YPDaily: Jeremy Szafron

After learning from some of TV’s best anchors and reporters at a television and radio school in Montreal, Jeremy Szafron knew that was exactly how he wanted to tell his stories. Whether in front of or behind the camera, Jeremy has covered and shared some amazing tales throughout his career, as well as in today’s YPDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I love to tell stories, visually. I was trained in researching, writing, shooting and editing. It was the old school approach where you follow your cameraman and take down tape time codes for editing purposes. Often it’s not done this way anymore, but I try and help out as much as I can. A mentor once told me, “Take care of your crew, and they’ll take care of you”. I live by this. I pride myself on having journalistic integrity while storytelling – it’s all you have at the end of the day, when in doubt, leave it out. I go to sleep everyday knowing that I love what I do – it’s a beautiful thing.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started on a CTV show out East covering Fashion and Entertainment beats. Today, I host FMA Weekly (Fashion, Music, and Arts) and do national commentary with CTV News Channel about Entertainment. When I was 12 years old I was fascinated with the television industry – my first TV was on mute with subtitles, I pretended it was a teleprompter. At first, News was my game, but I quickly came to the realization that reporting on a fatal car crash just was not me. Entertainment and Lifestyle is fun, quirky, light, but also challenging.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I absolutely LOVE what I do! Every single day is different, and I get to meet the most amazing people and hear the most amazing stories. Everyone has a story, everyone has a purpose and everyone can learn from personal experiences. I love to be on air because of the rush I get when I see the red light, but also because I get to share different stories with such a large audience. I think the most challenging part about the entertainment industry is adapting a story to relate to everyone, but it’s also the most fun. You learn different things every day, it’s a true blessing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to still be in Vancouver. This city is so beautiful and productions are beginning to pick up with hunger for more content. Unfortunately, this industry sometimes forces travel and moves to other areas but you have to embrace it. I would love to do a show about feel good topics – I care less about Lohan in rehab and more about Sean Penn rebuilding Haiti. The industry continues to grow, and I want to grow with it – it’s an evolution, it’s a process.

What does success look like to you?
When I go to work, I don’t feel like I am going to work – that to me is success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I was headhunted from college by a CTV Producer and three weeks later I debuted on the show. Getting started in this industry is often the most difficult; I was blessed with that opportunity and will never forget it.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
You can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones. I think it’s very important to surround yourself with people who share similar passions and those who you can discuss brilliant ideas with. It’s almost like poll taking, I like to discuss things with like-minded people, a fresh mind is always important. And remember, a good idea without action is nothing.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We have the opportunity to communicate to a large audience and have a big voice, it’s our duty to get involved in the community and give back. Recently I signed onto the Committee for the Odd Squad Gala, an amazing organization educating the public about the devastating effects that high-risk behaviour has on members of our community. Today’s youth face difficult choices, enormous peer pressure, and more readily available and potent mind-altering drugs, than at any other time in history. This year is their 15th anniversary and the work they do is incredible (real cops!) – you must check them out and watch the videos … or come to the gala and say hi!

What is Notable to you?
To me, notable is being genuine, loyal, and positive. I once read, “If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which are not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.” Smiling at one person on the street may have changed their entire day.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone! Siri helps a lot.