Mentorship May 10, 2017
There’s nothing quite like helping build a women’s digital magazine from the ground-up and witnessing its debut to the world. Along the way, I had the pleasure of meeting amazing women, as well as tackle some pretty heavy topics. In the process, I learned a lot about my writing style. The variety of content assigned to us was a challenge because we had to learn how to cater our writing to different audiences. I wrote as myself, but also as a journalist, as a news reporters, as an unbiased observer, and as an expert! It was fun to wear different hats in each article, it taught me a lot about writing in the digital age. For all future Entity interns, hopefuls, or curious readers, here are the five things I learned while working at Entity Magazine:
Readers, especially in the age of the Internet, don’t have time to read content that beats around the bush. If you aren’t hooked into the piece within the first couple of lines, you won’t grab enough readers who will continue reading. They may be missing out on a brilliantly written article that became overlooked because of poor first impressions.
Insincerity isn’t cute. With so many articles using the same cookie cutter formula to generate content, originality becomes a novelty. Even if it is a mundane topic, write it with your spin. There is one subject, but a million different takes on it. What’s yours?
If you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk. Google, Bing and Yahoo spits a lot of information at you, but they don’t tell what is verifiable or not. It is up to you to determine, with research, whether online information is valid, fact-checked, and peer-reviewed. Every time you make a claim, back it up with solid evidence, or else you look like a charlatan with no credibility.
Especially in an industry like journalism and mass communication, inferring with others is a wonderful tool to get a second opinion. Send your paragraphs to your co-workers, ask them if a particular sentence sounds awkward. Sometimes you need an outside ear to determine if someone is grammatically incorrect, overly biased, or factually incorrect.
Since we are #womenthatdo, it means that we must build and maintain an environment where women feel that they can perform to the best of their abilities. Women have long been in spaces where they were sometimes made to feel incompetent and not up to the challenge, but Entity moves to break this notion. As part of the internship, it was company policy not to demean other’s skills, writing or value through gossip and negative banter, and that has proven to improve the quality of the work environment, something I believe is incredible important for women.
I remember when we were assigned to write current event pieces about women and Gabrielle realized, where are all the stories about the achievements of women and girls? Why is there so little coverage? Disappointed, yet hopeful, we were reminded that our purpose is to serve this void, close that gap. I am glad to be part of this project, movement and company, and I hope this legacy continues.
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