Area of ExpertiseFeature writing and analysis; federal politics and public policy
Shannon Proudfoot is a feature writer in The Globe and Mail's Ottawa Bureau.
A feature writer by nature, she loves the hidden complexities and human side of politics and big news moments - not just what happened, but what it looked and felt like, who made it happen and why. An incurable 'process nerd,' she's convinced anything is fascinating if you watch long enough and ask enough questions to understand how it works. Shannon was raised in a working-class family in Sault Ste. Marie and can't quite shake her fascination with how social class figures in public life - or, more often, how we ignore it.
Before joining The Globe, she was the Ottawa bureau chief for Maclean's and wrote for Sportsnet magazine, Postmedia News and the Ottawa Citizen.
Why did you become a journalist?
I have a framed print on my desk right beside my keyboard that says "Don't forget to tell us how weird it is." It's a line from the foreword to "McCain's Promise," David Foster Wallace's book-length account of the 2000 Republican primary campaign, and that sentence is the advice American political writer Jacob Weisberg always gives to new journalists. It's become my mantra as a not-so-new journalist, too. One of the biggest thrills and privileges of journalism is getting to go where other people can't and act as a tour guide bringing back bits of what we get to see on their behalf. The weird stuff along the margins - the stage management, the emotional reactions, the messiness, the difference between what people say and what they mean - usually seems the most illuminating to me. It's those pieces that often get discarded on the cutting-room floor that I most love scooping up and stitching back together to tell the story. I figure that since our press passes get us behind so many rope lines, our job is to come back and share with readers exactly what it looked and felt like on the other side.
Years in Journalism
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Art History, Western University
Bachelor of Journalism, Toronto Metropolitan University
Honours & Awards
Twelve-time finalist, gold winner (2022) and three-time silver winner (2012, 2015 and 2020) at the National Magazine Awards
Canadian Association of Journalists best feature winner 2015 for "Slipping Away."