Title: Digital News Producer
Employer: KABC-TV (ABC)
How Long: Nearly three years
Education: BA from CSUN
Born and raised in Oxnard, CA.
"Digital content has become important because social media and the internet have made people want everything instantly."
What got you interested in digital content - or content storytelling as we call it?
It was sort of engrained in all of the journalism students, at least that's how it appeared to me. My mentor and the lecturer for our practicum at CSUN was very digital oriented. She had us create online portfolios, set up LinkedIn accounts, Twitter and suggested professional Facebook accounts. The practicum I took was writing for the (then) Daily Sundial. She had us write stories for the daily paper, but also made sure we posted them online through our website. We also learned about SEO (search engine optimization) and used a Content Management System (CMS) such as Wordpress to manage our paper's website. I tried to focus on print when I graduated from college, but chose to go into the digital word because it does offer more money and that is the direction publications are going in.
What does a typical day look like - given there are rarely typical days in news!
A typical day at work can range from writing 10-12 stories for the website. Those stories can consist of press releases, breaking news, report packages, and stories based off emails with information gathered from our news desk. Those stories include creating videos or cutting them from live newscasts, creating images, adding in links to related stories and even embedding social media content relevant to the story. I also check Facebook messages, post hourly or more on Facebook, Tweet every 10-15 minutes and check emails often for story updates or new stories. We also handle YouTube videos that are usually the reporter packages we cut from the show that need some tweaking before being made public.
Why has digital content become so important in the information marketplace?
Digital content has become important because social media and the internet have made people want everything instantly. They want information now and if you don't have it right away, someone else most likely will. Social media helps spread around stories that may not often be told and can provide a voice to people who once may not have had that platform.
What advice would you give any young aspiring content producers/multi-media journalists?
Write well. I cannot emphasize that enough. Writing well will get you far. Being fast and efficient is also another thing, but I feel that comes with practice and constantly doing your work. Know your history as well because that comes in handy, especially with world affairs and politics - especially in the era of Trump.
Why is it important to ensure that the people who define and create content reflect the audience/readers?
It is important for people who create and choose what digital content goes out there try to reflect their audience because that's how the media makes money. We all know the media was created for the goal of making money. By reflecting that audience with truthful, good and creative content, you engage your audience and provide a perspective that is important to those readers/viewers. Your experiences and stories shape how you think a story should be handled and presented and how important it can be to your audience.