In The Spotlight with CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee

Mi-Jung Lee has been a fixture in the B.C News scene for more than two decades. Born in Choon Chun, South Korea, she has called Vancouver her home since she was four-years old. Growing up, Mi-Jung was always passionate about reading and writing and this passion continued throughout university where she pursued a degree in English Literature. Her mother’s suggestion that she consider Journalism, changed Mi-Jung’s career path.

Along with an award-winning career as a reporter and anchor and currently CTV News’ senior investigative reporter and anchor, Mi-Jung has also successfully balanced a job in the spotlight and a family with her husband and two teenaged son’s. I had a chance to ask Mi-Jung, how she manages to find ‘the right balance.’

2013 Christmas Photo

As a well-known television anchor and reporter, how does being in the spotlight affect you and your family?

I have to be on my best behavior in public. ?  No embarrassing Larry David moments allowed for me.  Our boys get a kick out of the fact I’m a reporter and anchor.  They also love the small reporter roles I’ve had in movies shot in Vancouver like X-Men 2.  People sometimes like to chat with me when we’re out, but my family is used to it.

How do you manage to find the right balance between career and family?

The balance shifts as your children grow, as your career changes.  Each working parent has to find the right combination, knowing that it can change next week depending on what’s happening in your career.  There are times when you need to focus more energy on your career.  The goal is not to feel frazzled or stressed when the scale is tipping in one direction more than another.  And don’t be afraid to accept help.  When our kids were younger, we lived two doors down from my parents and they were great at being our part-time nannies.

Is balancing easier now that your boys are older?

It’s easier because they are much more independent and can walk to and from school by themselves.  I highly recommend living in walking distance of your kids’ school, so you don’t have to worry about the drop off and pick up.  Parenting gets more complicated because your kids’ emotional needs become more complicated as they get older.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

There are so many pros to my job.  I love meeting inspiring people from all walks of life.  I like crafting a story and I like telling a story – whether it’s through a report or from reading a newscast.  I like being first with a story that nobody else has and then watch as others try to follow.

Mi-Jung at Work
Photo by Shelley Moore

What is the best thing about being a parent?

I love seeing their characters develop.  I’m proud of them when I hear of how they’ve been kind to someone at school.  And there is nothing more rewarding than seeing how much our boys love each other.

What is the most challenging thing about being a mom?

The kids.  Planning and executing dinner is challenging when I come home around 6:30.  I’m trying to make it a team effort, but I’m still the quarterback so I feel the pressure.  I always feel I’ve been defeated if we have to order in.   With teenagers, it’s a challenge to get them to do what you want.  They often have a different idea of what’s best.  Parental command and control is definitely more efficient.  But as they get older,  the challenge is to inspire them to be self-motivated.

What things do you like to do together as a family?

Bike riding, tennis, cross-country skiing, hiking.

If you ever get some “ME” time, what do you do?

I like to run.  I like to read.

What is once piece of parenting advice you have learned over the years that you can share with readers?

Live close to your kids’ school. They walk more, they have their friends over to our house.  Invariably they will forget something and guess who gets to make a quick run to the school on her way to work?

In this age of helicopter parents, I think it’s great to encourage some acts of independence at an early age, like getting your kids to go to the store and buy some groceries.  It’s a win win.  They learn some valuable skills and it helps with running the household.  That’s more than one piece of advice!

You can watch Mi-Jung Lee on CTV News. You can also follow her on Twitter @CTVMiJungLee and like her on Facebook at CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee.


9 thoughts on “In The Spotlight with CTV’s Mi-Jung Lee

  1. Great interview. I love to read about strong women who inspire me. I really appreciated her honesty about finding it difficult sometimes when she feels like the “quarterback.” I can relate.

  2. i would have never heard about her if it was not through UBC and then your blog. nice interview.she is a perfect example of women who manage multiple things in life.

  3. Great interview, Salma!

    I’m sending the link to my niece – a working mum who’s just taken a career break to start in her own business. I think she’ll find this useful.

    After hanging with my niece and her two and six year olds, I have no idea how mums manage to find the energy to function!

  4. Great post and awesome interview. Your questions were great and I concur with Mi-Jung on the living close to your kids’ school and the reward of them being more independent.

  5. Interesting post. Always interested in the moms who are involved in higher level careers, and how they are able to lead two (at least) lives.

  6. Mi-Jung is a great reporter. She is one of the best in Vancouver and her view point is always neutral, never biased. I used to be a reporter myself in Hong Kong, so I can tell a good reporter from bad one.
    I would like to see Mi-Jung in the anchor role more, whenever an opportunity opens up in the future, definitely not the 11:30 pm news, as she has to balance her family role.
    Anyway, great interview and great info for everyone!

  7. Great interview. I know we lived close to our boys school when they were younger. They loved walking to school and stopping in the park to play on the way home. Helps to get them outside for longer periods of time and away from those computer and video games.

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