Crowd of people in office space

For some of us, journalism is a calling that we realized from the moment we could string words into sentences. For others, this moment of realization—the light bulb going on in our heads—was somewhat delayed.

In a post that appeared in The Huffington Post’s High School section earlier this week, 17-year-old Jack Davis recalled the moment he first realized journalism was his calling in “My Accidental Love Affair-Turned-‘Aha Moment’ with Journalism.” In the post, Davis writes that when he was younger he was unsure of what he wanted to do, and somehow he “stumbled across journalism.”


While Davis continued to nurture his love of writing, he was not able to fully explain why his attraction to journalism was so strong. It was not until he had watched the documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times that Davis understood why journalism was something that called so strongly to him.

The hour-and-a-half long documentary, released in mid-2011, takes an inside look at The New York Times and the people who run it. It is your typical “fly-on-the-wall” documentary, which shows the newspaper and its struggle to survive in an era when, everything ends up on the internet. As Davis writes, the documentary also “showed me that although journalism is in the messed up state that it seems, the people at the core of it are passionate to grind out news that they are known for, continue to keep the world informed and continue to do what they do best.”
Much like Davis, my own aha moment was not so instant, and it was not until I began following the 2006 Canadian federal election that I figured out how to incorporate my love of writing into my future. I remember flipping through the Toronto StarThe Globe and Mail, and the National Post to get a better understanding of what was going on in the election. I became obsessed with reading about the election in the paper that it hit me all at once. The light bulb went off: I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted people to read my articles and feel just as informed as I had.
And so, just like The New York Times had triggered Davis’s “aha moment,” the Canadian newspapers had done the same for me. While I may be unsure of where journalism will take me, who knows? Maybe one day I’ll run into Davis at The New York Times.


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About the author

Natalie Guadagnoli was the Production Editor of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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