Getting to know the team behind NTV News, The Herald catches up with Ross Tilley, correspondent for the Burin Peninsula
It takes a dedicated team to cover the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador in order to effectively provide first looks at in-depth news coverage across the island and beyond. Ross Tilley, reporter for NTV News, works independently to bring all the latest from across the Burin Peninsula.
The Newfoundland Herald caught up with Tilley to talk life behind, and away from, the camera.
Born in Newman’s Cove, Bonavista Bay, Tilley married Ruby Whiffen of Bonavista and the lovebirds had two sons together; Joe and Justin, as well as three grandchildren; Fynn, Rowan and Gia.
“Family is very important to me, and our grandchildren are Ruby’s and my world,” he shared.
Tilley has always had a strong passion for media and entertainment, but it wasn’t always his primary career, or hobby. “I’ve been playing in a band since I’ve been knee-high to a grasshopper. One time we played for dances and got paid for it. Not now, and that’s good too, because you get the feeling that you’re helping somebody. I’m no professional or anything, but I just like to sing and if anybody is foolish enough to sit down and listen to me, then I’ll do it,” Tilley laughed.
After graduating high school from St. Peter’s High in Catalina, he attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where he graduated with a BA in education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He went on to teach in Cow Head and Bonne Bay before heading back to MUN again, graduating with a Masters of Education in Audio and Video this time.
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TEACHER TO REPORTER
He headed back to his teaching career as administrator at Donald C. Jamieson Academy in Burin, where he also served as coordinator for the Jamieson Breakfast Program.
“We like to be involved in the community, Ruby and I,” Tilley shared. “We started a breakfast program at Jamieson Academy, we went for 20 years with it, it’s amazing. We left teaching, to another job and stuff like that, but we couldn’t leave the kids.”
The now dedicated NTV reporter retired from education and joined the NTV News Team, where he’s been reporting for the Burin Peninsula going on 15 years.
“For me to be asked by Mr. Jim Furlong to be a NTV News Reporter on the Burin Peninsula was a dream come true. There was a boating accident in St. Lawrence, and he called to inquire if I could go shoot video footage of the boat that had been towed into the wharf,” Tilley explained. “I sent it to him, and the next day Mr. Furlong called me and asked me to be their representative. Never dreamt something like this could happen to me. I am so honoured to be part of this team, they are an awesome group of colleagues. Their kindness, knowledge, and professionalism helps make my job as a reporter much easier. I love what I do.”
We asked Ross Tilley about the current big talk of the town on the Burin Peninsula, and it came to no surprise that Kaetlyn Osmond and Olympic fever was the first thing out of his mouth.
“It’s a state of Olympic fever down here right now. We spent two days covering the Olympics with the families and the residents. We went out to Robin’s and they had a little rally there for Kaetlyn. The council got involved and they brought in as many people as they could. We had music and the Kaetlyn donut there and everything, celebrating. They’re really proud.”
On a more downside of things, Tilley shared the stress is still ongoing when it comes to the economic situation for the peninsula, and the rest of the island.
“In everybody’s mind now I guess, we’re just praying for jobs. Something to begin and get our economy moving, get people at rest that we can pay our mortgage, or car payment, whatever the case may be,” Tilley explained.
“Saying one day it might turn around doesn’t do much for the guy who’s gotta be paying a mortgage and car payments. To say hey — by 2020 we’re gonna be in a boom again? We need that right now.”
Overall, it’s been a fantastic year for Ross Tilley and the crew at NTV News. Recently, Tilley was asked to be the patron for this years Marystown Lions Club Winter Carnival.
“It was nice, I feel so humbled and so honoured. When they called and said would you be the patron, I said me? Because to me, it’s a top-of-the-line club so to speak. It’s a big deal, especially for me. Life is good!”
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