Mariam Ibrahim is no stranger to breaking news; in fact, she has a natural passion for it. As a Provincial Affairs Reporter at the Edmonton Journal, Mariam spent weeks on the campaign trail during Alberta’s recent election. When asked if she was surprised at the NDP majority, her answer was yes. “Even though the polls indicated the NDP were gaining strength, the polls are usually wrong about the outcome,” said Miriam. “It was hard to believe that our 44-year old PC government could be toppled in such a big way.”
Mariam joined the political beat in September 2013, just four months before Allison Redford resigned.
It’s been astonishing to watch the pace of change – at breakneck speed we’ve had four premiers and a complete change of government in only 18 months.
Social media played a key role in her coverage of the latest election. She found the tools very useful in following candidates and monitoring the pundits. While the various social media platforms made her job more difficult, mainly because of all the sources she had to monitor, it was also made easier because the people who typically follow political journalists often tweeted to suggest new angles and story ideas.
Mariam believes that rapid dissemination of information in the way it goes out today would not have happened even five years ago.
It is fascinating to watch how stories proliferate – how quickly the news cycle can spin into controversy, scandal, or a big story.
With an Honors BA in Political Science from McMaster University and a Journalism Diploma from MacEwan University, Mariam started at the Edmonton Journal in 2009 as a Crime Bureau Reporter. It gave her insights into the police and law system and helped her enhance and hone her skills as a reporter.
I had to work quickly, often by the side of the road. It was challenging to find sources and stay connected. I learned to be not only fearless in gathering information, but compassionate in dealing with victims and their families.
In addition to her fearlessness compassion, she is a strong advocate for transparency and public access to information, social justice issues and multicultural affairs.
She is also no stranger to success. In 2012, her feature stories on Homicide: Beyond the Numbers earned her an Eppy Award for best news or feature event. A subsequent piece on the Slave Lake wildfires garnered a National Newspaper Award citation of merit.
With a variety of stories to choose from in her journalism career, one of her favorites is the poignant retrospective piece she wrote about victims’ families one year after the Hub Mall shootings.
I was so touched by the willingness of those families to share the impact of that life-shattering event. What a privilege we have as reporters to hear their stories.
Her most memorable story on the political beat was the day Allison Redford resigned.
The media was filled with the controversy and the scandal. Resentment and anger had risen to a fever pitch. It was so surreal to watch the premier, in one 15-minute speech, stoically resign.
As the new government settles in, you can be assured that Mariam Ibrahim will be on the lookout for the next breaking story.