It’s only been a few days since I travelled 52 hours in my car to reach your community but already I’m grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received.
My name is Shannon Lough, and as your new reporter I hope to meet many more of you, to hear your stories and to learn about this rainy picturesque island that some of you have called home for your entire lives or even for a few months.
Your story is important to me, but first let me begin by introducing my story to you.
Living by the ocean or near the mountains isn’t new to me, but it was something I missed while completing my Masters of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. For three years I lived in Nagano, Japan as an assistant language teacher at a junior high school. In my spare time I also edited and wrote for an online magazine, The Yomoyama.
I took advantage of Nagano’s mountains and spent most weekends either snowboarding, hiking, or long-distance running. When the earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, Nagano only felt the tremors and didn’t see any of the devastating effects along the east coast as many of you saw in the media. A month later, I volunteered to help clean up the sludge that was becoming toxic in some of the most affected communities.
I left Japan in 2012 and backpacked around Asia for a few months before returning to Canada. In Thailand, I learned how to cook Thai dishes; in India, I visited the Taj Mahal; and in Nepal, I did a six week yoga teacher training course and followed it up with a trek through the Himalayas.
I’ve lived, worked, and studied in many parts of the world. Some of my favourite places are Queenstown, New Zealand, London, England, Krakow, Poland and all of Fiji.
Most recently I travelled to northeastern India along the disputed border with China where I lived in a Tibetan refugee settlement as part of an online journalism project to learn how resettlement programs work in Canada. This is the kind of dedication to stories that I plan to bring to your community.
My previous journalistic experience includes reporting for the Ottawa Citizen, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Global National and I produced for CTV’s Canada AM. I also wrote and produced a documentary that was picked up by CBC Ottawa and received a nomination at the Yorkton film festival. The short film “Secret War” is about how an equine therapy project in Pembroke is helping Canadian soldiers treat symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Prince Rupert is just as exciting a place to be as anywhere else I’ve been and I look forward to being your city’s newest storyteller.