He used to be bullied for his stutter. Now this N.L. broadcaster is up for a national award

He used to be bullied for his stutter. Now this N.L. broadcaster is up for a national award

His job title is program director, but Steve Hiscock pretty much does it all at the Burgeo Broadcasting System. And he overcame a huge hurdle in order to get where he is today.

After five years at the station, his skills both in front of and behind the camera and microphone have earned him a nomination for a national award from an association of independent cable companies.

But Hiscock was not always able to speak with the same ease that he does today.

In his younger years, he spoke with a significant stutter that was the target of bullying and ridicule from his classmates.

"In class, I didn't want to read out," Hiscock said. "I knew that the kids would be looking over at me and snickering whenever I stumbled on my words. My mother tried to help and took me to speech therapy."

As he matured, Hiscock developed his own techniques to improve his speech, some of which he still uses.

It would mean the world. - Steve Hiscock

"I learned it all had to do with my breathing," he said. "If I was to try to sing, I would not stutter. Another technique is that if I am talking to you one on one, you might not see me look you straight in the face, because that's a little less intimidating."

Speaking to a camera is not an obstacle for Hiscock, as he's usually alone in the studio when filming shows.

He's gained a lot of broadcasting knowledge in his time with BBS, filling virtually every role to get shows on the air. He even developed a character that he portrays from time to time.

"I am the filmer, the editor, the producer, the interviewer, the newscaster and the broadcaster — I'm a one-man news crew," Hiscock said.

"I do have a character I devised. He's an old Newfoundlander and he likes to have some fun and go out and visit parts of the town. If he can put a smile on one person's face then that's his goal."

National award nomination

Hiscock credits a story on CBC Newfoundland and Labrador's Here & Now for drawing attention to his work.

"Last year in February, CBC's own Anthony Germain got interested in the BBS and came down and did a story on the studio and what I do down there," he said. "It's not very often you see a person who stuttered on a newscast and to have the confidence to do that kind of thing."

He says a nomination for a Canadian Communications System Alliance Tuned-In Canada award for his work with BBS is a huge honour. He's shortlisted in the category of best on-camera community channel personality. He'd like to win, but not for selfish reasons.

"It would mean the world," Hiscock said.

"I don't want to win the award for myself. If I do win the award, there is $1,000 for a local charity. If I do win it, I'll donate it to the Burgeo Academy school snack program. The school in Burgeo is one of the best avenues for news for their concerts, graduations and assemblies and so on. They are pretty good to me in my work."

The winners of the Tuned-In awards will be announced May 29.

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