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Why do I want to be a journalist?

Journalism was a natural, logical calling for me.

For JRNL 316.

Honesty, integrity and truth are core to who I am and, to me, the most effective and enjoyable form of communication is the written word.

Given these realities, journalism was a natural, logical calling for me.

Reading people’s stories in an impartial, effective manner was something I was used to as a teenager. I started with the BBC News app when I was around 15. The more I read, the more my curiosity grew and eventually I wanted to do the same thing.

It started with a news site in the late summer of 2016. A small but determined group of us from three or four continents launched The New Union with the goal of reporting impartial but understandable news for the young adult demo.

We eventually linked up with Atlas News late that year and helped to grow it to over 65,000 followers on Instagram before myself and much of our group left the news site for a new project.

It was in the fall of 2017 that I did something that would really kickstart my passion and where I would start practicing real reporting.

Because Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber doesn’t have its own independent student publication, when the college faculty strike got underway, there was a lack of in-depth coverage from the student perspective at North Campus.

Who was watching the student union? The administration? What were the teachers saying? What news should students know?

So on the eve of the strike, I launched the GH Post — which would later become The Avro Post, serving as an independent news site where reporters came from different programs and career paths to together tell the campus story to the best of our ability.

This is where I not only affirmed my love for reporting and gathering information, but also holding political leaders to account. There is power in truth-telling and it matters.

My most recent experiences, such as reporting on my first in-person political convention in March for Humber News — and potentially my last for quite some time — and my professional experience reporting with the Mercury Tribune in Guelph during the lockdown, have affirmed my beliefs that this is the career path I want to take.

Journalism, and all it stands for, is my passion and I intend learn as much as I can during my time at Humber so that I can jump into any newsroom and the best I can. I want to be a journalist simply because it’s what I love to do.

By Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He has reported for several online and print publications.
Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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