Krystle Hewitt Found Her Passion for Sharing Stories in Western's MMJC Program
Krystle's hometown: Brampton, Ontario
Krystle strives to leave her comfort zone behind and is constantly looking for new perspectives through which to view the world around her.
Krystle Hewitt always had a plan. Journalism was the name and a master’s degree was the game, and she knew Western’s Master of Media in Journalism and Communication (MMJC) program was the right fit.
Since graduating from the MMJC program, Krystle has been working as a freelance chase producer at CTV News Channel in Toronto. She was hired after a 10-week internship with CTV that she completed as part of her master’s degree. Krystle never envisioned herself working in television, but she decided to pursue the internship upon the recommendation of her digital production professor, Mark Rayner.
“I took to the job really, really well,” Krystle said. “Everything sort of clicked and it made sense.”
Two and a half years later, Krystle is thriving in her role as a “chaser.” The research and critical thinking skills she learned in Western’s communication and journalism program have continued to evolve throughout her professional career. She is constantly finding creative story angles and leveraging the pre-interview skills she picked up from working on the MMJC class projects.
Krystle is in a book club with two other MMJC'17 grads. The three of them find time to meet every month to drink wine and discuss books.
Even though she describes herself as a “shy person,” Krystle is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of her comfort zone. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Political Science, and studied abroad for a year in Switzerland.
But, when she entered the MMJC program, Krystle struggled with feeling confident in approaching people for interviews. She quickly realized how rewarding it felt after interviewing a barber—someone who she wouldn’t normally have the chance to talk to—for one of her first assignments.
As a chase producer, Krystle is assigned five to seven assignments per day. Her job is to find voices for interview segments, pre-interview each person, write suggested questions for the news anchor and package everything for air. It involves scouting people all over the country while at her desk in the Toronto newsroom. At this point, Krystle is a pro at making people feel comfortable enough to share their stories with her.
One particular moment in Krystle’s career that she’ll remember forever was when she was covering a story about the government’s issuance of apologies to LGBTQ+ military members. While working on this story, she met a man who had been mistreated while in service. Krystle later received a thank you card from him for “helping to make a difference.”
“It left a lasting impression on me because that reflected what we as journalists try to do—we help people to tell their stories and shed light on injustice,” she explained.
The tight deadlines and high-pressure situations make it easy to feel discouraged in Krystle’s line of work. However, the importance of sharing people’s stories and reporting the truth “reminds me of why this work is important and valuable,” Krystle said. “And it reminds me of why I wanted to get into this field.”
The MMJC program has allowed many students to launch successful careers in journalism, communications, marketing and other media-focused industries. If you’re interested in starting your media career, apply to Western’s MMJC program to Start Your Story!
Profiles in the Start Your Story blog are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.