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Meet the Team: Freelance reporter Maddie Johnson

Johnson shares some of her passion for adventure and telling people's story
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Maddie Johnson is a freelance reporter for CollingwoodToday.ca.

This month, we'd like to introduce one more member of our editorial team: Maddie Johnson. 

Johnson is a freelance reporter for CollingwoodToday whose work includes business stories and features as part of our Community Leaders Program. 

Her twice-a-month Rooted stories usually dive into a piece of community history or neighbourhood stories.

Once a month, she writes about something delicious for Let's Eat.  

And you'll also catch some uplifting news in her regular Success features. 

Enjoy this Q and A with Maddie:

1.Where did you attend post-secondary school, and what did you study?

A: I went to the University of King's College in Halifax, NS where I received a combined honours degree in Journalism and International Development Studies. 

2. What drew you to freelance journalism? 

I was drawn to journalism in general because I love storytelling. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and as a freelance journalist, I get to help share their story with the world. 

3. What have been some of the highlights of your journalism career so far?

Hmm, that is a tough question... So far I have found myself in some incredibly inspiring — and incredibly weird — situations, and I have learned something from every single one of them. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • This past summer I had the pleasure of writing a three-part series about twin brothers who attempted to swim 32 km across Georgian Bay to raise money for mental health. It was a heartwarming, heart wrenching and humbling experience, and I am so grateful I got the chance to witness this journey and share their story. 
  • I used to write a weekly series called Bold, which featured stories about the great outdoors, adventure sports and eco-tourism. While researching topics for this series, I checked a lot of things off of my bucket list — and some that weren't even on there to begin with. From fat biking and caving to skydiving and sailing, I tried something new every week. Once, I even got to do yoga with goats. 
  • Prior to moving to Collingwood, I interned at a travel magazine in Costa Rica. Learning how to uncover and communicate stories in another country was challenging in the best way. I got to learn all about San Jose's "barrios," reveal strides in renewable energy, and hike a historic volcano. One time I was sent to an uninhabited island for the day just to write about it. 

4. What brought you to the area?

The diverse landscape and active lifestyle. 

5. What are your favourite stories to write? 

I like to write profiles on passionate people. Whether that passion is social justice, extreme adventure, building a business or beekeeping, there is something incredibly inspiring about listening to someone talk about something they are particularly passionate about.

6. What do you find is the most challenging part of writing a story? 

Headlines, for sure. Thank goodness for my witty and very talented editor, Erika Engel. 

7. What is one of your journalism career goals and/or dream story? 

One day I would love to accompany someone on some sort of multi-day adventure or expedition, or write someone's biography. 

If you've been enjoying Maddie's writing, let us know at news@collingwoodtoday.ca.


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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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