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John Vennavally-Rao
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John Vennavally-Rao

Toronto Correspondent

John Vennavally-Rao has covered Canadian stories from coast-to-coast. Currently based out of CTV's National News Bureau in Toronto, he reports on the stories of the day, and also specializes in science and technology coverage.

Notable stories in Vennavally-Rao's career to-date span the globe, from the trial of Col. Russell Williams in Ontario to coverage of the 2005 terrorist bombings in London, UK.  He reported from Spain's pristine Galicia coast, which was coated by thick sludge from the oil tanker Prestige in 2002. That same year, he travelled to report on the funeral of the Queen Mother. In 1999, Vennavally-Rao reported on the flood of illegal Chinese migrants as they arrived on the shores of British Columbia.

His favourite story took him to Princess Royal Island on B.C.'s mid-coast. Vennavally-Rao spent a week on a boat with environmentalists in search of Spirit Bears, which are rare black bears that mysteriously appear white.

Over the years, he's weathered hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and blizzards. In 2003, he reported live as Hurricane Juan ripped across the Maritimes. Two years later, Vennavally-Rao was one of the few Canadian journalists positioned in the path of Hurricane Katrina. And in 2009, he watched as a tornado touched down north of Toronto. His work won the Daily Excellence award from the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Vennavally-Rao’s broadcast career began in 1995 as a videographer for CBC Vancouver.  He later joined CTV as a general-assignment reporter for CTV British Columbia. During his five years there, he covered the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, earning him a nomination for a Jack Webster Award. From 2002 to 2007 he was CTV's National Correspondent in Atlantic Canada.

Vennavally-Rao graduated with the honour of the Red Button Award from the Applied Communication Program at Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. He later earned a degree in journalism from the University of King's College, Halifax, where he received the Governor-General's medal for top academic standing.