Judy, the Barbie You Can Be A Journalist winner is sharing her thoughts and experiences during the 2018 program. In the article below, Judy discusses the mentorship opportunities that she’s had as well as how she has grown as a journalist this year.
I had A LOT of fun with all my mentoring sessions. My first one at Postmedia is particularly special to me because I had the opportunity to be somewhere that others can’t easily be! I’ve learned that you can’t even film in there! This is not an experience that everybody gets to have which makes it so unique! I got to talk to and learn from an actual writer/journalist, Dominique, as well. She asked me why I want to be a journalist and introduced me to what journalism is and why it is so important, especially for women. We flipped through a humongous and heavy album with pictures of old-fashioned/but beautiful Barbies. We also chatted about journalism topics/other essential things about journalism, talked about newspapers together, and took a tour around the Postmedia building. It is amazing that I now know where and how a newspaper comes out. Afterwards, Dominique also taught me how to do interviews with my friends to collect the research information that a journalist often needs for an article in a newspaper.
At YMC, I really, really, REALLY enjoyed my mentoring with Jeni, Erica and Alana. I’ve learned so much from them, too. One of the things that Jeni taught me is that I should never forget that when you’re a writer for a publication, there’s always an editorial team that’s got your back so you don’t have to do ALL the work and be totally stressed out and distraught! This is something so memorable that I’ll never forget - team work!
Erica mentored me on career-changing things that are so important. For example, making interviewees comfortable answering my questions. To achieve that, I have to be confident, always have a smile on my face, give them a firm handshake, show them that I’m listening to what they’re saying and ask open-ended questions. It’s not only interview skills I learned from Erica, but also the confidence a journalist should have. I always remember these two quotes from Erica: “Perfect is the end of happiness,” and “I always try to find opportunities; I am an opportunist!” The more confidence you hold, the better you are prepared to be a journalist!
When I was doing my research for deforestation, I had reactions like, “Wow! That’s something that I didn’t know!” or, “What the?! That’s awful!” I was mind-blown after I did all my researching. Now, I surely have something to tell my class/teacher/friends and my mom! I actually LOVE to find out new juicy and brain-bombing facts. Since then I go online/YouTube a lot to find more of these mind-bogglers.
I never considered or realized how much work and research goes into even simple journalism pieces, and I have a new respect for all the hard working people whose job it is to make a journalists work come to life!