Last month I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had a great time both professionally and personally. It was my first time really interacting with journalists outside of my past internships and jobs. I had the chance to recruit candidates for HuffPost, attend workshops, network and see a city I probably never would’ve went to if it wasn’t for the convention. (I was shocked Minneapolis had so many Ubers lol.) It’s been a little over a month since the conference and I’ve had some time to reflect on what the experience has taught me.
1.) I’M STILL FINDING MY BEAT
A “beat” is the topic you mainly focus on in journalism. So I work in politics but someone’s beat can be government, poverty, economy, foreign affairs, etc in politics. I randomly went to this workshop about business journalism and didn’t have any expectations. I wasn’t really interested in the beat and I frankly didn’t know that much about it. But by the end of the workshop I was ready to look up every financial report and stock prices. I learned that so many people don’t know the basic information about their personal finances, loans, gas prices, etc. I’m always giving financial advice to other people and never saw myself one day being a business reporter until I attended that workshop.
2.) BROADCAST STILL DOMINATES
As I was working the HuffPost booth it quickly became clear that the majority of people at the conference were interested in working in T.V., not online, not radio, not print. So many people came up to us and asked how they could become a host on HuffPost Live, despite our focus being online news.
As I was talking to people, a lot of them were interested in being entertainment or sports reporters/anchors. I think I met two people who wanted to be an online writer for hard news. I was just really surprised because the trend is that everything is going online, yet there are so many people vying to be on T.V.
3.) I’M SUPER BLESSED
I feel like the word “blessed” is so cliché and overused but it’s the only word I can use to describe my career at the moment. It’s no secret that I love my job but being at the convention proved that I really can’t take it for granted. I had friends around me discussing how their T.V. contracts are basically trapping them. How much they hate their bosses and co-workers. How little pay they get but are expected to wear modern clothes and always have their makeup, hair and nails done. I witnessed so many people talk about how miserable their jobs/lives were. I can’t help but feel blessed. Super blessed.
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