Marcia Young is a Canadian broadcast journalist and host of World Report, a national current events program on CBC Radio.
What is your morning routine?
My alarm clock sounds at 2:55am and I’m up to start the day. For me this is the most perfect time. I can put a plan in place for the day. Then I have absolute silence to visualize and meditate. Clothes are laid out. I’ve already decided on what to wear the night before. At CBC, the morning radio news can be seen on TV, so what I wear has to work for television. Show time creeps up quickly, so I am always rushing out, usually on bike. My first stop is a 24 hour coffee shop. By the time the coffee is cool enough to gulp, I’m at my desk.
Tell us about your career path?
I started my career in radio at a sports station. I did everything they would let me do to gain some experience. I moved onto television where I worked for one of the first Canadian magazine shows on the specialty network HGTV. I was a production assistant. I spent a couple of years literally running and organizing the details of the show. It was an incredibly fun job. I liked being able to produce experts, guests, and props on short notice. There was a certain adrenaline rush to it all.
In high school I wanted to become a doctor, but that dream slipped away. While I was strong in science, calculous was beyond me. I wrote for the school newspaper and had found that I could get people to react to what I wrote, and care about the stories I brought to the paper. I applied to journalism school at Ryerson and realized quickly that I was in the right place.
I knew after the first year that I wanted to be in television. But I also liked the risks you could take with radio. My first ever radio documentary took me out to a youth detention facility. It was difficult to do the research and find the guests. I liked working that hard to answer some questions about what that kind of life was like. By the time I applied to CBC, I had over 4 years experience in media.But not news. I got a job as an editorial assistant. I thought I was overqualified. I realized that everything I had done to that point had prepared me to learn how to work in news. I watched and learned from experienced news writers and producers.
Today I host World Report. You can hear me regularly Friday to Sunday and often during the week as well. I like to say I have worked the World Series of radio at CBC. I have been the host on almost all the radio news programs on the network.
What challenges do you (women) face in your industry?
It’s a personal one. How to keep going and searching for that next level. At every point in my journey I have felt that I had arrived at a plateau where I couldn’t see or visualize the next job. I am always searching for ideas and experiences that are interesting to me. The ideas that may lead to something new are the ones that persist. Another challenge is finding enough time to slow down so that I can get those ideas.
How do you balance work and your personal life?
I have to be super organized. I’m old-school. I have a paper day planner. I buy it from the same store ever year. I have childcare at home, so that I can be flexible with my schedule. But generally, I try to keep it simple. I make plans that I can stick to without bending myself into a pretzel.
What advice would you give young girls who want to be the next YOU?
When you’re starting out, your attitude is everything. Don’t think you can do it all, and if you think you can do it all, know that you are not doing yourself any favours. Work on real confidence. Be okay with your size and shape so that when you put yourself together you feel good. Then, you can focus on what you are doing. Confidence is everything.
What inspires you?
Music inspires me. I like neo-soul, r&b and jazz. The other day, I walked into a store and they were playing the soundtrack to Final Fantasy, and I found myself on Youtube listening to that soundtrack. I’m open to any kind of music, it just has to be good.