Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lets meet the reporter

He's been on the job for less than a week, baptized with the taste of our municipal politics and apparently ready to get on with learning more about the north coast and its issues.

The Daily news introduced their newest scribe on Wednesday, with a how do you do feature with George Baker, who has taken over the various news beats of the recently departed Leanne Ritchie.

Baker happy to cook-up move to the Daily News
Journalist keen to take on challenge of reporting city's news
The Daily News
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Page three

The newest addition to The Daily News editorial team is George Baker, who hails from Richmond, B.C.

Before finding his way to journalism, Baker worked full-time and tried a brief stint at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver.

"I did general studies, which were a general waste of time because I didn't really have any direction at all," said Baker.

"I took political science because I thought I was going to be very political. I wasn't. I also took business communications because I thought it was the way to go. It wasn't."

Instead, Baker worked as a house painter, bartender and server.

"Working as a house painter was funny because I'm scared of heights. I would go 20 feet up the ladder, get scared, the wind would blow just slightly and I would run down the ladder and tell my boss that I was quitting," said Baker.

Painting was a seasonal job, but after falling off a ladder one time, he decided he didn't want to do it every season.

"I worked at Earl's for four years. The money was good - probably better than I'm making now - but it really felt like slave labour in some ways," said Baker. "For me, being a journalist is a much better option."

Baker knew he wanted to be a writer and decided to head back to Kwantlen to study journalism.
During his time there, he went to England on exchange, living in small city north of Manchester called Preston.

"When I got to that city, I wasn't really in love with England itself because the city wasn't very pretty," said Baker.

"But when I did travels around the countryside, I really fell in love with the culture, the people and the fact that you can drive two miles and people will be speaking a completely different version of English. To me, that was awesome."

Baker spent two years in England, interning at both the Lancashire Evening Post and the Liverpool Echo along the way. He was impressed by the British journalists' ability to use shorthand as a form of note taking.

"Shorthand is crazy, it looks like hieroglyphics," said Baker, who prefers using a tape recorder for his interviews.

Baker's affinity for the English came through when editor Earle Gale called him about a job at the Daily News.

"That was one of the reasons I jumped at the job because Earle was English and I really like the English," he said.

"I also want to work in the industry. I honestly love the journalism industry. I love the challenges of it."

Although Baker has never been up North before, the wilderness of Prince Rupert attracted him to the town.

"I like hiking and I like nature. That was one of the main reasons that I came here."

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