SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD Taryn Audet was beyond nervous when she auditioned in front of five experienced journalists inside the CBC newsroom in Vancouver.
The Sutherland secondary student is one of just 30 high school students who have been selected to participate in the CBC's annual News Day in British Columbia journalism initiative. There were 500 applications from the Metro Vancouver area alone.
"I was terrified," she said. "They wanted to see your personality, who you are and what you can do in front of the camera."
Audet and the 29 other students will be reporting on news stories and issues that occur throughout the day today.
Their stories will be heard on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition, On the Coast and B.C. Almanac. Students selected for television will see their stories on CBC's evening newscasts while print stories will be available in the Vancouver Sun and on cbc.ca.
In addition to being a News Day reporter, Audet will also receive a $1,000 scholarship from Sylvan Learning.
The prospective journalists were required to come up with a story idea that they found compelling. Audet's story idea was focused around the Liberal Party of Canada's decision to advocate for the legalization of marijuana and how it would impact teen life.
"I was looking for something different," she said. "I wanted something controversial and something that no one else would do."
"Everyone had an opinion," she said. "If my class is that passionate about it and has such strong opinions, there have got to be other people out there who feel the same way."
Not long after her audition, Audet was checking her email messages when she received the big news.
"All my friends were around me," Audet said. "I couldn't even read the email. I just kept staring at the headline that said 'Congratulations'."
On the big day, Audet has been told she will be doing a TV interview with a representative from Sylvan Learning. She will only be allowed to ask three questions regarding the importance of developing proper research and writing skills in high school before studying journalism at a post-secondary institution.
While Audet has had some minor experiences being in front of the camera, News Day will be completely different.
"It's showing me a whole new world. I've never had this experience. I've never done anything like this and that's what makes this so special," Audet said. "It's opening a whole bunch of new doors for me."
Audet currently writes for her high school paper at Sutherland secondary. She is also part of a journalism class at the school where she has been able to cover everything from sports stories to the issue of homophobia.
"My very first article was on the Vancouver riot because I was downtown," she said. "It's been a really wide array of stuff."
This summer she will be heading to Columbia University in New York for a three week writing program ,and intends to study journalism either at Simon Fraser University or McGill University.
"Hopefully I am writing from exotic places 10 years from now," she said.
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