TEDxVancouver 2014: Coleen Christie

CTV News Vancouver

I’ve attended the last few years worth of TEDxVancouver and they have all been worthwhile events, both professionally and personally. This year, the theme of the event is TILT and here’s what they have to say to describe it:

Most of our limits are merely illusions. TILT is about exploring and conquering these illusions in order to unleash potential. Attendees can expect an inspiring, thought-provoking program designed to awaken curiosity and shift perspectives.

I had the chance to interview one of the speakers and I chose to ask Coleen Christie from CTV News Vancouver a few questions about how she uses social media ahead of her talk at TEDx.

Coleen on the CTV News set

Coleen on the CTV News set


John: With such a diverse amount of stories covered over the course of your career, can you choose a favourite moment that involves social media, be it in a story you did or the response from your audience about something you covered?
Coleen: One high point that comes to mind is the night in April 2012 when the Lakeland Mills in Prince George exploded. Despite having none of our reporters or cameras even remotely close to the scene – we were first with pictures and information thanks to people armed with smart phones. The CTV Vancouver twitter account was informing the world. I anchored CTV News at 11:30 for about 18 months and I can’t tell you how many times @CTVColeen and @CTVBC (now @CTVVancouver) where trending in Canada.

John: How about a low point due to social media?
Coleen: No low points come to mind, not for CTV nor me personally. We treat social media with the same kind of checks and balances we do for any information platform. Not all media outlets do. The rule is simple: don’t post anything you wouldn’t say or show on a newscast. Social media is a great tool. It can also be a horrible, scary thing. Robin William’s daughter found that. The lowest of the low feel free to be cruel in complete, cowardly anonymity. How anyone derives pleasure from hurting someone else, especially someone who’s already in pain, is beyond me. Anonymity can bring out the worst in human nature and does nothing to encourage an open, honest exchange of differing ideas. Twitter is like a hammer – a great tool or a great weapon. It all depends on how you use it.

John: Your Twitter feed (@CTVColeen) is a nice mix of work and personal tweets/photos. Do you participate in any other social networks (outside of your work account) and if so, what’s your preferred network and what do you enjoy about it?

Coleen: Everything I say or do represents CTV. How can it be otherwise? I used to have a personal Facebook page under a pseudonym, but honestly, I don’t use it. I don’t post everything to everything. For me, Facebook is mostly for what has already happened, personally and professionally. I feed my CTV Facebook page from my phone and almost never visit the site. Twitter is about what’s happening now, and Instagram – the friendliest site of all – is the most personal and least newsy for me. It gives me a mental break from the harsh worlds of news and Twitter. When I get more time, I want to get more into Vine. I love the power of video.

John: My last question should be an easy one – what’s your favourite piece of technology for consuming content in this information age? Smartphone, ebook reader, tablet or something else? What do you like about it?
Coleen: I admit it. I’m addicted to my iPhone. I do everything on it. Two years later and I still miss my Blackberry’s qwerty keyboard and would consider going back, but for now, I’m sold on the iPhone. I am coveting the new 6 especially now that my old 4S runs like a slug with the so-called “fixed” OS8. I have an iPad and an iPad mini. I think there may be a market for a larger format version. The Apple watch?…maybe.

My thanks to Coleen for taking the time to answer my questions…I’m looking forward to her talk and the rest of the TEDx event in a couple of weeks.

Photos provided by Coleen Christie

One Comment

  1. JP Holecka says:

    Great article John. I hope you enjoy the show again this year. Our team has been working hard at the website and have a live RWD app that will be tested out during the conference. I’ll be in the production booth a chunk of the day but hope to catch up with you when time permits.

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