“The idea of always trying to uncover the truth, and tell people’s stories, appealed to me and it’s why I wanted to be a journalist.”
Sonia Sunger was born and raised in Victoria, BC, in a household where “opinions were always welcomed, and we were encouraged to speak our minds.” Such openness no doubt fed into her natural inquisitiveness. “I wanted to be a journalist from an early age. Around the age of 13 was when I decided I wanted to pursue that career. I told my parents, and they were fully supportive. They never pushed a career down my throat. They let me decide, and I am very thankful to them for that support.”
While still in high school, Sonia had the opportunity to visit a television news station in Victoria and saw first-hand what it was like to be a journalist. “I just fell in love with the medium, pursuing stories, breaking those stories down in ways people could understand, and them communicating and getting the message out.” Upon graduating high school, she moved to Montreal to pursue a degree in journalism.
While pursuing her degree, Sonia decided to reach out to a News Director in Edmonton and asked for a meeting, with the intent of gaining some experience during the summer months. “I started shadowing journalists, did that for about two weeks, and then was offered a few shifts,” Sonia recalls. “As a reporter new to the industry, you learn as you go. It forces you to learn quickly.”
Sonia decided to remain in Edmonton and not return to Montreal, as she figured she already had a foot in the door and wanted to remain in a newsroom. Sonia enrolled in a broadcasting program in Edmonton, going to school Mondays to Fridays while working at the news station on the weekends. “Within six months of starting, I had filed my first on-air report.”
A new opportunity to return to British Columbia arose in 2013 with the launch of a new 24-hour news channel. Sonia was the weekday anchor for BC-1 in the morning hours. “I saw a lot of potentials; it was a new opportunity, a chance to be part of something new and exciting.” She moved over to the Global BC morning show in October 2016. As morning show host, Sonia has had the opportunity to let her personality shine, covering not just hard journalistic stories but also being able to showcase other newsworthy items that are entertaining and informative for viewers. The role “includes all parts of what I love about journalism, about what I love about broadcasting.”
During her free time, Sonia enjoys cooking healthy food and working out. “I think I work out more for my mind than anything else. And I sit so much at work, I’m inside an office, so when I’m off, I need to get out and sweat.” She also enjoys spending time with her husband; as Sonia wakes up at 2:30 in the morning, and is at work by 3:30 am, finding time together often involves juggling schedules. “We always make sure to find time for each other.”
Sonia believes, in addition to the support of her parents, that her persistence and perseverance have been the qualities that have lead to her success. “As a journalist, you must be persistent. That’s what makes most journalists successful. You have to work hard. For anyone pursuing any career, understand it is going to be hard work, and be persistent.”
Catch Sonia Singer and her broadcast partner Paul Haysom weekday mornings on Global TV British Columbia.