WELCOME TO THE FIFTH ESTATE

Other

As a university student intern for The Washington Post and later as a media professional, I worked hard and participated in dangerous assignments for a few major news media organizations for many years, and I only knew one way to produce news and information content. It was to follow a template that had been in place for years, and to work inside the system the fourth estate was built upon.

But after years of no longer enjoying exciting assignments, the organization and I parted ways, which left me in a unique position. I joined the Fifth Estate, which are bloggers, citizen journalists, and content producers, which operate outside the realm of mainstream media.

Realizing eventually that I no longer had to navigate that antiquated system with an old distribution mechanism, I stepped out of my comfort zone to continued my professional career. I began to teach media and this is when I found a way to continue doing what I loved without the luxury of a system to follow. It was an exciting place to be.

While serving in media management positions and through networking, I had built up an amazing contact base of professionals, but I was not really sure how to reach out to them outside the conventional methods. Slowly I began to realize the power of the Internet. I started posting on social platforms and writing for blogs, and I began to see how brands could do very well online. People recognized the name and found it real. And then it hit me: I didn't want to just produce news, I wanted to provide news for all people.

Through reading postings on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, I was able to obtain insight on whether or not some of my ideas would fly.

I now use the Internet in every aspect of my career. When I am reaching out to specific markets. When planning, we use analytic systems to see what people are interested in. We use social media to rally eyeballs. We engage the public to let their voices be heard.

People who were once out of reach are now reachable. I can hear from the public, learn from them, and create with them, and in return they share with their friends and communities what we are creating. A complete artistic existence is possible by reaching a worldwide audience through social platforms. It's been a fascinating experience. Sometimes people don't understand when I tell them my vision. I think it's because they have the luxury of functioning within the old paradigm that I and many media mavens like myself are no longer a part of.

The Internet has allowed us to remove intermediaries, who have often hidden or obscured great ideas, keeping producers from reaching their potential audience. It's a blessing that I can reach out to those who support this type of content sharing and let them be a part of this brave new world of journalism.