Friday, December 17, 2010
For as far back as he can remember, Keith Baldrey wanted to be a journalist. He can still recall being transfixed as he watched the events surrounding the JFK assassination unfold on television, trying to grasp what it was all about and what it meant.
“It was dramatic, it was happening right then. It was obviously a very big deal, and I thought the people on television who were describing it had the most interesting job I could imagine,” Keith says.
In 1978 Keith came to Douglas College, drawn by the Other Press, the student newspaper started by journalist Terry Glavin, which was still in its infancy. Though Keith was taking general arts courses, the paper soon took over his life.
After leaving Douglas, Keith lived the life of the starving journalist while holding out for a job with the Vancouver Sun, which he eventually got.
“The Sun city editor phoned me to offer me a part-time job, and I got mad at him and demanded a full-time job. He was so surprised, he remembered me when full-time hiring resumed, and I got hired without even a job interview,” Keith says.
Keith’s tenacity paid off. He is the chief political correspondent for Global Television in BC. He also writes a syndicated newspaper column on BC politics for around 10 community papers in the Lower Mainland and is a weekly commentator on CKNW Radio’s Bill Good Show every Friday morning.
And it all began at Douglas.
“My time spent at Douglas was very important to me and had a lasting impact,” Keith says. “The Other Press deeply immersed me in the world of journalism. The fact we lived and breathed that paper taught me many things about the profession I was entering.
"Spending all week getting the paper together in a cramped office at the rear of the cafeteria at the old campus in New West, and then spending all through the night typesetting it, laying it out, proofing it, and then arguing who was going to deliver it to the printer was an intense experience. And then seeing the paper arrive, and watching Douglas students – and staff – actually read it and occasionally respond to what they were reading was deeply affecting.”
40 after 40 is a series showcasing our amazing grads and employees in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Check back every Wednesday and Friday for another inspiring story. See more about our 40th on our Anniversary page.