Amanda Mazzei: from classroom to newsroom

By Raeesa Valani

Amanda's hometown: Brampton, Ontario

By pushing herself out of her comfort zone, Amanda Mazzei discovered a new passion for investigative reporting.


In the world of journalism and media, Amanda Mazzei’s journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and the pursuit of one's passion. Graduating from Western's Master of Media in Journalism and Communication (MMJC) program in 2023, Amanda's story is a journey of self-discovery, skill development, and the realization of her dreams.

Amanda embarked on her academic journey with an undergraduate degree in Radio and Television Arts Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University, focusing on the technical aspects of media. However, she found herself looking for a more comprehensive understanding of journalism and storytelling.

“After graduating, I realized I had media skills but lacked confidence and industry experience. This motivated me to pursue my master’s degree.” Enrolling in the MMJC program at Western, she committed to pushing herself beyond her comfort zone.

The turning point in Amanda's MMJC experience came when she had the opportunity to report on a true crime story for a class project. Made aware of the story potential by a classmate, Amanda's interest in the subject changed the course of her journalism experience. The story revolved around the tragic 1983 murder of Donna Awcock, a 17-year-old London teen, whose case remained unsolved for over 40 years. Amanda's dedication to this project was more than academic; it ignited a passion within her for investigative journalism and the power of storytelling in shedding light on unresolved mysteries.

This passion didn't stop with the completion of the MMJC program. Amanda built on the work she produced for the class assignment and expanded it into a 12-minute documentary-style capstone project, drawing inspiration from shows like Dateline and The Fifth Estate. This showcased Amanda's ability to blend technical expertise with storytelling skills, laying the foundation for her future in the world of journalism.

“Looking back on the work I did in the MMJC program, I think it provided me with the essential skills I needed to thrive in my career.“ - Amanda Mazzei

Fast forward to the present, Amanda finds herself at the heart of Canadian journalism, working as a video editor for CBC News Toronto. “I'm happy to say that the MMJC program helped me land my dream job at CBC,” she said.

Joining CBC as an intern she faced the initial challenges of transitioning from academia to the professional realm, battling imposter syndrome and overcoming the hesitation to seek guidance.

In her role at CBC, Amanda's day-to-day life as an editor is dynamic and unpredictable, reflecting the nature of the news industry. From editing for CBC News Network to working on flagship programs like The National, Amanda embraces every opportunity to enhance her skills and leave her mark on noteworthy projects.

Amanda's journey through the MMJC program laid the foundation for her current success, instilling in her the confidence to navigate the newsroom, collaborate with colleagues, and contribute meaningfully to the storytelling process. Her experience with the Donna Awcock story serves as a constant reminder of how journalism can bring new attention to overlooked stories.

“Looking back on the work I did in the MMJC program, I think it provided me with the essential skills I needed to thrive in my career.”

Amanda continues to grow her abilities, mastering advanced editing and handling larger, complex projects with confidence. Her ultimate goal is to become a part of CBC's renowned investigative program, The Fifth Estate. Amanda aspires to create impactful stories, and her transition from academia to Canadian journalism is driven by her determination to pursue this ambitious dream

The MMJC program has allowed many students to launch successful careers in journalism, communications, marketing and other media-focused industries. If you’re interested in starting your media career, apply to Western’s MMJC program to Start Your Story!


Profiles in the Start Your Story blog are written by students in the Master of Media in Journalism & Communication program, who are enrolled in MMJC 9604 - Professional Writing.