Dani Mario credits School of Journalism for her career success

By Dale Johnson Posted: January 15, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Dani Mario is the news director at CTV Saskatoon.
Dani Mario is the news director at CTV Saskatoon. Photo courtesy of Stephen Kent

Dani Mario has packed a lot into her journalism career since she graduated from the University of Regina’s School of Journalism in 2009. She’s been a reporter, editor and host with CBC radio in Saskatchewan, and for the past year she has been news director at CTV Saskatoon.

“U of R grads are known for being multi-skilled, and it’s made it easier for me to confidently step up in a number of different roles,” explains Mario, who did an internship as a reporter with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper, and worked as a stringer and freelancer for Thomson Reuters in Mongolia, providing articles to the Beijing bureau.

Mario demonstrated a passion for journalism long before she enrolled at the University of Regina – or even started high school.

“I had a hand-drawn leaflet as a kid called ‘Kidz Newz.’ I’d photocopy the original, and hand out the copies to homes around the neighbourhood. I took it pretty seriously. I even had a few friends helping out. I guess we weren’t really appealing to our audience, though. Other kids teased me a bit about it, and after all of that, journalism was one of those career paths that I’d shuffled into the same pile as ‘astronaut’, or ‘professional basketball player.’ It seemed like a pipe dream, but now I find it silly that I would have ever considered anything else,” she recalls.

And she says going to the U of R was the obvious choice.

“I grew up in Regina, and going to another school was never really seriously considered. The School of Journalism in Regina offered small classes, paid internships and I saw a lot of alumni who succeeded after finishing their classes.”

So Mario enrolled in pre-journalism classes and wrote for the student newspaper, the Carillon. She earned her BA in Journalism with distinction, and her minor was political science.

“I met a lot of great people at the U of R. My earlier arts classes opened the doors to a lot of friendships with people who were exploring different disciplines, and that was fantastic. What was even greater was the opportunity to step into a classroom of two dozen other people who had the same passion for news and current affairs that I did. There’s a lot of diversity in opinion and experience at the School of Journalism, but there is the common passion as well.”

Mario returned from her stint in Mongolia in 2010 and found work at CBC in Regina. She reported for CBC radio and television and filled in on the anchor desk. That experience earned her a position as the news host at CBC television in Saskatoon, where she remained on the job for more than a year.

Now, Mario is working behind the scenes at Saskatoon’s highest rated TV news operation, making key editorial decisions. Mario has absolutely no regrets about her choice of career and university.

“If I could go back and do it all again, I’d do it the same way. It’s a proven program that puts you in a good position for employment and success. It’s fun going to work at something you really care about.”

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