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Proud Indigenous media workers, CMG members – Brittany Hobson and Jason Shymanski
By  CMG  •  Posted on  June 20, 2020

Every year we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with the many union members who come from Indigenous communities across the country.

It’s particularly meaningful this year when we see the massive marches in communities big and small held to denounce anti-Black and Indigenous racism.  It’s been an important time, hearing so many brave stories from media workers who are sharing their personal experiences of systemic racism at work and in life.

We want to be part of the solution and foster better understanding. Over the next couple of posts, you will get a chance to meet some of our Indigenous co-workers.

Carmel Smyth
National President, Canadian Media Guild

 

 

 

 

 

Brittany Hobson
Reporter/
Correspondent
at APTN
Winnipeg

 

 

 


A few words about me and my work

I was born in Winnipeg and raised here, by a single mother. I belong to the Long Plain First Nation, an Ojibway First Nation in south western Manitoba. I identify as Ojibway or Anishinaabe. I also identify as mixed race as I am part Scottish.

Here in Winnipeg, I did a story on a boy from a First Nations family, who back then at the age of 10 was the youngest drag queen in Winnipeg. His mother was supportive and got into drag herself as well. They are a well-known family in our community doing great things to challenge stereotypes.

For those aspiring to work in media

It’s important that there be more Indigenous media workers but also more Black or Filipino or Sikh journalists, and managers as well. Otherwise, stories are not going to be as full and rich as they should be.

We have a responsibility to our communities – it’s absurd to see someone reporting on First Nations’ issues that has never been to any First Nation community.

Living through the pandemic

Since the pandemic hit, everything has been done using technology, and I’ve discovered I miss being out in the field into communities and seeing people face to face. You lose something when things are done over the phone or via video chat.

 

 


 

 

 

Jason Shymanski
Broadcast Technologist at APTN
Winnipeg


 

 

 

 

A few words about me and my work

I was raised in St. Adolphe, south of Winnipeg. I have been with APTN since 1991, now going on my 21st year as a broadcast technologist.

As a kid I thought television was neat and cool, and my father worked as a broadcast technician for a long time, so I would get to check out stations.

It can be challenging to battle some of the stereotypes about Indigenous people not having the ability to gain the same skillset as workers employed in what’s considered more ‘mainstream’ media.

Some of the biggest hurdles I have experienced involve not having the same resources as bigger media organizations, but that forced us to become extremely creative in how we do things.

For those aspiring to work in media

Speaking from the technical side, our jobs and careers have changed drastically from how it was for the previous generations. It has become increasingly IT based, the skills we require have evolved, and we are in a moment of having one foot in the old broadcasting pool, and another in the digital technology pool.

Living through the pandemic

As someone whose specific job is considered essential, I am still coming in to my workplace which has been made safe and sanitary. I am starting to like the fact that somehow things feel more casual at work, and while we can’t travel, there is a lot of daily maintenance and other work that we now finally have a chance to catch up on.

Recreationally, I was involved with curling and golf, but of course nobody is participating in sports the way they normally might have these days.

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