Sunday, July 12, 2020

Anita Bathe: Giving Voice to Local issues

By Petrina D’Souza, 30 Jan, 2019

    The award-winning journalist is the co-host and front-line investigative reporter with CBC Vancouver News’ flagship supper hour program where she brings crucial community issues to the forefront.



    Anita Bathe is a popular name and face in B.C.’s media industry. British Columbians see her daily at 6 p.m. on CBC Vancouver News’s supper hour program, where she brings crucial community issues to the forefront through her role as co-anchor and front-line investigative reporter. “Not only am I writing stories in the show, I’m helping to shape the news of the day and figuring out new ways to cover each story,” shares the excited journalist, who aims to present in-depth and fresh perspectives on community stories. “If a massive story breaks in this province, Mike Killeen [co-anchor] or I plan to be there in the community meeting the people who are impacted and telling their stories.”

    Bathe’s curiosity paved the way for a career in journalism. She grew up nurturing her curious nature, questioning and wanting to know everything that’s going on around her. “It’s what has always driven me in my reporting,” she proclaims. At the age of 15, Bathe got her first break as a host/reporter for a youth television show called Gen Why. “After doing a few segments I fell in love with interviewing, writing and telling stories. From that point on I started volunteering, interning, working street team jobs and doing whatever I could do to get experience,” recalls the British Columbia Institute of Technology graduate. As an investigative journalist, she always strives to make a difference. “I have always loved covering breaking news and it’s that adrenaline type of situation that I thrive in,” adds Bathe.

    With a journalism career spanning over 10 years, along with a decade in broadcast radio, Bathe has passionately covered top local and provincial stories, such as the B.C. wildfires in 2017 and 2018, Constable John Davidson’s shooting death in Abbotsford, and the 2017 B.C. provincial elections.​ The talented reporter’s work in the field has been greatly recognized; Bathe has been a multiple local and national Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) winner, has won several British Columbia Association of Broadcasters (BCAB) awards for her in-depth reporting on breaking news stories like the Vancouver Port Fire, and was a recipient of the Jack Webster Fellowship in 2015.

    When asked to share the most memorable story she covered till date, Bathe mentions that in 2017 she did a story that may have saved a man’s life: “He is gay and born and raised in Afghanistan, when his family learned of his sexual orientation he feared for his life so he went into hiding. He had been trying to seek asylum in Canada but had more than five years ahead of him to wait. After our story published, the federal government fast tracked his application and brought him here where he now lives safely with the help of a sponsor family,” narrates the award-winning journalist, who won a local RTDNA for her meticulous research and coverage.

    Though there is a thrill in reporting real and breaking news stories, investigative journalism can be a heartbreaking job. “The most challenging part of the job has always been covering tragic stories and meeting people who have been affected. I’ve been fortunate to cover some very big and important stories in our province but often those stories come with heartache,” shares Bathe, further adding that most people she encountered in those situations have left a mark on her. “The people I’ve met who have lost loved ones or whose homes have been destroyed by fires...are the people who are full of wisdom and positivity and I find that very humbling. [They are] people who have impacted me beyond belief.”

    Also, with the rise of digital news, Bathe states that presenting accurate and in-depth coverage has been all the more significant. “Often by the time we go to air, people have already seen snippets of information all around them – that’s why it’s so important for us to dive deeper into the stories that matter and give our audience information they won’t get elsewhere.”

    The successful anchorwoman’s advice to aspiring and new reporters is to work hard, never say no to extra shifts and “ALWAYS” ask for more opportunities. “Maybe this is a flaw of mine but I’m never satisfied with where I’m at in my career, I always want more and I’m always working toward something more and it’s that drive and hunger that will get you noticed,” Bathe says in conclusion.

    Traits of a good reporter

    • Bathe states that a reporter needs to be a lot of things. He or she needs to be curious by nature because the best original stories come from a person’s curiosity.

    • Confident and thick-skinned because this industry can be tough – not only are you constantly competing for stories but the public is watching your every move and can be very critical. You have to be able to shake everything off and keep going.

    • Compassionate because more often than not you’re meeting people who have faced tragedy and you’re meeting them right after it happened.

    • Finally, it’s very important to be a good writer and storyteller.


    Images: Courtesy of CBC British Columbia

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