Video series asks journalists of color 'how you get from Point A to Point B'


All Digitocracy is trying to raise $7,500 to produce a series of video interviews with women and journalists of color called "How'd You Get That (Media) Job." Its first interview is with TV One host Roland S. Martin.

"One of thngs I hear constantly from journalists of color is they don’t understand how you get from Point A to Point B," All Digitocracy founder Tracie Powell told Poynter in a phone call. The need is particularly acute as the news business changes, she said: "A lot of the job is audience engagement, audience strategy. Personally, I want to know how you get those particular jobs."

Powell said she knew Martin from when she interned at Cox's Washington bureau, and he covered county government for the Cox-owned Austin American-Statesman. "I saw how he took off in his career, and others don’t have the benefit of that knowledge," she said.

Powell's journalism career encompasses both editorial and business operations -- after finishing j-school at the University of Georgia, she worked in ad sales and circulation for two Georgia dailies, and she helped develop strategies to re-create circulation operations during the Detroit newspaper strike. She got chased on the job and ticketed by police for "littering."

"It was awful," she said. "As a kid I didn’t really understand it. I think that's when I first started realizing I really belong in the newsroom."

But that on-the-ground experience informed her work, especially since she launched All Digitocracy in 2013, Powell said: "All that stuff comes to bear on what I’m doing now. I’m selling advertising now. I’m looking at my numbers every week."

Powell, alas, doesn't plan to be interviewed for one of the videos. But she'd like to produce 7-10 other videos with better production quality (her wishlist includes BuzzFeed News Executive Editor Shani Hilton, New York Times growth editor Simone Oliver and the entrepreneur Tristan Walker). Hence the fund-raiser.

"I want journalists to see the bigger picture, how you have to put together all these deals, all this knowledge. You have to wear multiple hats in order to progress," Powell said.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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