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A new editor for a new era

Photo: David Trattles
It’s an understatement to say that much has changed at Canadian Geographic since Eric Harris began working at the magazine as an assistant editor in 1984. “Then it was just typewriters and telephones,” says Harris. “But over the years, we’ve jumped on every technological innovation — typesetters, the web, e-mail, digital photography, direct-to-plate printing, Facebook — to improve the quality and impact of what readers see in the magazine.”

That’s the spirit of innovation Harris intends to continue as Canadian Geographic’s newly appointed editor-in-chief, the eighth in its 79-year history.

With 35 years of journalism experience under his belt, Harris has a strong vision for where the magazine is headed. “Every story should be timely and compelling, about people whose work and passion has relevance to all Canadians,” he says. “I’d also like to strengthen the links between the web side and the print side of the magazine, to encourage readers to be more involved and to express their views.”

A native of Montréal, Harris graduated from Ottawa’s Carleton University, where he studied sociology and anthropology, and began his journalism career in 1974 as a reporter and reviewer at The Montreal Star. He succeeds Rick Boychuk, who spent 14 years in the top post. Under Boychuk’s editorship, Canadian Geographic won dozens of awards, including Magazine of the Year honours at the 2001 National Magazine Awards.

“My goal is to build on Rick’s legacy,” says Harris, an honourary Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. “By channelling the voices of a generation of writers, photographers, editors, artists, scientists and everyday people with extraordinary stories to tell, he made an enormous contribution to the national dialogue. I hope to help stimulate that lively conversation.”

— Margo McCaffrey

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