Ms. Andrea Canning emboldens young women looking to pursue careers in journalism


Lindsay Benza '23

Ms. Andrea Canning began working as a Dateline correspondent in 2012.

Ms. Andrea Canning, National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and Dateline correspondent, spoke to Upper School students at Sacred Heart Greenwich about her experience as a woman in the media industry, November 19.  The King Street Chronicle and theToday From the Heart” class co-hosted the event.  Ms. Canning shared advice to help female aspiring journalists achieve their goals while navigating challenges within the media industry.

Ms. Canning reports on an episode of the news and documentary television show Dateline.  Courtesy of

Ms. Canning grew up in Ontario, Canada, and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where she received a Master’s Degree in psychology.  Later, she studied radio and television arts at Ryerson Polytechnic University.  She began her career working in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a reporter for WCPO-TV.  Ms. Canning went on to work for the television program Extra TV and was also an intern for the television show Baywatch.  She became a correspondent for American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 2004.

Ms. Canning began her work at Dateline in 2012.  She explained why crime has always intrigued her and elaborated on her experience working for the program.

“It’s really interesting when you break down a Dateline episode from interviewing the families to interviewing the detectives, the investigators, the prosecutors, and the defense attorneys,” Ms. Canning said.  “We really do the whole A to Z with our stories and so you really get to learn how these things happen and how they’re concluded.”

In addition to working at NBC, Ms. Canning is a movie screenwriter for the Hallmark and Lifetime production companies.  She began to write screenplays to remain productive while traveling.  Ms. Canning’s personal experiences have inspired many of her screenplays, including her 2020 Hallmark movie, USS Christmas.  The film takes place on a cruise modeled after the US Naval tiger cruises, which are American naval voyages that allow civilians to accompany a Naval vessel overseas.  Ms. Canning is familiar with these events as her husband served as a fighter pilot and is now in the Marine Corps reserves.  Ms. Canning spoke about the process of developing an idea and transforming it into a movie.

“I went right to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hallmark and said, ‘we should do a tiger cruise movie,’ and right away he thought it was a great idea,” Ms. Canning said.  “We brainstormed with the executive on the project and then finally came up with the idea that it would be a newspaper reporter and her sister is a pilot on the ship.  Her sister convinces her to go on the tiger cruise so, of course, she meets a handsome fighter pilot and then they embark on this Christmas mystery where they find a journal in the old archives of one of the ship’s rooms.”

Ms. Canning visits the Today From the Heart set at Sacred Heart with Isabella Nardis ’24, Olivia Caponiti ’23, and Lindsay Benza ’23.  Courtesy of Ms. Ellyn Stewart

Ms. Canning is a mother to six children.  She discussed the struggles of balancing her family life while working as a journalist.

“I love what I do so I just make it work,” Ms. Canning said.  “I really have a lot of control over my schedule so if I’m doing like a three-day trip, I try to do Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday so the kids are kind of into their school stuff anyway.  So they don’t miss me as much and then a lot of times I won’t go to work Friday.  It’s not easy.”

Ms. Canning also spoke about the challenges of working in the male-dominated media industry.  She shared how her work experiences have changed her for the better, motivating her to work hard and pushing her towards success.

“It’s a bit of a dog-eat-dog world in news,” Ms. Canning said. “You just have to have kind of thick skin and I think your skin grows thicker and thicker all the time the longer you are in the business.”

Featured Image by Lindsay Benza ’23