Every year, I speak to winners of Concordia’s journalism school awards as they’re presented at the Montreal Gazette offices. Today, one of the 2016 winners of the Philip Fisher bursary, Safia Ahmad.
Not everyone who graduates from journalism school goes into what you would normally think of as journalism. In fact, I would guess that a majority don’t. Some decide that journalism isn’t for them and pursue something entirely different, others struggle to find jobs (not everyone from my graduating class could be a national journalist at the CBC, not that I’m jealous or anything Catherine), but a lot of people find that their skills and passion are more suited to a job that is like journalism, but not quite.
There are a lot of what I would call journalism-adjacent jobs out there. Arguably, as a copy editor, I’m in one myself. And just because you’re not hounding prime ministers with questions doesn’t mean you’re not doing something valuable in the media ecosystem.
Safia Ahmad, after being honoured with a journalism award in 2016, became a summer reporting intern at the Montreal Gazette the next year, writing many stories that I and my colleagues edited.
But she’s since decided that it’s not for her, as she lays out below. Now, the 25-year-old born-and-bred Montrealer works in communications, notably as media relations manager for Les Canadiennes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, where I’ve run into her at games.