Creating My Own Unique Journalism

I have been thinking a lot lately about the future of journalism, and specifically how it fits into the new digital age. For the last few years I have been attending journalism and technology conferences, where I am told constantly that I need to be doing this social media application or using that tech gadget for reporting the news. I am happy to say that I am "teched up" and ready to take on the cyber news frontier.

But I am also ready to take this to another level professionally.

I have always had an entrepreneurial personality, and had the belief that if you are not getting opportunities from others, you should create your own opportunities. This is one of the reasons why I founded Global Wire Associates. Through my firm, I wanted to help create opportunities for others to take advantage of technology for furthering their own social justice objectives. I am happy to report that we have not only consulted with hundreds of activists worldwide through trainings and on our website in the last six years, but we have also launched a new e-waste awareness campaign.

In our most recent article on the site, we discussed how multimedia content producers are using online video to combat racial discrimination and stereotyping.

Filmmaker Issa Rae also felt that she wasn’t represented as a black woman in mainstream media. After reading yet another article about the lack of African-Americans onscreen, she decided to be the media and do her own online webisodes about being “awkward,” and, thus, the name of her series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

“This is the future, especially for minority content producers on the Internet,” she said in a recent CNN interview. “This is the way to go. There is no gatekeeper. You can release whatever content you want. I think this is the best route to take, honestly.”
This interview made me think more about how I can create more of my own unique journalism. In the last few months, there have been complaints by journalists of color about the lack of diverse anchors in prime-time TV news. While I support the idea of increasing racial diversity in mainstream media, maybe the conversation needs to move towards how media professionals of color can utilize technology for telling their own stories.

The Internet has created so many opportunities for anyone to create their own media empire. There are a growing number of journalists who are going off the beaten path by using social media. Reading a post by British videographer Adam Westbrook and accompanying comments by Filipina journalist Prime Sarmiento have only pushed me to take my own journalistic endeavors further.

I am currently looking to create a way to get more funding for the videos I produce on my YouTube Channel, either through private donations, grant funding or some other business model. In the last couple of years I have fallen in love with videography, I am very interested in doing more social justice storytelling through this medium, but I need money to do it. I also like traveling, meeting new people, learning about different cultures while creating videos and, most importantly, doing more video production training for myself, so I am seeking financial opportunities here too. I have found that although I have had much success in working in mainstream media, nowadays, it is hard for me sometimes to pitch stories that don't have something to do with pop culture or entertainment. And there is a serious lack of mainstream media coverage of hard news issues that affect marginalized communities. I am hoping to fill in the gap with my online video news venture with the right help.

I know this will be a lot of hard work, but I am up for the challenge. I am hopeful about my unique route!

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