CBC's Gzowski intern on air

Jul 10, 2003, vol. 27, no. 6
By Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit

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How does a SFU student find herself in a Toronto country bar singing karaoke with CBC personalities Alison Gzowski, Shelagh Rogers, Nora Young and Stuart McLean?

It helps if, like SFU communication co-op student Tiffany Chong (above), you've won CBC's prestigious Peter Gzowski internship.

As part of her four-month internship, Chong spent a week in Toronto with three other interns, one each from McGill, Memorial and Trent universities taking a radio skills course usually only offered to reporters and radio producers with experience.

The four interns were blank slates learning writing for radio, computer editing, interviewing skills and pitching stories.

Chong recalls there “were really crazy things that happened. One day we were there and our trainer was pulled away to do hostile zone training for real reporters heading to Iraq. We had to pretend we were terrorists and I had to take Brian Stewart hostage. I also got to shake hands with Peter Mansbridge in the elevator.”

While their days were busy learning, their evenings were spent out and about in Toronto. One night they were invited for dinner by Peter Gzowski's daughter, Alison and Gillian Howard, his lifetime partner. Later that week Alison Gzowski invited them out to sing karaoke.

Back in Vancouver, Chong has been working on CBC's Early Edition, and will also get experience at North by Northwest and Radio 3. At the Early Edition Chong has “gotten my hands into a little bit of everything” including writing scripts for host Rick Cluff, researching interview subjects, sound editing and interviewing people on the street.

While she has a few courses left before she completes her degree, she's hoping to continue working at CBC while taking courses part-time.

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