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Windspeaker confidential.

There are some changes in store for Greg Taylor, a national news correspondent with APTN. In September he will be moving from the television network's Winnipeg bureau to Ottawa, where he will be covering political activities in the nation's capital. Taylor's work on the four-part documentary, Who is Metis, was recognized recently with an award from the Canadian Ethnic Journalists' and Writers' Club.


Windspeaker: What one quality do you most value in a friend?

Greg Taylor: A sense of humor. Somebody who can take a joke and give a joke and that kind of thing.

W.S.: What is it that really makes you mad?

G.T: I'm pretty easy going, but I do have a problem with traffic. Traffic gridlock in the city drives me absolutely insane.

W.S.: When are you at your happiest?

G.T: Not to say that I live for my work, but probably when I'm out shooting a very visual story with a lot of action, a lot of happy people. An example, probably doing video shoots out at Back to Batoche last summer was just incredible. That kind of thing. Catching exciting moments. Just this past weekend I was at the Metis Nation of Ontario's annual assembly when they announced their hunting deal. And just being there and capturing the emotions with people so happy, so excited about something, it really gets me to realize why I do this work.

W.S.: What one word best describes you when you are at your worst?

G.T: Quiet.

W.S.: What one person do you most admire and why?

G.T: There are so many people ... but in my mindset right now, maybe it's because I just spent a week listening about him and his life, is probably Steve Powley, described by many people as just this great guy, and an ordinary guy. Wasn't that political or anything, but he just took this stand for his people and his family by going out and doing something as simple as shooting a moose. But living with the consequences and just not giving up and fighting for it, because he kind of realized what was at stake here for the Metis. I got the very fortunate opportunity to meet him and shake his hand last year. And just so humble and, like you'd try to thank him and, 'Oh, it was nothing. It was nothing.' But he was such a great example of how one person can make such a huge difference for his people.

W.S.: What is the most difficult thing you've ever had to do?

G.T: It was last year. I'd just come back from vacation and the first story I had to do was a memorial service for Jamie Isaac, a young Aboriginal boy who was murdered at the Aboriginal Centre here in Winnipeg. And yeah, it's something that, you know, people are really interested ... and so many people would like to be there and kind of console the family and take that moment to remember the kid. But they can't be there so it's kind of important that news does cover this kind of thing. But it's so hard to. It kind of feels like I was intruding with the camera. Yet everyone said they appreciated it, because they wanted everyone to hear his story. But it was still really, really hard. And just talking to the family, asking them to talk to you on camera, is just the hardest thing a reporter can ever be asked to do.

W.S.: What is your greatest accomplishment?

G.T: Probably working for APTN. A lot of people around here, we always joke that we're, like, sucking up to the bosses or something. But I think everyone here kind of feels that way, especially in the news department, that we're so lucky to be working for an Aboriginal broadcaster doing news. We get to do things that we'd just never be able to do at any other news organization in television. And making my way through university and then (Journalism) school and college, still probably my greatest accomplishment is being a part of APTN national news. It's just a lot of pride in that for, just not me, but everyone here.

W.S.: What one goal remains out of reach?

G.T: The one I'm still kind of fighting for or trying to get to? Probably to have a family. I'm single and I'm starting to move on to that time in my life where I'm ready to settle down and have some kids and finally get married and that kind of thing. It's something I'm really looking forward to, but just with the career and getting started, I just haven't been able to get around to.

W.S.: If you couldn't do what you're doing today, what would you be doing?

G.T: I'd probably be working in politics in some form or another. Probably not as an elected official; probably as a bureaucrat or something. As much as I like to give them a hard time, before I started getting into journalism in university I was in political science and I kind of like that kind of thing. I've kind of drifted away from it a bit now, but I'm still attached to it by covering it in the news. But I'd probably be chained to a desk somewhere.

W.S.: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

G.T: Go into journalism. Or go into television, actually. It was just after I graduated university with a poli-sci degree and I thought, 'Oh, here I've got this nice degree, now what am I going to do with the rest of my life? What kind of career do I want?' And then, I can't even remember who told it to me. I think it was somebody at the university. They just simply asked, 'Well, what do you like to do?' And I said, 'Quite honestly, I like to watch TV.' And they said, 'Well, why don't you do that?' I've been watching TV, and not just TV shows, but I was just entranced by television news since I was very, very young. And it was kind of something I never thought was an option for me. And then somebody said, 'Well, just do it.' And once I got started, I found I was actually kind of good at it.

W.S.: How do you hope to be remembered?

G.T: I wouldn't be so presumptuous to say that I made a difference in the world, but somebody people respected and thought was honest. And I've always been really appreciative when people tell me I'm a hard worker and that I always give my best effort when I'm doing something. Just as long as I'm remembered as somebody who was honest and did his best whenever he could, I think I would be more than happy with that.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Wind Speaker
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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