Adrian Harewood and I first met at the NFB in Ottawa in 1993. He was a student at McGill then where he graduated and also later became Station Manager at CKUT (McGill’s community radio station). He has done various freelance work for the CBC and stations in the United States. Seventeen years later, he is married and anchor of the 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. news in Ottawa.
He met his wife Lana at a gospel music event that he hosted marking Martin Luther King Day.
“I don’t really see myself as having to juggle my professional life with my marriage,” writes Harewood responding to email questions. “My relationship with my wife Lana is a fundamental part of my life. We both have professional responsibilities and so we make sure that we set aside quality time for each other.”
Harewood says that he does not have a typical day.
“With this new TV gig, my work day now starts at 3:00 p.m. So normally during the day I try to go for a run or do some form of exercise, read various newspapers/websites, maybe watch a film, read a book, listen to radio programs on CBC, BBC, NPR, Democracy Now, Radio Pacifica, Radio Canada, Christopher Lydon’s Open Source, This American Life on Public Radio International, while I am doing housework, watch CBC TV, Radio-Canada, BBC, CNN. Right now because we have a crabapple tree in our front yard I have been picking apples early in the morning and cutting them up getting ready to make crabapple jelly.”
Knowing how to make good use of his time, Harewood has advice for young journalists who would like to be where he is today.
“The advice I would give to anyone is to follow your passion,” Harewood says. “Be curious. Read widely. Be a sponge. Travel as much you are able. Get out of your comfort zone, whatever that zone is. Learn some languages. Expose yourself to as many stories as you can be they radio documentaries or films or TV shows or ballads or magazine articles. Read poetry. Practice reading out loud. Check out some art. Ground yourself as much as you can in history and politics and philosophy and science. Don’t get complacent. Never be satisfied with what you think you know. Get to know your community. Get involved in community media (I am particularly biased towards community radio). Write something every day. Try to become as versatile as you can as a media practitioner.”
All this advice has helped Harewood to be who he is today. Five years from now he sees himself writing a lot more for newspapers and magazines and pursuing some book projects. He would also like to teach at some post-secondary institution. He would like to produce documentaries for radio and TV…and yes ladies (perhaps, gents)…he will still be married.
To catch Adrian Harewood’s work on CBC, please check out CBC Ottawa online.