A belated post-graduate school update

The last time I had a blog was when I studied abroad in Paris during the spring semester of my junior year of college. I wanted to keep track of my experiences and adventures while abroad. While I initially created this website to serve as a digital work portfolio, I always hoped to use this blog to share my experiences as a reporter and to write about things I read about in the news that pique my interest. I’m finally getting into it again.

Interestingly enough, the last time I wrote in this blog, I was still in graduate school, and now I’m in the real world. I appreciate my graduate school experience because I learned a lot and acquired new skills that I did not have prior to attending graduate school — for example, photography, video and basic HTML. I miss school sometimes because it was such a stable, familiar structure. So now, on to the more important question: what have I been up to since then?

Right now, I am working as a freelance reporter for Harlem News Group, a media company that publishes positive news and information. It has newspapers in Queens, Brooklyn, Harlem and the South Bronx. Their motto is that they publish results, not problems. I don’t deny that there are negative events occurring in the city, in the country and around the world. But sometimes it’s good to look at some of the good things that are happening and are being done. And it’s important to make sure that media coverage is more balanced. If there’s anything I’ve noticed since I began working as a neighborhood news reporter in the city, is that there are so many community activists and organizations who are working hard to improve the well-being and quality of life of city residents. Take the BLK ProjeK, for example. It’s a Bronx-based food justice organization that strives to bring about more economic opportunities for women and youth of color. Or Staten Island Arts, an organization that works to make art accessible to all residents of Staten Island and gives grants to artists in the area. Such organizations deserve more attention and recognition for the work that they do. Shedding more light onto underrepresented groups and neighborhoods is a big part of my goal as a reporter, so having the opportunity to work for HNG is a pleasure. I just started and so far, it’s been interesting. I am updating an inventory of all the local businesses in Harlem and I will be going out into the field to personally reach out to these businesses. I’m also working on stories on people, organizations and events in Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens, so it’ll be nice to discover the city a little more intimately.

I’ve also been writing for this news, entertainment and lifestyle website called Examiner.com, covering New York neighborhoods. It’s a pretty broad beat so I have a lot of freedom as far as what I can cover. I try to write about a variety of topics, such as politics, education, crime, health, community events, arts, etc. For example, I covered Mayor de Blasio’s speech on his first 100 days in office. I attended the opening of street artist Swoon’s immersive installation. You can publish your stories as soon as you are done writing them, which is different from what I’m used to. Even more, your pay is based on a variety of factors, such as number of page views, number of subscribers, session length, etc., which means that you have to get a little hardcore with self-promotion. Speaking of self-promotion, take a moment to read my latest stories and subscribe to my feed if you’re interested in knowing what’s going on in the city.

I’ll do my best to blog every couple of days. There’s certainly a lot to talk about as far as the news is concerned. Stay tuned!

-Madina

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