Toronto TV reporter, Ginella Massa became the first woman in Canada to present a news report while wearing traditional hijab clothing. She filled in for a colleague last week on a late night broadcast on City News.
Her editor told her, “Hey, great job! Was that a first for Canada? A woman in a hijab?” Massa replied that it was the first. After the newscast she said it wasn’t just important for her, she was blown away by the public reaction. “As much as I knew it was important, I didn’t expect the reaction that I received. My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing for the last week.”
This actually wasn’t her debut on TV, as a journalist, as the 29-year-old became Canada’s first hijab-wearing newscaster on screen in 2015. However, this was her first show as an anchor.
The young journalist reported that she received many positive comments following her appearance. She admits that she also received some negative remarks. She said, “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.”
She also emphasized the fact that the show was particularly important since Donald Trump has been elected as president. She said that many US journalists tell her they face multiple challenges trying to get on the air while wearing a hijab. “That makes me really sad because they’re being held back by someone’s idea of what the public can or cannot handle,” she commented.