If my business were an object, it would be a mirror because ultimately, what it’s about is creating work that reflects the inner journalist that I believe is inherent within each person… or at least within the cool people I know.
See, I encounter people who have some awesome talents. They do amazing work. But, what I also find is that people often need help telling their stories. As someone with experience as a journalist, I know how valuable those stories are.
I attended the NABJ Conference in San Diego as a participant in a media entrepreneurial program called New U. It’s a UNITY Journalists program. While there, my mentor challenged me to practice pitching people with my media idea by going up to people at the event reception and telling them about it. She would introduce me and do a lead in, and then hand it over to me to talk up my project.
Sometimes people gave me blank stares. Sometimes they looked past me to see who else was there. They asked me questions. Gave me feedback about what aspects of the idea needed clarification.
One woman was sort of un-impressed with the idea. I was telling her that I wanted to help connect the people who have the stories with the media outlets that can best distribute them, and she said–gesturing to the people around her, “What makes you think that the people who have the stories have ANY problem telling them.” She sort of rolled her eyes when she said “any”.
That’s when I realized that it’s about perspective. Journalists may not always see just how valuable their skillsets and access are when they consort with so many others in the field who also share them. And the web 2.0 era has made it easier for everyone to have outlets to tell their stories, so everyone thinks they are journalists in their own right.
Talking to her gave me an idea of what to name the business…at least for now: Everybody Is A Journalist™.