It’s always exciting to hear Valley success stories. Former Ormstown resident Kelly Greig is currently an award-winning video journalist for CTV News in Montreal. She has worked in Montreal, across Canada, and beyond as an incredibly talented journalist.
Greig says “My job, officially, is video journalist. That means that if I put a story on the air, everything that you see is done by me. The shooting, the interviews, the research, the editing, write the story, voice the story, the on-camera stuff, by myself.”
She also anchors, reports on sports, and does coverage at the National Assembly. “It’s a job where you have so much variety, which is one of the joys of it. You experience so many things. I’ve ended up in places where I never expected to be. I went to the Canadian Space Agency one time to try food that they eat in space.”
At Chateauguay Valley Regional High School (CVR), Greig took all the advanced math and science classes. And while she was committed to being a good student and working through them, she knew related fields weren’t what she wanted to do long-term. She was much more interested in something like journalism; “I wrote for The Gleaner, actually. My first job was writing Spartan Talk when I was 16. I started there and realized I was enjoying it, so I decided to pursue it.”
After studying communications at Vanier CEGEP, she attended the journalism program at Concordia University. “While I was there, I had the chance to do an exchange and live in the Netherlands for six months and study journalism there, and it led to a lot of really cool opportunities.” Some of these opportunities were internships. “I think the one that really started me on my career [was] at the CBC in London, England … I got to learn from some of the best journalists in the field. I got to go out … and see what it felt like to report from England for a Canadian audience. That was the internship that kind of launched me.”
Greig remembers the moment when she knew journalism was for her: “The second I got onto the field and into the ‘real world’, it just clicked for me. It was something I really enjoyed doing; I liked the creativity of it, I like that every day isn’t the same, I like how we have a front-row seat to history sometimes.”
Witnessing events drives Greig to continue in the profession: “In in the moment, [you] lose sight of [that] sometimes because you’re working, you’re busy, you’re experiencing a thousand things at once. But then you get home at the end of the day and go ‘Wow, what an interesting day! That’s a piece of history that I got to cover today’.”
Something else that is very important to Greig is helping people tell their stories on a bigger scale. Journalism has allowed her to do that. “You experience stuff firsthand and get to help people tell their stories. I hate the term ‘giving people a voice’; people already have a voice, and what we can do is put a megaphone up to it and share it with a lot more people.” In doing this, she is also sometimes able to help people broaden their views. “We can say ‘This is your experience, but look at this person, they have a totally different experience’. I really appreciate that part of the job.”
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on how Greig’s work is done, and also on what she is covering. Not only has her kitchen table become her office, and on-site shooting has become much more difficult, but the manner in which news is reported has had to change as well. In the past, she says she would “always have to know a thousand different things about a thousand different topics. We could question ministers about environmental topics and then five minutes later you’re talking about a new bill someone is supporting. And then all the sudden the world is whittled down into the pandemic and we started to view everything through that lens.”
Each story has been underscored by the pandemic, because of how it has been at the forefront of everything such as “social justice, health issues, legal issues. That’s been a big shift, because it changed a fundamental part about how we do our jobs.”
Greig mentions that one of her favourite experiences was doing a piece on the Oka Crisis. It was a series on the 30th anniversary and was an informative piece for her. “We looked into different things, like how racism played a factor in the Oka Crisis, and how [the story] is taught nowadays to students who weren’t alive when it happened. That was really valuable because it was something that I didn’t know much about, and I got to learn with the viewer.” Her piece won the Continuing Coverage award with RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association). She has also won an RTDNA award for sports recording, for her story on a high diver. These are huge honours.
Future projects for Greig are still up in the air. She will be covering news at the National Assembly this September. Other plans are hard to nail down because things like travelling are difficult during the pandemic. She is looking forward to what comes next, and gives a special shout-out to Ormstown, stating “Growing up on a dairy farm in Ormstown gives you a sense of what hard work is, so that’s something I’ve used a lot in my career.”