On Monday in Mobile and Social Media Journalism class, we had the opportunity to Skype with Buzzfeed mobile news editor and Ithaca College/Park School alum Aaron Edwards. Edwards, who works on reporting structure and functionality of the Buzzfeed app, is very outgoing on Twitter and was able to share some cool career advice along with giving us some looks into his job and deciding what to report on Buzzfeed.
Some of what stuck with me the most from what he said about career advice was his experience with a fellowship at the New York Times. He said, hoping that you could find something paid, that it is not a bad idea to look for things outside of guaranteed jobs when first getting out of college. This resonates with some of my thinking so far applying for stuff post-graduation, as I would be open to doing internships and gaining more experience before heading into a job.
Edwards also had some interesting things to say about working in a newsroom. He feels that so far in his time with Buzzfeed that they have provided him with a place where he can not only benefit them, but that he will also benefit from being there. In saying that, he was describing that part of an environment that he likes to work in provides its employees with a place to exploit their strengths and also grow and become better at other things. He doesn’t feel as though people should be looked upon as experts of the culture that they come from, but they need to find ways to grow out of that and be looked at for all of the knowledge and expertise they have gained in a variety of different topics.
As far as reporting, Edwards talked about how he likes to choose stories for Buzzfeed. He reference the Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa Twitter war as an example. After Wiz seemed to call out West, West then went on a Twitter rant about Wiz, who apparently responded at shows with more Kanye hate. Then West announced they had talked and settled their difference. Edwards said the most difficult part of putting a story out like that is being able to understand the background behind why it happened and tell the proper story. Fans want to know the roots of the beef and why Wiz said what he said, and then why West said what he decided to say.
I enjoyed speaking with Edwards and wish we had more time. His path of hard work before, during and after his time at Ithaca College is inspiring to me and I hope he has continued success.