CBC Digital Archives

Falling for the optimism

An international correspondent's life can be exhilarating — the travel, the adventure, the sense of being right in the middle of where it's all happening. But it can also be very risky, especially in a war zone. And it can take an emotional toll on even the most seasoned journalist. The job comes with ethical and philosophical considerations, not to mention practical questions — like what do you pack? From the Second World War to present day, CBC Archives examines what it's like to be a CBC journalist abroad.

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When CBC journalist Adrienne Arsenault first began reporting from the Middle East, she thought she knew the story of the age-old conflict. But she soon became aware of its "unbelievable" complexities. As a journalist covering the area, she became so desperate for good news that she started to believe -- sometimes against her better judgment -- that peace was just around the corner. "I find, for me, what strikes me is how often I fall for the optimism," she says wistfully in this 2006 CBC-TV clip. 
• Adrienne Arsenault joined the CBC in 1991 as an editorial assistant. Her first job as foreign correspondent was for the Washington bureau, and then she was Middle East correspondent from 2003 to 2006. She became London correspondent for the CBC in 2006.

• During the 2005 CBC lockout, Arsenault herself became the news when she just missed out on covering a huge Middle East development: the Israeli settler pullout in Gaza. "Instead, she was left sitting in the shade at the fractious settlement of Neve Dekalim as police and protesters faced off, holding up a little 'Locked out by CBC management' sign that she had drawn on her notepad with black ink," wrote the Globe and Mail. The photo of Arsenault holding that message made it into newspapers across Canada.
Medium: Television
Program: Our World
Broadcast Date: 2006-07-15
Guest(s): Adrienne Arsenault
Host: Brian Stewart
Duration: 8:56

Last updated: January 23, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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