Pacinthe Mattar is an Egyptian-Canadian journalist in Toronto. She is a producer at CBC Radio One’s The Current. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Ryerson University and was valedictorian at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, where she graduated with a degree in Political Science and French.
When I was asked to write this guest column, honestly, my first thought was: “Why me?”
This feeling only got stronger when I heard award-winning journalists Michele Landsberg and Sally Armstrong had also written this column. As I began my “Thanks but no thanks” email reply, I thought of others who would do a better job.
For me, this behaviour isn’t unusual: I consistently undervalue my qualifications and second-guess my skills. Here’s another example. I recently co-facilitated a six-week media workshop for young Muslim women called Outburst! (it’s funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation). As I approached the workshop location, with every step all I could think of was the person I thought was better qualified to lead it. And during the Calgary flood, my senior producer asked me to fly there to cover the emergency for the Current. Inside, I panicked, thinking of all the other producers who were more qualified to go. In the end, I gulped and said: “Sure.”