The origins of understanding what journalism always needed: Part One.

I got my Masters degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario.

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I was having a successful year, winning a scholarship, and snagging interviews with the likes of Julian Fantino and Peter C. Newman. Back then, I got big scoops and exclusives that mainstream media didn't get. Sometimes in City Hall, sometimes in the courtroom. I did interesting stories from how gun control laws weren't dealing with the real problem of the smuggling of illegal guns to a teenaged girl who was boxing to the problems hounding the Canadian comic book industry to women smoking cigars for fun -- and profit.

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All this while writing a newspaper column in the Hamilton Spectator, and I interned at CTV's Canada AM, which was the country's top-rated morning news program.

I fought hard for every story I pursued. Much of the research for my first book started then.

This was the basis in my research into understanding journalism. Had I been an academic studying it from the outside, I would have missed a lot of the nuances.

When your research is on your back and you have everything on the line, you develop a respect for reality because you have to negotiate with it.

I have more to say about it, but suffice to say, I came out with an important realization: that to understand, it takes more than just observing and thinking, or even debating.

The core comes from action.

But it is too easy to get sucked into the habits and truisms that those who act take for granted and never question.

You needed a counterbalance to the action.

But what that was would come to me a little later...