Abigail Basset, who spoke to our media entrepreneurship class last week, has an incredibly impressive resume, experiences and portfolio to show for her many years involved in the media industry. However, she didn’t have to talk about every job, task and boss she’s had to deal with in the process of getting to where she is today to prove her experience. She just had to utter five seemingly simple words for me to understand just how great she is at what she does:
“Find what your passions are.”
How many times do people measure success on tangible results or analytics or numbers? More than I could count – that’s for sure. But one thing that Basset reminds us is that, especially in the media industry, sometimes results and even success can depend on passion. So how do we measure with passion? No one really knows how; but isn’t that kind of the beauty of our industry as well? We aren’t scientists, we aren’t engineers (although sometimes we have to think like them), we are entrepreneurs, we are journalists and we have the responsibility of bringing out the passion in success and results.
Basset also brought up another valid point about the media industry: “Media is very flexible.” Along with finding out passions, sharing those passions and using them for the good of what we do, flexibility automatically comes along with this.
How is media flexible, you ask? Usually when people want something in the media, it’s a very vague description of what they actually want. A company wants a certain tone in a blog, a small business just wants more brand awareness. But how do we get there? That’s up to us to decide. So with this flexibility comes adaptability and with this adaptability comes the responsibility to still deliver quality, sound results.
Another thing Basset said that I absolutely think is true is that news is hard and you will cover topics that you won’t ever be able to forget about. She gave examples such as covering 9/11, the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. I couldn’t imagine covering these horrific topics and I believe 100 percent that she will never be able to forget what she heard and saw.
On a way smaller scale, working at The State News my freshman year, I can relate to this concept very well. I didn’t cover Hurricane Katrina or the Iraq War, but I did cover a 9/11 ceremony at the State Capitol and I did talk to international students from Syria whose families were going through turmoil. I could never forget these things. I could never forget the student from Syria, saying, “It’s so hard knowing my family is back in Syria, but I still have to eat, I still have to sleep, I still have to laugh, because if I don’t, I have nothing left.”
This is what makes us unique – our stories. We are first and foremost, storytellers. We listen to people, we tell their stories, we figure out what they need. The products and prices and markets will come, but stories will always guide us in the right direction.