By Amanda Thomas
Marcy Markusa has been a fixture on CBC airwaves for over a decade and her passion for local news shines bright. An excellent interviewer, self-proclaimed foodie and enthusiastic Winnipegger, Markusa is right where she always wanted to be.
Q: You’re a born and raised `Pegger! What is the main connection that has kept you in Winnipeg?
Well here I have found the job of my lifetime and the love of my life and I feel very fortunate for that. Winnipeg is my home and I’ve never been a person that has been anxious to live somewhere else, but when you’re a journalist, ambition can take you to another city. Somehow, I’ve been able to find my dream job within CBC while staying in the place I was raised. Plus, I get to have my yard and my garden here, and walk my dog, and be five minutes from work, in a city I love, and I don’t think you could have that in other places.
Q: What is the most memorable event your career in media has allowed you to be a part of?
I would say without a doubt the flood of 1997. It was one of those stories where you don’t realize how significant it was until you look back on it. I was a young reporter working in southern Manitoba, so I covered all of the small towns and how they were affected. I reported from both ground level and in a plane and I was able to see the flood develop from those viewpoints. I literally saw water wiping out people`s homes and when the army was sent out and people were displaced, it was surreal, the kind of thing you don’t expect to cover in Manitoba, in the place you live. It taught me a lot about perseverance, people and community.
Q: Is there one thing that stands out that you were proud to report on?
Every day I am proud to report, mostly because I am continually amazed that people will open up and be honest about their stories. I interviewed a 73-year-old lady named Agnes, who shared her story with me. She couldn’t read for her whole life and she said she felt like a con artist. But at 73 she decided to learn to read. For me when you share a story like that it shows people that it’s never too late, and it allows people to know they can overcome things. Those stories make me feel proud, and you can measure the impact of that and how it affects people. Now Agnes speaks at schools to encourage kids to learn to read. When I first met her I had to convince her to go on the radio because she thought her story wasn’t worth it. And seeing the snowball effect of that, and her courage, that makes you proud.
Q: What’s been your greatest lesson as a woman in a professional world?
To grow a thicker skin. To be able to handle criticism for what it is and make sense of what it means for you professionally. And as a journalist you’re always going to face a lot of opinions and criticisms and in the beginning it was hard for me, because I’m an emotional person and I feel things. But that’s a positive attribute to my job which I would never want to give up because I connect with people and their emotions and stories every day.
Q: Winnipeg’s best restaurant is…
This is the death knell question because I am a foodie. There’s so many but I`m going to go with Pizzeria Gusto on Academy. It feels urban, it’s loud and the food is consistently good. It’s the first place I had ever had fig jam on a flat bread pizza and now I’m addicted.