CKPG Week 1

Me and Mr. PG

PRINCE GEORGE— (this is how I start all of my web stories at CKPG). To get that fun line you hold alt and press 0 1 5 1.

What a first week. Prince George is WONDERFUL. It has a small town feel, but it still has so much going on. Everyone is super friendly and I already feel at home here.

It helped having my dad here for the first few days to get settled in. I found a lovely basement suite that will be my home in the beginning of May and I can’t wait to have my own space to cook myself (and Firefighter Blake when I find him) meals and just have a cozy place to call my own. The landlord is a really nice elderly man. It’s much cheaper than other places I saw online and it’s fully furnished! I won’t complain.

One of my favorite spots is the university. The UNBC campus is insanely beautiful. I got a gym membership there. It has a 280 metre indoor track (that’s large for an indoor track) and every corner of the gym has beautiful views of the forests. Also good looking men work out there so the views inside are nice as well.

UNBC gym.png
One of the UNBC gym views

I already can’t wait to be more involved in the community. There’s a running group in the city and I’ll check that out on Sunday. I can’t go for runs by myself because there are too many bears here and I would prefer not to get attacked/get dead. The running trails are insane here. I can’t wait to get out there once I meet some running pals. There are tons of races and I’m thinking I might train for another marathon.

I also picked up a police check form (they are free here so that’s a nice bonus) and it looks like there’s awesome volunteering opportunities. Once I get more involved in the community and get to know people better, I will be the story idea queen.

Another fun perk of Prince George is I have a distant relative here. I didn’t know until a couple of weeks ago my grandma’s second cousin lives here. She is such a sweetheart. Her and her husband don’t have family here so they are very excited to have me here. I went for dinner at their place last week and they made me a feast. It was enough that I took home days worth of leftovers. Her lumpia (for all you non-Filipino’s out there that translates to “spring rolls”) were to die for. I’m going over again Sunday night and will be going back for Easter and other holidays. Having family here makes me miss home a lot less. They have already made me feel so loved!

So I guess the point of this whole blog thing is to talk about my “practicum”. Although my practicum feels a lot more like a job…

My co-workers have made my transition a lot easier. Multiple people have reached out to me to let me know they’re here for me for whatever I need (work things and life things). Monday was a pretty standard first day. I met everyone at the radio stations affiliated with CKPG and of course everyone at CKPG. It’s an extremely young news room, but there are also people with a lot of valuable experience. It’s a good mix.

The station is located downtown and is close to most places, but pretty much everywhere in PG is only 15 minutes away, at most. There’s also a Dairy Queen next to the building which I will utilize. I have an app on my phone that gets me sweet deals there.

I got good vibes from the News Director Greg Fry from talking to him over the phone and he’s as great as I was expecting. I told him I wanted to start at CKPG so I could learn everything and that’s exactly what he’s allowing me to do. He’s really emphasizing the importance of my growth while I’m here (he isn’t expecting me to be at CKPG forever). Greg constantly gives me valuable feedback. I was starting to feel less challenged at SAIT, so it’s nice being in an environment where I still have so much to learn and (hopefully) perfect. He sent me out with reporters all week so I could meet people and get to know they city. The communications people in Prince George are very easy to get interviews from and it seems that CKPG has a good reputation in the city. People trust us.

I started writing web stories on day 2. We get a lot more emails than I was expecting, which is nice because I constantly have things to write about. There’s a lot going on in Prince George and there are a lot of great people to interview, especially at UNBC.

I forget what the online website we use is called but it’s not the best. You can’t insert photos or graphs and the block quotes look weird so I haven’t been using any. Good news though… they are switching to SoCast next month! I’ll be able to show everyone all the neat tricks I learned while I was at SAIT and I can finally put in graphs and other fun things into the web stories.

I like getting to use social media to share the stories. Facebook is by far the most popular platform, but it’s my goal to utilize Instagram better. I have some tricks up my sleeve that I can’t wait to whip out.

I also did a pre-recorded radio cast which was easy because the reporters and online journalist (AKA me) write them. There is a huge focus on getting the local angle, which I’m used to after being at SAIT.

Day 3 was WILD. I did so much and was very overwhelmed. I wrote 4 web stories, 12 radio scripts, did a radio cast, and even wrote and voiced a pack. It may not sound like too much, but when you aren’t familiar with the software, everything takes longer. I was super rushed with everything and didn’t feel it was my best work, but Greg said I was being too hard on myself (it sounded like the instructors back at SAIT) and I think he has been happy with my progress so far. I loved being challenged and I’m grateful to have the chance to try so many things. I wasn’t expecting to be putting a pack together this early on, especially because my position is web focused.

Day 4 and 5 were more chill. I wrote web stories from news releases we got, did radio casts, and shadowed reporters. The older reporters are especially good for giving me pointers. The mentorship here is top notch. Everyone at CKPG does multiple stories in a day. Most people don’t edit their own packs though because a lot of the reporters have to anchor in the evening. I might even get to anchor the weekend segment in the near future! There’s a lot of teamwork and everyone helps each other out. I haven’t been super helpful yet, but in the next few weeks I hope to be a valuable resource on the CKPG team!

I accidentally made this obnoxiously long, but I had a lot to say. I’m so happy here. I love my job. I love this city. Each day is something new and it keeps getting better. I can’t wait for next week. I promise my future blog posts won’t be as long as this one.


Mandy Vocke



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