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Life Option: Freelance

October 12, 2009

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Amy Gahran is a really lousy employee. And she knows it.

So after leaving j school in Pennsylvania and a brief stint  at a small news company, Amy did the only thing she could do, knowing full well she doesn’t deal well with other people’s stupid systems (her words, not mine): she started freelancing.

We chatted for a bit over Skype today with Amy, and gained some insight into just how we might approach news and the media.

Jumping into the Internet when it was still in its infancy, Amy scooped up contentious.com in 1992. When you get started that early, it’s easy to have an awesome URL, which still seems to please Amy to no end. Since then, she’s delved into all sorts of media endeavors, both journalistic and not.

A few pieces of advice from Amy:

  1. In media, there is plenty of room to create your own career.
  2. Just because no one is talking about it doesn’t mean that no one cares. Maybe, just maybe, no one else has thought about it yet, and you’ve got the next big thing! Hey. It could happen.
  3. Something of a warning: Traditional journalism keeps the reporter separate from the readers. It’s mjre helpful today to do some background info to get to know what the traditionalists are doing and believe what you’re working with, but then take it and run the other direction.
  4. All journalism should be collaborative. End of discussion.
  5. We need to find a way to aggregate the conversations happening in social media spheres, because that is where the best content is coming from.

As an aside, Amy’s bright and infectious nature was one of the highlights of my day. Thanks, Amy!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. andersj permalink
    October 13, 2009 4:42 am

    I think Amy is great, and I am pleased you had the chance to talk with her. When we were hiring faculty for the iMedia program, I reached out to her and to Mark Luckie in hopes of getting them to apply for our open positions. Both of them had other futures in mind and they did not apply for Elon positions. It is nice to see that you are still getting the chance to hear from them and enjoy their wisdom!

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