Media, Darling: Malcolm Johnston

Malcolm Johnston is the front of book editor at Toronto Life magazine. His work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, the Globe and Mail, National Post and more.  



Twitter: @malcjohnston
Website: torontolife.com


Did you always want
to be in the media?
No,
but I suppose I was always decent at putting words together on paper (there’s
gotta be a better way to say that) and eventually realized it was a natural fit.
Along the way I was a sports-camp counsellor and a house painter, taught some
ladies in Burlington how to throw a Frisbee for their dogs – for which I pocketed
a cool, tax-free $60 – contemplated law school and wrote an anti-money laundering
textbook for bank employees.


Where would you like to be five years from now?

Same place and job, but with more abbreviations after my name.

Any advice for people
getting started in your industry?
Suppress
the urge to create a personal brand. You’ll look silly. Just produce great work
and everything will be fine.

What are your
favourite media outlets, not including your own?

Best interview you’ve
ever had?
Recently?
TSN SportsCentre anchor Jay Onrait was pretty cool. We consumed numerous
“brewskis” at his local in Kensington and blabbed for a couple of hours. Very nice
guy and highly candid, which is key. Other notables: Malin Akerman.

Worst?
Scott Speedman,
TIFF 2010. He was perfectly polite; I was unprepared. Never again.

Best advice you’ve
ever been given?
“It
takes all types in this world” – my parents.

What rule(s) do you
live your life by?
Don’t
act like you’re irreplaceable.

What’s the most
important tip you can give PR pros?
For
the love of Christmas, read the publication before you pitch to it.

Best experience
you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
It’s
hit and miss. Those who aren’t control freaks / habitual hoverers are infinitely
preferred.


I hate?
Sloth—the
habit. On the animal, I’m neutral.


I love?

Baseball, coffee.

Reading?
That
too!


Best place on earth?
Laurentian
Mountains, Quebec.

Dinner guest?
My
friend Lowell.

Hero?
My
pops. He’s a gentleman, a battler and very intelligent. Ma ain’t so bad,
neither.

Favourite app (or
whatever you are downloading these days)?
theScore
Mobile; AnkiDroid, a French language app.


Pool or ocean?

Both beat winter in Canada. If I were forced at gunpoint to choose…that
would be a very bizarre scenario. Ocean!

Voicemail or email?
If
it’s a spicy scoop and you don’t want to write it down, call, and quick!
Otherwise, email, please and thanks.

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