noun: The most on-trend, in-style, on-point Canadians we know. The ones we look up to. The creative minds representing the Great White North. Our secret (and not-so-secret) MCMs and WCWs.
Are we the only ones obsessing over Canada’s growing media landscape? From groundbreaking journalists, to influential bloggers and the stars of the Canadian screen, we have everything and more in our amazing nation. This is why we have decided to give our readers the inside scoop on some of our favourite Media Mavens. Follow along as we learn about the newest trends and exclusive tips from some of the coolest Canucks around.
Ben Harrison had big dreams of working in journalism, growing up in Halifax and watching reporters on the nightly news. At the University of King’s College he finally got his shot, becoming editor for the University newspaper. After working at Dalhousie University’s radio station, he discovered his true passion: radio. Simultaneously working at that Dal station and at a summer job for CTV Atlantic, a small station with a small crew, he finally saw his dream come to life.
Harrison left the Atlantic for Toronto to pursue a master’s degree in film and media studies from York University. Staying in the big city, Harrison worked at CTV News Channel where he “wrote words and put them into pictures”. When the chance to return to radio came, he jumped, landing his current role as a producer at NEWSTALK 1010. When he isn’t working as a film contributor at Exclaim! magazine, you can always find him on Twitter keeping Torontonians up-to-date with the latest news during the day.
In one sentence, explain what you do.
I put together a show that tells people about the way the world looks today and what it will mean for them tomorrow.
What is your favourite segment to produce and why?
My favourite segments to produce are the moments when breaking news is happening and we want to get somebody who is on the scene. I’ll reach out usually through Twitter and try and find someone on the ground when something is happening to come on and talk with us about what they’ve seen. Breaking news is where I get all of my energy. I love the immediacy of it!
What is your favourite social media platform and why?
Twitter. Easily Twitter. I’ve been on it since 2009. I think I’ve tweeted an absurd number. It’s amazing because it is the most democratic social media platform because it gives you access to the people you want to have access to. You have a direct line to them, you can tell them what you’re thinking and, in the best of circumstances, they respond back to you. I’ve developed some of my most treasured and cherished relationships with people in journalism and with friends through Twitter.
What celebrity would you invite for drinks?
This is a two part answer. My biggest celebrities in my life are journalists – the people I read and listen to every day. When TIFF happens, a lot of people line up and try to get selfies with celebrities. My celebrity moments are when I run into the critics I’ve been reading since I was 12 or 13 years old. So on the media side of things, I would love to go for drinks with Seth Meyers. His A Closer Look segments on his show have some of the best writing on TV. He strikes the best balance of being able to be funny and informed.
But in terms of an actual celebrity, I would say Kanye West because he has been my favourite artist for as long as I can remember. I don’t think there is anyone more innovative than him. I don’t always agree with him, but I think he is fascinating!
What are you raving about these days?
I’m about three-quarters of the way finished Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run. It’s so much more revealing than I thought it was going to be. I’ve been a Bruce die-hard fan since high school and reading his book has been fantastic. In terms of music, my favourite album this year has been Blonde by Frank Ocean. I’ve been listening to that non-stop since it came out in August. In terms of TV shows, Transparent just had its third season and I think it is probably the best show on TV.