A journalist at one of Toronto’s major news broadcasters is believed to be Canada’s first anchor to don a Muslim head scarf.
Ginella Massa was asked to fill in on the anchor desk for CityNews’ 11 p.m. broadcast last week. She created a buzz after the broadcast ended and she tweeted: “That’s a wrap! Tonight wasn’t just important for me. I don’t think a woman in hijab has ever anchored a newscast in Canada.”
“I’ve talked to many women who are journalists in the U.S. who work behind the scenes, and they’ve told me that they face multiple challenges trying to get on air. They’ve been told because of their hijab, that’s not going to happen. That makes me really sad because they’re being held back by someone else’s idea of what the public can or cannot handle.”
Massa, 29, said Friday that she became Canada’s first hijab-wearing television news reporter in 2015 while reporting for CTV News in Kitchener, Ontario, west of Toronto. She moved back to Toronto, where she grew up, this year to take a reporting job at CityNews.
“But this is all the more reason in today’s climate to see positive images of Muslim women. They are a symbol of Islam when they wear the hijab, and that carries a powerful image. It’s so important to see positive images of us in the media.”
Massa said in an interview that it took her editor to point out the larger significance. “It wasn’t until my editor said, ‘Hey, great job! Was that a first for Canada? A woman in a hijab?’ And I said yes. Read the rest of this entry »