the journalista

i read. i write. i think. i link.

Category: Journalism

My journalism for the people. Providing news and information.

How Mike Brown’s Shooting and the Ferguson Protests Made Journalism Even More Important to Me

Ferguson, Missouri

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

When Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, 2014, I was still in journalism school at Arizona State University, learning more about the effective use of social media and blogs and the impact they can have on social movements. I was not aware of how important that information was going to become for me until months later, when the movement to save black lives came to the forefront of our collective social conscience.

Read “Mike Brown, Ferguson, Mo., and How the Movement to Save Black Lives Changed the Way I Do Journalism

Cheers to New Beginnings

MacBook

My work MacBook arrived yesterday

I’ve been holding on to this news for the last two weeks, and now that my work laptop has arrived via FedEx, I feel like I can share my news with the world.

Yesterday was my last day working as a freelance writer for The Root.  As of today, I am a full time staff writer for The Root,  the site that took a chance and gave a platform to a highly opinionated hard news writer from the west. I am so grateful.

I will still be on the news desk at night, and I will still be bringing you my cutting commentary, but now I do it with a salary, benefits, and a job with a media organization that will only continue to grow.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you dreams don’t come true. They do, and sometimes they come with a brand new MacBook for you to write your success with.

MacBook Pro

My work MacBook Pro

#EbonyOwes: Writers Union to Ebony: Pay Like You Weigh

Ebony Magazine

Ebony Magazine’s March 2017 cover

What happens when Ebony Magazine promises over and over again that it’s going to pay its freelance writers ‘soon,’ but reportedly throws an expensive Super Bowl party in Houston and hosts a lavish company event in Los Angeles with money that was initially earmarked to pay said freelancers? A union steps in and tells them they need to put up or shut up.

Read “Writers Union to Ebony Magazine: Pay Like You Weigh #EbonyOwes

The Process – When Good Interviews Go Great

iStock

I conducted an interview this morning that is part of a bigger story I’m working on. I am not at liberty to reveal the details of it yet, but let’s just say this is the first of what will be a series of articles I’m writing on a certain topic.

The interview went really well, and it reminded me of how you can come up with a story idea, go into it thinking one way, and come away from interviews with a different perspective on the topic you are writing about.

Continue reading

Good morning.

I’ve been up since 5:30 a.m. preparing to conduct one of the biggest interviews of my journalism career.

This is huge.

I was talking to my best friend last night about being fulfilled by the pursuit of our dreams, and living our best life because we are following our own paths.

Today is definitely a landmark event along those lines.

I am eternally grateful for the blessings and opportunities that continue to come up for me.

I promise to continue to do good work and be a representation of meaningful, ethical journalism.

Let’s all have a great day.

What Happens When A Journalist Uses Your Tweets For A Story? (Part One)

(Co-written by Jamie Nesbitt Golden, originally published on Medium)

It all started with a ruined Wednesday morning.

A tweet of mine had found its way into a Washington Post op-ed calling for the dismissal of University of Missouri professors accused of assaulting students at a rally celebrating the resignation of the school president. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me; I’d grown accustomed to journalists using my tweets in their stories without giving me so much as a heads up (which usually leaves me open to trolling), and my Twitter account has never been private. But, as I’d spent the last 48 hours ridding my mentions of trolls wanting to debate First Amendment rights and freedom of the press, I was in no mood to entertain any more, and there was something about this particular post that stunk.

Continue reading

Why you should care about what is happening to net neutrality

How many times a day do you check your Facebook page? Are you active on Twitter? Do you have a favorite blog you like to read?

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself unable to do these things without paying significant additional fees, fees on top of what you already pay for Internet access, to do so?

Essentially, this is what the end of net neutrality could mean. There are many people who don’t understand the concept or the issues involved, so here is a primer.

Net Neutrality [wired.com image]

Net Neutrality [wired.com image]

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is a buzz phrase that refers to the open Internet. Currently, all Internet sites are able to be accessed equally. You can get to thejournalista.com as quickly as you can get to Facebook or Amazon. There is no deterrent to surfing the web outside of any firewalls that may be put up by your employer or school. Net neutrality means things would stay this way. You will always be able to access any website you want at any time you want so long as your Internet access point allows it.

Why should you care? 

Remember how it was announced recently that Netflix would be increasing its service cost for new subscribers to its streaming service? Just prior to that announcement, Netflix had been involved in a battle with ISPs including Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon in which it was alleged that the ISPs were slowing down service when users (that’s you and me) were viewing content via their Netflix streaming video accounts. The ISPs felt Netflix should pay to deliver instant video content via the ISPs direct connection. Netflix felt this was the responsibility of the ISPs, but they agreed to a deal anyway and ponied up the money. Netflix then passed that cost along to their customers via higher prices for new subscribers. See how that works?

Netflix [via digitaltrends.com]

Netflix [via digitaltrends.com]

 So what if Netflix paid. What does that mean to me?

Netflix is a big company. They turn a huge profit each year, and they have the funds and the resources to continue to throw money at these types of problems as they pop up, but what about your favorite Etsy seller? What about small nonprofits that offer social services to the needy? What about my friend Stephen and his family-run photography business? Smaller companies do not have the money and the resources to pay off communications giants in order to have their sites seen at the same speed as others, and if net neutrality ends, so could those sites. Think of it the way you think of Walmart building their huge mega-stores in your neighborhood and shutting down all the little mom and pop businesses. The end of net neutrality means that very same thing, except on the Internet. Instead of being able to read thejournalista.com, you will be forced to only get news and information from big sites that can afford to pay off Internet Service Providers for top speed access.

That isn’t fair to anyone.

How the other side feels

On the other side of the fence, there are those who make the argument that net neutrality is dumb. Gene Marks wrote this in a Forbes.com article recently: 

Wouldn’t it be great if a two bedroom, 2,000 square foot apartment on Park Avenue cost the same as one in Queens? Or if a front row ticket to a Broadway show cost the same as one in the mezzanine? Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy a new BMW for the same amount as a new Hyundai? Or if the price of a Harvard education were equal to one from your local community college? These things are priced differently. They are not neutral. Nothing is neutral in a free market economy.

I take issue with Gene comparing net neutrality to the cost of housing in different areas or the cost of education at different educational institutions. That is oversimplifying the issue and comparing apples to oranges. As my friend Pete put it, a better analogy would have been to compare it to redlining. Essentially, if net neutrality dies, so does the free marketplace of ideas. It will instead be replaced by an Internet where big corporations get to control what you can and cannot see when you log on to the Internet whether it be on your mobile device or your computer.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the freedom of choice.

Do you want to be able to choose which websites you see when, or do you want your Internet Service Provider to be able to make that choice for you?

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