The Lunchroom

From Lifestyles 55 January 2018 issue:

Our dear Joan Cohen has finally been liberated from the world of work and is giving herself some time to see life from a position of well-deserved leisure. Although she says is 29 (but only admits to 25), Joan has reached a point in her life where smelling the roses is more rewarding than writing about them.

Joan may have been bitten by the journalism bug as a student at the University of Manitoba, where was co-editor of the Manitoban and campus correspondent for the Winnipeg Free Press.

She went on to have an interesting career as a journalist, at one time working for farm newspapers. She went to Montreal early in life and worked for the Family Herald. Among her publishers and employers were Southam News Services, CBC, the Montreal Star, and the Ottawa Citizen and on three occasions the Winnipeg Free Press, where she was Ottawa bureau chief when I first met her. She was also with Observer Foreign News Service in Europe (on the production side). Over her years in the business, she interviewed many interesting people, including Pierre Elliot Trudeau and world famous Canadian Opera tenor, Jon Vickers. Early in her career, she wrote speeches for Lester B. Pearson.

Growing up, Joan had one clear ambition, she says, and that was to “always be right”. Any piece she ever wrote was as accurate as it could possibly be. She was a stickler for understanding the background and checking facts, something many of today’s “journalists” could learn a lot about. She kept her style book always at hand and made sure that consistency was uppermost. I still follow her rules instinctively.



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