TV reporter's job-quitting manifesto goes viral
Former CBC and CTV reporter Kai Nagata says he never imagined he'd get this kind of response for a blog post explaining why he was quitting his job.
Last week, the 24-year-old was CTV News' National Assembly correspondent in Quebec City.
After a sudden epiphany last week, however, Nagata decided he had had enough of the television news industry, and on Friday he posted a 3,000-word manifesto on his personal blog explaining why.
His words, however, reached far beyond his family, friends, and former colleagues.
By Monday morning, Nagata said the post had surpassed 100,000 views. It had also been re-posted and linked to on numerous websites, and it had been circulated on social networking site Twitter by hundreds of people including Pulitzer-prize winning film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I've had more job offers, and marriage proposals, and emails from politicians, and more people getting in touch with me to suggest projects in the last two days than over the course of my career," Nagata told the CBC on Monday.
His comments generated many responses from online readers, but Nagata said he was pleasantly surprised with the reaction.
"It's pretty overwhelming. Ninety-five per cent of it is positive, which is not what I expected."
Nagata explained in his blog post that his decision had nothing to do with a particular dissatisfaction with his employer, CTV, and everything to do with a distaste for the state of the Canadian broadcast news industry.
"I just felt like it wasn't the best possible use of my short time on earth, (and) that TV journalism is increasingly irrelevant, especially to people of my generation."
Nagata, who said he had never owned a television, explained that he saw the industry as increasingly shallow, superficial, and ratings-driven. He also lamented being pushed to give voice to what he saw as "ridiculous" points of view in the name of balance, while being obliged to keep his own opinions to himself.
Nagata said his words managed to do what his news reporting never could.
"I got exponentially more feedback and generated more discussion and engagement with one blog post than in all of the pieces I've probably ever filed over my short career as a TV reporter," he said.
Nagata said he is returning to Vancouver to be with his family.