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Ways We Work

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Matthew Kang

Journalist at CBC

Born in Ottawa, raised in London, and a graduate of the University of Toronto's political science program and Seneca College's journalism program, Matthew Kang moved to Kitchener-Waterloo in 2010 from Bonn, Germany where he was working as a reporter for the English service of Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster. Matthew first worked as a TV reporter with CTV Kitchener. He was later recruited in 2013 by the CBC to help establish a brand new radio and digital station for Waterloo Region and the surrounding area.

What do you do?

I work as a journalist with the CBC in Kitchener-Waterloo. My primary role is reporting for radio and the web, but I really do a little bit of everything including producing, editing, photography and shooting video. Our work is mostly for local audiences in Waterloo Region, but some of our bigger stories often get featured across the country.

Aside from the news, my other main thing is b-boying, or breakdancing, if you can believe it! I've been dancing since 1999 and I'm in one of Canada's most well known crews, Ground Illusionz, which is based in Toronto/Mississauga.

How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?

I try to consume all kinds of media and dissect how interesting pieces are put together and executed.

One thing I often do is look at pieces that aren't news related, and see what inspiration I can collect and apply to news stories in terms of presentation. It's the same way a DJ will sample old records for sounds to make new beats. One particular project that I am feeling right now is RedBull's online videos on music.

I also like to check out interviews of other journalists and creative people in other fields to see how they describe their day and workflow process. Whether it's Brian Williams, Karl Lagerfeld or Tokimonsta, I'm interested to know more.

What are your top five applications or programs?

These are the ones I use the most these days for work:

DaletPlus - For audio editing.

Adobe Premiere



Polopoly - A content management program we use at the CBC for all our online stories.

Best way to stay on top of email?

Check often, reply quickly and be pre-emptive about marking all the email that isn't important to you as "read".

What is your best time-saving trick?

Prioritize your tasks, make lists, and work smart. Also, find time to take a break. You get a surge of energy when you come back to whatever you're doing.

One non-tech thing you can’t live without?

Meaningful face to face conversation. It's even more important and special now in the age of text messages and social media.

What does your workspace look like?

I try to keep my desk clean so I actually have space to work and lay things out. I always have a pen and notepad ready to go as well.

I also like to have things around that remind me of my past, or my mentality towards things. The Lego man in a suit with a video camera reminds me of when I used to work as a TV reporter.

The model Porsche 959 is for my memories of working in Germany. It also reminds me to try to be forward thinking in what we do in the newsroom. When that car came out in 1987, it was so advanced and expensive to make that the company was losing money on every single unit. But it pioneered so much for Porsche that today the 959 is in the DNA of many of the current models you see on the road.

Structure of your typical day, how do you divide your time?

I normally start later in the afternoon and work late nights, so I wake up early to get all my personal stuff done in the morning. Every day is a little different at work and because breaking news can happen at any time, I don't really have a set structure. I just work on tasks based on priority.

What is the greatest piece of career advice/wisdom you've ever received?

When I was a TV reporter, I had the opportunity to interview Lloyd Robertson in Stratford at the first radio station he ever worked for, after he announced he was retiring from CTV National News.

"You've got to do your best every single time you go out," was one of the things he said during our chat about broadcasting, and it stuck with me ever since.

Who would you like to see featured on Ways We Work?

Sam Trieu, who works at Communitech. We worked together on Open Streets Uptown Waterloo and she is insanely organized and gets things done fast. Also Alnoor Keshvani, who runs Loop Clothing in Waterloo.