Attaining your dream job and developing a successful career can appear unattainable in the current state of our economy, but you will never know how far your knowledge and strength can take you unless you push yourself to reach your goals.

Yesterday I attended the 7th Annual “Making News” Media Access Workshop at North Carolina Central University hosted by the Triangle Association of Black Journalists (TABJ).  As a local chapter of the National Black Journalists Association, TABJ is an organization of media personalities, news journalists, publishers, and a variety of other communications professionals.  An initiative of the TABJ is providing the community with resources on how to communicate with the media.  The Media Access Workshop provided vital information on how to get your story noticed and for me personally, it illustrated you have be creative and consistent as you seek progression in the media industry. 

Fred Shropshire of WTVD served as the moderator for the workshop.  He opened up the workshop by identifying who was in attendance.  Workshop attendees consisted of entrepreneurs, non-profit officers, media staff, students, and community members.  Shropshire guided the discussion as five panelists provided the audience with strategic steps on how to engage the media. 

Andrea Parquet-Taylor (News Director, WNCN), Gurnal Scott (Assistant News Director, North Carolina Public Radio), Gregory Childress (Chapel Hill Government/Higher Education Reporter, The Herald Sun), Virginia Johnson ( Co-Founder and Partner, Empowered Ideas), and Reena Patel (Public Relations Specialist, Echo Public Relations, LLC) gave expert insight on how to push your story by targeting reporters and media specialists with similar interests and regulating your social media platforms to ensure positive feedback.  The panelists also shared how significant it is to know the distinction between television, radio, and print journalism, in addition to understanding social media tools such as hashtags and HootSuite.  Wayne Sutton of also joined the workshop via Skype and illustrated why he is a guru in the social media and startup world.  Sutton stated the best times to reach followers on social media are 8am-9pm and 3pm-4pm.  He also reminded the audience that social media can have a negative impact if used improperly.  The NC Native urged attendees to refrain from commenting on criminal cases and religious issues using social media. 

This workshop was absolutely amazing.  I received access to people and information that strengthened my knowledge in the media industry.  This opportunity revealed to me that there are a variety of resources I can take advantage of to reach my goals.  Don’t limit yourself to your 9 to 5 to gain experience.  I encourage all of you to connect with at least one organization that has the same professional or personal ideals you do and use that relationship to achieve great things. 

Thank you TABJ Board members Brett Chambers (President), Gayle Hurd (Vice President), and Ken Smith of WRAL (Treasurer) for their contributions to the “Making News” Media Workshop.