No borders, just horizon – only freedom

Amelia Earhart envisioned this, a world without borders, something that truly resonates with my heart. I am Priyanka Ketkar, the newest addition to the Lakes District News team, and I have crossed borders and oceans in search of the horizon, to get here, to be a part of a new community. I was born and brought up in a beautiful, small city, Thane, and I worked in Mumbai, in India. In 2016, I travelled to Boston, USA to study Journalism, then moved to Seattle for a couple of years, and now Canada is beckoning me to continue on my journey.

If I have to sum up all of my work experience in a single word, it would be “diversity”. Not only have I worked in varied areas of media – from newspapers to digital media, but I have also covered diverse topics and communities. I have interviewed movie celebrities, worked alongside them, written movie reviews, covered homicides and even written on technology. But one of the most profound experiences I had was when I co-founded the social justice website The Scope, now housed in Northeastern University. Our mission was to reflect local communities authentically, while allowing them to collaborate with us, and letting them have a voice in the media that’s covering them. The power of local journalism was instilled in me here, and this is the power and understanding that I hope to bring to Burns Lake.

As a journalist, I have had the chance to observe and talk about different local communities, with different stories, different issues and different ways of viewing the same city. But a lot of times, we journalists parachute in to these diverse communities and try to tell other peoples’ stories for them. I have learned not to do that. I don’t presume to understand it all, about the community I am coming to. I am hoping to lend my voice and a platform to the local community and I completely appreciate that none of this would still make me an authority on your issues. I am however hoping to understand and willing to learn. Even before actually coming to Burns Lake, I am feeling welcomed into the community by my publisher, my landlord and the people in the community. So I look forward to meeting and reporting on your community, while being a part of it.

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