On Media - Or, Why Isn't There a Jezebel/Hairpin for WOC

Yesterday, I created an impromptu twitter chat on media. It started as a quick response to a query someone else asked and then grew into a conversation about the environment at large.

27,864 total views
  1. The original tweet I spotted on @tressimchphd's feed asked about a Jezebel/Hairpin like feed for WOC.
  2. Anil and Tressie came up with the Root and the Grio - and while both those sites are black focused, they were both launched as news destinations. And with the Root, a particular politics focus.  While almost all black publications mix news and lifestyle, you probably aren't going to serve the same audience.  Meanwhile, publications like Clutch, Parlor, Madame Noir, etc get ignored yet again, even though they are the sites that are more in that vertical. I mentioned that, but also mentioned they do not have the same type of funding as a Jez or a Hairpin. 
  3. Those are three "big ones" I can think of and they are focused on black women. I have not come across a lifestyle type mag for Latinas. Audrey Magazine is for Asian American women, but while their print offering was strong, a reorganization and digital reboot means they are once again searching for voice and audience. I also threw out Vibe Vixen, Vibe, The Fashion Bomb Daily, and Ebony, though those are less in that vein. Also, the "NYC/Prestigious" thing is a *HUGE* issue, but one I am not going to get to in this storify. But location influences perception of what is big and what is small - I don't think it's an accident that we can be anywhere online, but NYC is still the center of the media universe. For what it's worth, Racialicious is a DC/NYC/SD based editor staff, Clutch is headquartered in Atlanta, and Parlour Magazine's EIC is in California. But again, a whole other convo about regional bias...
  4. For more background - from 2009 - 2012, most of my main source of income was freelance writing, with a little bit of consulting blended in, and random other things (radio hosting, TV hosting, speaking). In 2012, I went to do the Knight Fellowship. In 2013, I've stopped freelancing and now work full time for Al Jazeera America. My consulting has been for Wikipedia, NPR, and Weber Shandwick. And I've attended literally dozens of conferences on this exact topic - summits and funding. I've judged the NewU journalists competition for start up funding and was a reader for one of the Knight News Challenges. I've got friends at almost every major foundation there is. So I've been trying to find an answer to this problem for the last 5 years. But clearly, this is too much to tweet.
  5. Wanted to do a piece, but never got around to pitching it, I should mention.
  6. This is becoming more and more common - outlets I used to write for at $300-$500 a piece are now offering $150 or less a piece to new contribs, because budgets are down.  And with the devaluation of content more broadly, it's tough to get more than that these days.  The R doesn't pay, but that's because we have no money. What young writers should watch out for is how funded a place is that is asking you to write for free. A lot of people don't have budget, but there are other ways to work with people. But I digress...