CBC North can be 'incubator' for Northern talent, says new managing editor

·3 min read
'I really do feel a big sense of responsibility for CBC North, and what we do. I think growing up here and having it being a part of my life, you know, as a child, kind of imbues that in you a little bit,' says Garrett Hinchey, who took over as CBC's North's managing editor last month. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)
'I really do feel a big sense of responsibility for CBC North, and what we do. I think growing up here and having it being a part of my life, you know, as a child, kind of imbues that in you a little bit,' says Garrett Hinchey, who took over as CBC's North's managing editor last month. (Walter Strong/CBC - image credit)

When Garrett Hinchey began his journalism career at CBC North about eight years ago, it didn't take long for him to settle on a lofty goal — he wanted to become managing editor.

"Within about a year, I think I knew that I wanted to do this one day," Hinchey said, soon after his recent appointment to the position.

"I didn't expect it would come along this quickly, to be honest with you. But you can't really choose when the opportunity arises. I think you can just be ready for it."

Hinchey is Métis and was born and raised in Yellowknife. Before his recent appointment, he played many roles in the CBC North newsroom in his hometown — working as a reporter, copy editor, social media presenter, and assignment producer.

As managing editor, Hinchey now oversees all of CBC North's journalism and programming. That might involve handling tricky questions around CBC's journalistic standards and practices, and legal issues.

It also means that Hinchey has his eye on the bigger picture — setting goals, guiding bigger projects or investigations, and just generally making sure that CBC North is representing and serving its audience in all three territories.

"I'm very, very excited to get a chance to step into this chair ... and try and make a difference in what we can provide to our audience, which, you know, for me is my neighbours and friends, people I've grown up with," he said.

"I really do feel a big sense of responsibility for CBC North, and what we do. I think growing up here and having it being a part of my life, you know, as a child, kind of imbues that in you a little bit."

Hinchey says one of his big goals is to see more Indigenous languages represented on all of CBC North's platforms — radio, TV and online.

Walter Strong/CBC
Walter Strong/CBC

"Right now we do really amazing stuff in Indigenous languages, but it's pretty much limited to the radio," he said.

"And I think there's an opportunity to really lead online with that. That's going to take some time ... but I think there's a real chance there for us to kind of lead the way, and lead the country even."

He's based at the CBC building in Yellowknife, but Hinchey says he hopes to travel often to the other territories.

He says CBC North has a unique opportunity and responsibility as the largest media organization in the North.

Hinchey would like to see the public broadcaster work more collaboratively with other local media, and find ways to "fill in the gaps" by doing what may be more difficult for others — for example, focusing on more community reporting, or giving opportunities to young Northerners with stories to tell.

"I want to be kind of an incubator for Northern talent in particular," he said.

"If you're out there and you're a writer, you're a videographer, you're an editor — especially if you're living in a community that we don't normally get to — we're so interested in working with you. And I don't think people realize that those opportunities exist."

CBC job postings can be found online, but Hinchey also encourages Northerners to simply get in touch if they're looking for opportunities.

"Come find us and we'll figure out a way to work together," he said.

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