Leïla Ahouman – 2023

CJF-CBC/Radio-Canada Black Journalism Fellowship

I completed the fellowship in Toronto with the country’s public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The six months spent in its largest office allowed me to gain an essential understanding of the behind-the-scenes, governing structures that shape news production in Canada. During this informative and helpful experience, I worked alongside mentors who showed me the constant work needed to put together TV, radio and digital information programs that thousands of Canadians use daily. 

My interest in investigative and long-form journalism led me to first join the Fifth Estate, where I learned about the central role that meticulous research and strong interpersonal skills play into the realization of comprehensive investigations. The time I spent with the Education and Entertainment team exposed me to a faster-paced environment where producers and reporters work hand-in-hand to create news reports relevant across the country that are also adaptable to multiple platforms. The next six weeks in radio extended this immersion in the daily news cycle that required me to follow breaking news very closely and to think quickly on my feet to be able to find the appropriate guests for each story and turn it around within a short deadline. At CBC Books, I was able to participate in the creation of digital and radio content under both short and long deadlines where news gathering meets with literature, offering a platform to showcase literary talent in Canada. 

I am thankful to the mentors who helped me navigate this big step into the professional media industry and guided me as I learned how to pitch different kinds of stories, write, produce interviews and identify subjects of interest to Canadians. I hope to build on these basic journalistic skills in the near future to develop projects that are close to my interests.