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From Concordia to Parliament Hill

Six questions with alumnus and CTV News correspondent Michel Boyer
June 2, 2017
By Marta Samuel

Within a few years of completing his undergraduate degree from Concordia’s Department of Journalism, Michel Boyer, BA 12, went from radio reporting in Montreal to television in Edmonton. His latest gig covering politics and international news brings him to Ottawa as a correspondent for CTV News.

According to Linda Kay, professor in Concordia’s Department of Journalism, “Michel Boyer now joins the ranks of our outstanding journalism grads who have earned a coveted assignment covering politics nationally and globally.”

Though the learning curve is steep and his average workday can be anywhere up to 12 hours, Boyer is thankful to have made it this far.

You’re now a few months into your new job. How have you adjusted?

Michel Boyer, BA 12 Michel Boyer, BA 12, joined CTV News in Ottawa in November 2016

Michel Boyer: “I’m absolutely loving it. I’m working with our Ottawa bureau covering everything from politics to international news. It’s been an exceptionally busy few months with so much going on in the political world. It’s an honour to be a part of this team.

There are a lot of important stories that come out of Ottawa and to have the opportunity to tell them and to teach people about what’s going on here — I think it matters. I not only try to make news interesting but to help people understand why it matters.”

You’ve been able to move ahead quite quickly in your career. Did you expect to be this far so early on?

MB: “I’m someone who is very driven. No matter what I do, I’ve always worked really hard and I try to tell stories in a way that’s creative and different. It’s not always easy, but I think I’ve been lucky to find success.

I’ve had the chance to cover stories from corruption at city hall in Montreal to the catastrophe in Lac Megantic [Que., in 2013] to the fires in Fort McMurray [Alta., in 2016].

I think I’ve really been blessed to have had so many great opportunities to be able to cover these events in a way that I think is really important. I still wake up every morning thinking how lucky I am.”

How do you attribute your success so far?

MB: “I think my greatest asset is just being myself. I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do since I was 12. Growing up, you always try to emulate what you want to be. Over the years, I realized that I wanted to be unique and true.

As broadcasters and storytellers, we’re most valuable when we’re unique — and we’re all unique just by being ourselves — so it’s really not that complicated. To me, that means finding ways to tell stories that make sense and resonate with people.”

Despite knowing for a long time that this is what you’ve wanted to do, have there been any surprises along the way?

MB: “Ottawa is an enormous machine and there’s so much to learn. In my short time in this role, I’m seeing how much work goes into covering each story. Viewers at home see my face on TV, but the reality is that there is so much support that goes into it — producers, engineers, camera people, technicians — you name it.

It’s remarkable how many people it takes for the product to get to air. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do — the way we do it — without all of those great people behind us.”

How has your education helped you along your path?

MB: “My education is invaluable in what I do. It’s easy to ask the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when’ and ‘where,’ but I think the ‘why’ is one that Concordia really helped me ask. It’s all about putting the answer into perspective and giving it context. Concordia set me up well to be able to tell the ‘why’ in a creative way and also a way that makes sense.”

What’s next?

MB: “We all have ultimate goals in our careers — mine is to remain happy in what I’m doing. No matter where you are in your career path, as long as you’re moving forward towards that end goal, I think that path will bring you happiness.

I plan to continue to tell important stories, meet interesting people, work with a great team and hopefully create a television experience for our viewers — these are some of the things that make me happy.”


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