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It's the regular run of things for writers, journalists, broadcasters and artists to believe that shining their light on the human experience requires a questing spirit that can only be satisfied by exploring the ends of the earth. Quite true for many, but not for all; there is an equally intrepid breed that finds all the truth it needs on home turf, round the corner, in the local or down the shops.

The best cultivate a kindred yet critical bond with their city that elevates them to become a mirror and a mouthpiece for the people. Monocle's questing spirit took us to five cities to find five voices that speak the mind of the masses, with a talent to amuse and an eye on the fettle of the place they're proud to call home. It is possible to be part of the furniture in a good way. — (M)


Mutsumi Takahashi



Mutsumi Takahashi is Montréal's answer to Diane Sawyer. For 24 years, Takahashi has been the calm and familiar anchor for the local bulletins for CTV's News at Noon and News at Six.


"It's a cliché to say the camera doesn't lie, but it doesn't," says Takahashi, fresh from a trip to Japan, her country of birth. "CTV values tradition; it's why you can't put on an act. I'm very calm and fairly optimistic. But I very easily get the giggles. You need a sense of humour to live here, with the construction, the politics and weather."


Takahashi, who moved to Canada at the age of six to study piano, started working in broadcasting during university and became known for her consistent reporting skills.


Twenty four years with the same broadcaster is a rare phenomenon in television news but it works in Quebec. "In Montréal, there is so much political uncertainty," she says. "People are more likely to cling to icons here. Montréal values institutions; the people here don't like change." — amg


(Courtesy of Monocle)


She is actually 1st of 5 people Monocle profiled for "city voices" for their July/August issue.

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