NEWS
03/27/2017 19:00 EDT | Updated 03/28/2018 01:12 EDT

Veteran journalist still giving back in retirement

While he may be enjoying his retirement in Summerside, P.E.I., doing historical research, Louis Cooper still has time to help others like he did during his long career as a journalist.

Cooper began his career in 1954 as a summer relief copy boy at the Sun newspaper in Sydney, Australia.

After finishing high school he continued to work for the Sun while finishing a four year journalism course in three years. He then went on to write for radio.

'Whatever skills I have of writing or media relations, I'm more than happy to help.'- Louis Cooper

"I learned an interesting lesson there where you write for the listening ear."

Cooper continued to write for radio, newspapers and magazines before he began writing, directing and producing for the television newscasts with  Australia Broadcasting Corporation in Melbourne.

On to Canada

After getting married in 1968 - "I'm still married, next year is our fiftieth wedding anniversary," - the couple emigrated to Canada two years later.

"One of the things you needed at that time was employment in Canada," said Cooper pointing out while he didn't have a job, a descriptive letter from a newspaper in Saskatoon moved the agent to tears and their paperwork was stamped.

"And in 1970 we arrived in Toronto and I immediately went to CBC...I said 'I'm her now' and I got 45 minutes with Knowlton Nash."

New challenges

After that meeting, Cooper went to meet Peter Truman, the executive producer of The National who after a 10-minute meeting gave him a job.

By 1971, he was the national assignment editor for the nightly newscast.

"That was a lot of fun, tiring but a lot of fun."

In 1976, Cooper's job was to co-ordinate all of CBC's resources for television news across Canada and around the world.

Cooper would go on to work for CBS News in New York as the senior foreign producer.

'More than happy to help'

Many in the journalism industry credit Cooper for teaching them a lot about the news business.

"I guess I showed by example more than anything because news always has been and still is... it has always been something that has to be honest, it has to inform, it has to tell a story so that people can be interested in it."

After his retirement and relocation to the Island, Cooper has been helping other young journalists.

"Whatever skills I have of writing or media relations, I'm more than happy to help."

That giving back recently garnered an award for Cooper from the Summerside Historical Society for his efforts to record and preserve the history of the community and for his efforts mentoring young people in the area.

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