One Concordia student’s journey from the classroom to the newsroom
I was about two weeks into learning the job of a television news reporter when I got my first assignment.
“We need you to go to court right now and cover a story,” my producers at CityNews told me. It was a bail hearing for a pastor and his wife charged with multiple offences against minors. Court was in session at 11 a.m. in Longueuil, Que.
I checked the time on my phone — it was after 10 a.m. I thought, I’m going to be late! Will I make it in time? Can I even do this?
On the drive over, my heart raced. I’d never covered a daily news story for TV, let alone a court story.
But then I thought back to a couple of years ago during my Concordia undergraduate studies, when I had covered a story at court for a research methods assignment.
The panic that had set in suddenly subsided. I know what I’m doing, I thought. I’ve done this before, although with a much longer deadline.
The last three-and-a-half years at Concordia have been exhilarating. I’ve learned so much from Department of Journalism teachers like Paul Gott and Aphrodite Salas, who helped me hone my reporting skills and got me to where I am today.
It’s surreal to think that, just a few months after wrapping up my university studies, I’m a full-time video journalist at CityNews and Breakfast Television Montreal.
‘I realized being on camera was my calling’
When I started at Concordia in 2015, I’d imagined myself going on to become a print journalist, writing for a local paper.
But after I completed my very first television assignment in Abe Hefter’s Introduction to Broadcasting course, I realized being on camera was my calling.
I was overcome by nerves that day, and the days that followed. But there was something about standing in front of a camera on location at City Hall in Montreal North, and delivering a script I had written.
When I nailed my standup and delivered my first ever sign-off — “For Concordia News, I’m Alyssia Rubertucci” — I was sold. And I never looked back.
Heading to court that day on my first assignment for CityNews, I was nervous, but I knew I was ready. I filed my report in the nick of time, just before the 6 p.m. show.
Sure, I was a little behind on my deadline, but my producers were happy that, after less than two weeks on the job, I was ready to cover a fast-paced news story with only a few hours of turnaround. They threw me right in, and that’s exactly how I learn best.
Now, on a day-to-day basis, I’m in the field with my equipment, reporting on some of Montreal’s most important stories.
Find out more about Concordia’s Department of Journalism.