type of work did you do?
CB: At the Eyeopener, I was a columnist.
EO: I can imagine that the nature of journalism has changed quite a bit since you began at Ryerson. Do you think working on a student paper prepared you for a career in journalism? Was there anything you learned which applies to your current work?
CB: Obviously, the business has changed. But I was a columnist for the Eyeopener and I’m a columnist now, and the job description hasn’t much altered.
EO: Since you were a student your career has taken you to a variety of places and stories. Can you highlight one of your more interesting assignments?
CB: Too many, I think. A couple of highlights were the week I spent with Terry Fox in Northern Ontario, just before his cancer came back and he had to quit. And the war in Afghanistan; I was an embedded reporter four times with the Canadian military.
EO: You mentioned that at the moment you are living in Kingston instead of Toronto. Are you working on a story? Mind talking about your experience?
CB: I’ve been covering the honor-killing trial of three Afghan-Canadians accused of killing four of their family members. [I’ve] been here for seven weeks or so, more to come.