In the July issue of Avenue Edmonton magazine, you’ll learn more about Global Edmonton’s feature reporters Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory.
Here is the extended interview:
Su-Ling Goh and Laurel Gregory are award-winning special feature reporters with Global News. They are also both moms, raising young boys, and incredibly dedicated to their community.
With a BSc in Zoology from the U of A, Su-Ling combines her love of science and writing in her special segment “Health Matters” weeknights on Global News Hour at 6.
As a new mom and seasoned journalist, Laurel launched “Family Matters” (on Global News at 5 and Sundays on Global News Morning) to help parents navigate through the tough questions of parenting.
What inspired you to get in to News?
Su-Ling: I actually got a BSc in Zoology from the U of A, then realized I didn’t want to work in a lab. But I always dreamed of combining my love of science with my love of writing. When I heard about NAIT’s Radio and Television program, it sounded like a great fit for me. And now I have my dream job!
Laurel: I loved writing from the time I was a little girl and decided that I wanted to go into journalism by age 14. I fell in love with writing to pictures and telling stories with sound in university. I’ve now been in the business for more than a decade and writing is still my favourite part of the job.
Is there a story that you have worked on or a news event that has impacted you, or tested your skills the most?
Su-Ling: In 2013, I did a series on doctor-assisted suicide, featuring a woman with ALS who chose to take her own life. I’ll never forget her brave parents describing their daughter’s wish to die. I am still so honoured that they trusted me to tell their story.
Watch below: Su-Ling Goh’s stories on Calgary woman Amy Doolittle, who suffered from ALS
Laurel: The southern Alberta flood of 2013 will always stay with me. I remember reporting live and covering which residential areas were hit hardest, specifically in High River. We used our helicopter to give our viewers a look at the destruction. Viewers were coming up to me or reaching me via social media to ask if we could show more so they could see if their houses were still standing. As a reporter you often have to trust/hope that what you’re doing is making some kind of a difference but during that disaster, I felt what we were doing had a direct, tangible impact on our viewers.
What does an average working day look like for you as a Global News reporter?
Su-Ling: Busy! I usually go out with a camera guy all morning to shoot interviews and footage for our topic of the day. Then I come back to the station, watch everything we shot and write up a script for the video editor. I also try to tweet and write a version for our website. Then I present the story live in the studio at 6 pm, and start researching for the next day.
Laurel: The day always begins by listening to the radio as I get ready in the morning. I read news articles and check social media to see what people are talking about. When I get in, I go through emails, make calls and read articles more specific to my Family Matters beat. I check in with my producer, Christine Meadows, and then we decide which stories we will pursue for our segment. I have a little more breathing room with this new segment so that means I have a more time to develop original stories.
What is the best thing about your job?
Su-Ling: Meeting incredible people who have overcome unimaginable circumstances. They are a constant reminder that I have nothing to complain about.
Laurel: When I look at the clock, I wish it would stop so I have more time to work on my story before deadline. I never look at the clock and think: only two more hours until I can go home. As reporters, we aren’t wired that way. Each day is new, different and exciting.
You have each received many accolades and awards for the work that you do, is there one that has stood out and why?
Su-Ling: Winning a national award from the Canadian Medical Association was surreal. My dad was a surgeon, and though he passed away in 2007, I felt like he might have been smiling down on me that day.
Laurel: I was honoured to be chosen to be part of the first Global News team to report and mentor journalists in West Africa. Photographer Barry Acton and I spent nearly a month in Liberia in May 2012. I still keep in touch with the two Power TV journalists we mentored. It was a life-changing experience to see their passion for the job with so little in the way of resources and support.
What is one piece of advice you have for working moms?
Su-Ling: I wish I had advice to give. I need the advice, please!
Laurel: Drop the guilt. Some days you will roll into work with snot on your blazer and your hair in a messy bun. Some nights your family will have peanut butter on toast for dinner because there’s nothing in the fridge. You are not a machine so don’t expect perfection (there is no such thing!)
Is there something you have learned from work that helps you be a better parent or vice versa?
Su-Ling: Every time I do a story about a sick child (and unfortunately I do many of them), I hug my boy hard when I get home. Good health isn’t a given. It’s a gift.
Laurel: Since my segment deals with parenting and child development, I’m learning new things all the time! In general, I would say I have learned how to manage my time better which definitely makes me a better parent because I am more focused on making sure I have quality time with our son.
Watch below: Would more dads stay home if parental leave was extended?
What are you reading right now?
Su-Ling: The Munschworks Grand Treasury. Robert Munsch is my son’s favourite author. We yell when the characters yell! Which is a lot.
Laurel: By reading, do you mean looking at words on a page before falling asleep? When I can keep my eyes open, I’m reading Born to Run and Child Honouring.
What are the best things/best places for parents with small kids in Edmonton?
Su-Ling: My son, Danick (age 6), is obsessed with trains, so we love the Alberta Railway Museum. When they have the old steam engine running, he’s in heaven!
Laurel: Our son loves spending time outside so my top choices would be Hawrelak Park or any playground with a spray park.
You both give back to the community in so many ways, what are some of your favourite events?
Su-Ling: I’ve been emceeing and producing stories for the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation’s Courage Awards for 9 years now. The amazing recipients and staff never cease to inspire me.
Laurel: Bust A Move (a fitness fundraiser for breast cancer research) is a huge highlight every year. I love all of the fundraising events we do as a team leading up to the event, especially our annual Global News Wardrobe Sale!
What does our city mean to you?
Su-Ling: I grew up here. The people I love live here. This will always be my home.
Laurel: Edmonton was meant to be a stopover for me, but it has become home. I love living here! I love the river valley, the supports for young families, the trail running scene, the farmers markets, the fantastic restaurants and – of course – my family at Global!