Throughout her journey on CTV Morning Live, as a reporter since 2009 and host since 2017, Annette Goerner says that taking risks in her career and finding new adventures has always lead to telling great news stories. Off the camera, she enjoys spending time with her family and supporting fundraising events in the city. She speaks on her experiences with mental health, her private life, and her advice for aspiring broadcasters.
What inclined you to make the move from radio to television early on in your career?
My goal was always to work in television. I completed the broadcast journalism program at Fanshawe College which is focused on radio and began working at various radio stations as a reporter and anchor. Following that, I graduated from the television news program and landed my first job in television as a reporter when I was 21, at The New PL in London. Starting in radio was a great way to begin my career in journalism because it allowed me to develop strong writing and interviewing skills that can be used in any media.
Having grown up in Windsor, it was a big move for you to come to Ottawa. What are some of your favourite parts about living in this city?
I fell in love with Ottawa as soon as I moved here in 2007. I lived along the Rideau Canal so I would run along it in summer and skate it in winter. It continues to be my favourite Canadian city and I am proud to call it home.
You travelled to the Philippines to file stories on the work being done by World Vision in 2011. What was the biggest take away you gained from your experience overseas?
Eye-opening, sobering, and astonishing… are words that come to mind when I think about my time with World Vision in the Philippines. The level of poverty I witnessed was something I had never experienced. At times, it took my breath away. I was often moved to tears while trying to report on camera. It was a trip that changed my thinking on poverty and child labour. I met a family whose youngest boy was severely malnourished. Shortly after returning from the trip, I found out he had died.
You have talked a bit about your experience with mental health. Do you try to use your social media platform as a way to help others going through similar struggles?
I’ve talked about my experiences with mental health in order to reach other moms going through similar experiences. I suffered postpartum anxiety and depression during and after both my pregnancies. I know all too well how a new mom can feel isolated and afraid, so that’s why I have spoken publicly about it. I got through it by opening up to other moms in my life. It’s reassuring to know you are not alone in your struggle. I find it’s important that I share that aspect of my life in order to make other women feel supported too.
You have produced stories on some sensitive topics, taking viewers beyond the headlines. Why are you so passionate about telling stories?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had an interest in storytelling. As a little girl, I can remember watching World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, with my dad. I made a scrapbook of newspaper clippings of the Gulf War when I was 10 years old, and another one of the death of Princess Diana. Not for a school project, but just because I knew these events were important. You could say I became a news junkie as a kid! The way I see it, there are always stories to tell. I’m always intrigued to learn more.
In addition to your busy career with CTV, you are also a mom to two daughters, Addi and Isla. Do you ever feel pressured to share your private family life on social media?
I do post about my daughters from time to time because I like to think I’m a pretty relatable person. I’m a mom like so many of our viewers. But I don’t feel pressure to post more about my family because I believe I strike a good balance on social media between my personal life and my work life. I use my social media accounts mostly to keep viewers in the know with what I’m doing for CTV Morning Live.
What is your advice for those just breaking into the broadcasting industry? Would you have done anything differently knowing what you know now?
I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I’ve always been goal oriented and as a result that has kept me driven to succeed. I think the key to that success is being adaptable to an ever-changing industry. When I first started as a videographer I would edit my material tape to tape on a big bulky machine. Fast forward 18 years and it’s all done on computer. There was no such thing as social media either. Today’s reporters are not only filing a story for the news hour, but also on the web and posting to social, all at the same time. My advice: the more you can do, the more employable you are. Learn everything you can learn. Be open to new experiences. And go cut your teeth in a small market!
You are an avid supporter of many fundraising events throughout the city. Is there a specific charity that holds significance for you?
I try to support as many fundraising events as I can. I have always been a big supporter of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and the Ottawa Humane Society. Now that I’m a mother to two little girls, I do whatever I can to support CHEO. I sleep well at night knowing that we have an incredible hospital for our children. I’ve been to the ER with one of my daughters a few times so I know first-hand how much we need to support CHEO.
You are a big fan of spending time outdoors. What are your favourite winter activities to do with your family in Ottawa?
I grew up at the rink! I was a figure skater for 15 years and also coached the sport. So for me, winter means getting out on the ice.
Are you really an aspiring chef? Do you have any other interests that could have been an alternative career path for you?
I have “aspiring chef” on my Instagram bio because some day I aspire to cook a really great meal from scratch. That has yet to happen. I’m a total failure in the kitchen. I envy people who can cook with ease. As far as other career paths…definitely not a chef!
What’s next for you?
That’s a good question! I don’t know. And at this stage in my life, I’m ok with that. I have everything I’ve ever wanted. A beautiful family, my health, and a career I love.