As the former editor-in-chief of both Glamour Magazine and Self and a senior fellow with the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, Cindi Leive knows a thing or two about success. On Oct. 11, students packed the Sheindlin Forum to hear Leive talk about her career with moderators Christina Bellantoni, director of the media center, and Miki Turner, assistant professor of professional practice.
Here are a few of the best tips Leive offered that afternoon for women in the media workplace.
“If you are planning on working in media, your digital skills are important. I advise you to go directly into digital positions and make the transition from content to print that way, if that’s what interests you. But also, do not neglect basic journalistic skills. Whether you are working in politics or fashion, get the facts correct, read and practice writing. You need to be a good writer to do anything — to write video scripts, to caption a photo or report on a story.”
“Make sure you are pitching to the right person at the right outlet. Do not pitch a story about a news event or a cultural trend that anybody can write about and would have access to the same information that you have. Pitch a story about a subject you know has an interesting angle or an event that you have a particular perspective and insight into. Include those details in your pitch. This way you're not asking them to take a leap of faith, you’ve interested them in the first paragraph – which should probably be the only paragraph.”
“I hope among your generation, when you come into the workplace, you enter with a sense of entitlement to basic human benefits. Women shouldn’t have to choose between motherhood and a career. I think the challenge is that our current workplace doesn’t always make it easy for that to happen. Journalism jobs can be incredibly demanding and consuming so we are going to have to redefine the journalism workplace so that is a bit more humane.”