Advice from Leslie Young

Be interested in everything. As a journalist, particularly a young journalist, you will be covering stories on a huge variety of topics. In a single day, you may be interviewing a professor about their research into black holes, looking into municipal transit budgets and talking to an athlete about training for the luge. Your job is to make all these things interesting and relevant to your readers. The best way to accomplish this is to be genuinely interested yourself. Find that angle or meet that person who will make you care about whatever is going on. Your readers will care too.

Be curious. As you walk down the street, take note of things you see and try to figure out why they are the way they are. Ask questions about everything – and then go out and find the answers. Read everything you can, as much as you can.

Finally, never stop writing. I was told in journalism school that writing is the basis of the entire craft. My teachers were right. No matter what medium you work in, good writing will carry your story. It’s also very transferable – writing for radio for a year has made me a better print journalist as well.

About Leslie

Leslie Young

  • Name: Leslie Young
  • J-school: University of British Columbia
  • Current/Past employers: CBC Radio, OpenFile
  • Publications in which her work has appeared: Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, CBC Radio, OpenFile, PBS Frontline/World
  • Platforms she works in: radio, print, online
  • Website:
  • Twitter: @leslieyoung
  • Work samples:

Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground (Emmy award-winning documentary)
Ottawa methadone treatment options limited

Downtown shoppers paying a premium for groceries