As a correspondent for Dateline NBC, Andrea Canning does not forget the people she meets and the difficult stories they share with her.
Canning still checks in with the parents of Skylar Neese, who was murdered by her two best friends when she was 16 years old. The story stuck with the journalist, who has five girls of her own.
“My heart really went out to the parents,” she said.
Dateline is NBC’s longest running primetime show and is set to begin its 26th season on Friday, Sept. 29. Canning joined NBC in 2012 and has covered breaking news stories including the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon Bombing.
Canning said that her job as a Dateline NBC correspondent has helped her to understand “what makes someone tick.”
She said it helps her to read people outside of the job; not much gets past her at this point. Her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Western Ontario in London also contributes to her ability to figure people out. Canning said she did not know she would become a journalist as a college student.
“I don’t believe that your degree has to define what your job is going to be,” she said.
Her career took off when she began an internship with Extra, where she worked her way up and eventually made a resume tape and a reel. This launched her into local news.
She stressed the importance of the willingness to start small. According to Canning, anybody can succeed if they work hard at it.
Before joining NBC, Canning served as an ABC News correspondent, where she met Diane Sawyer. She described her as an elegant woman whom she had a lot of respect for.
“Her work ethic was incredible,” Canning said. “She was a real role model.”
Today, the most exciting part of Canning’s job is when a story is finished and she is able to watch all of the hard work and manpower that went into creating an hour or two of television. Everybody plays an important role in making the finished product, she said.
Canning says that Dateline fans can expect fascinating stories in the upcoming season, twelve of which will be two hour episodes.
Sarah Maddox is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.