Just getting started

June 13, 2019   ·   0 Comments


As the newest addition to the Shelburne Free Press, I would like to share some background information about myself, and what I want to achieve as a reporter in this community. 

I would like to start by saying I am extremely humbled to be given this opportunity to report on stories that interest the people of Shelburne. Since I am a consumer of news myself, I know the importance of accuracy and concise writing due to the impact journalism can have on individual lives.

When I was younger, I was in awe of reporters who travelled to war zones to report stories that opened people’s eyes to what’s going on in developing worlds. In high school, there was no school paper and I didn’t really give much attention to community news. I disregarded everyday news stories as irrelevant. 

After graduating high school and getting accepted into Ryerson University’s journalism program, I got a wakeup call. The program was extremely hands on and I remember my first day like it was yesterday. My class was told to go out on the street and interview three random strangers and create a story from their responses. My heart was pounding and I had no idea what I was doing. I finally managed to get some voices, but I felt flustered and insecure, so I spoke with my professor after class.

“How is this journalism?” I asked. He laughed and said, “Oh Julia, what’s journalism to you?” 

I looked up at him and said, “A story that inspires someone to make a change and take action.” He just nodded and assured me I would have better luck next week. 

After my four years of journalism school I can confidently say, news can be anything and anywhere. News doesn’t always have to be the stories that bring people to tears, or make them thankful to be Canadian. In reality, news can be anything that piques the interest of the public. Being a journalist means preventing the abuse of power of wherever you are residing. 

Journalism is the ability to create a story from nothing, which was exactly the message my professor was trying to teach me that very first day of class. 

I was born and raised in Markham, Ont., and when I was four-years-old my mom got re-married. My mom had me in her first marriage, with a man not suited to be a father. My relationship with my biological dad has been estranged for years, but luckily my stepdad adopted me when I was six and made sure I knew I was his daughter by choice not chance. 

I am telling this story about my biological dad because it taught me a lot and moulded me into the woman and reporter I am today. It taught me that blood isn’t always thicker than water and that life doesn’t come easy for everyone. The idea that life doesn’t come easy for everyone is what drove me into this career; I wanted people to open their eyes a bit more to the issues everyday Canadians face. 

I spent my internship in fourth-year of university at the Peterborough Examiner where I covered many community-based stories for their daily paper. Working in Peterborough and getting to know the community was an incredible experience. After six weeks there, I started a contract position at the Sudbury Star where I was exposed to some really terrifying community based stories. The stories eventually exposed a lot of issues facing most Ontario Northern Cities, notably surrounding the rampant use of opioids and subsequent overdoses. 

My goal as a reporter for the Free Press is to make sure that the community feels confident in the accuracy of our paper, and to write more interesting stories that will get everyone excited about the community in which they live in. 

As a recent graduate, I am very eager to start producing news and getting to know this community. During my experience at both the Star and the Examiner, I got to know both communities really well; I connected with a lot of people that I would never have connected with otherwise. I fell in love with community news; something I didn’t think possible when I was applying for post-secondary education. 

 And yet, here I am—reporting on community news. I couldn’t be happier. 



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