Yoga for JHR
December 7, 2017
Yoga for JHR
Laura Fitch has a personal story about why she donates to JHR. Read about why living abroad made it clear to her why journalism is important.
When I moved abroad in 2000, I had just finished a degree in journalism. I was young, cynical and disillusioned, under the impression that journalism was all about egos and bylines, and not the civic service I’d rightly or wrongly imagined it to be. Instead of searching for a job in the industry, I strapped on a backpack and headed to Japan to teach English as a second language for what I thought would be a year—two at the most.
Fifteen years later I moved back to Canada. I had lived in Japan for six years, and China for nine. I had moved from ESL teaching back into journalism, working as a magazine editor and writer. My time abroad showed me in myriad ways how important access to a megaphone is, whether it be a newspaper article, an online video, a blog post or a tweet. These things are tools, and those that know how to wield them properly have a shot at gaining access to an audience, of having their voices heard. My original cynicism gave way to a realization of how necessary journalism is, faults and all. Journalism training not only teaches the technicalities of how to use media, it also teaches how to research and present information in a way that gains trust and respect from the audience. It teaches the ethics of using words and images, and how these words and images can be interpreted and misinterpreted. This kind of media literacy is essential in gaining any sort of power or influence in modern Canadian society.
Though some may protest otherwise, I believe journalism is inherently subjective. Even with the best of intentions, journalists see events through the lenses of their own personal experiences. Which is why it’s all the more important that the media include as many voices from as many cross-sections of society as possible. The megaphone needs to be passed around.
When I returned to Canada, I wanted to find a way to contribute to Canadian society. I had become a yoga instructor in China, and I wanted to start a donation-based class with the proceeds going towards a cause I felt strongly about in Canada.
After some research, I found Journalists for Human Rights Indigenous Reporters Program. Canada’s history of abuse, neglect and theft from Indigenous populations is reprehensible, and it’s important that Indigenous people have access to the megaphone to make issues important to themselves and their communities heard, as well as to have more working journalists who view Canadian society through non-white, non-majority lenses. I think a program like the JHR Indigenous Reporters Program is one step toward making this a reality.
And that’s why I donate.
The next yoga class is Sat., Jan. 13 2018 4-5:20pm