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Aneya Fernando

Fishbowl Five + 1 with Amy Astley, Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue

Amy-Astley2Amy Astley has the rare distinction of being handpicked by Vogue matriarch Anna Wintour to take the reins of sister pub Teen Vogue. Astley was just 34 when she was given the lofty title of editor-in-chief, and she’s held on to it for the last 11 years, while earning the mag Adweek’s Startup of the Year award, growing circulation to nearly a million right off the bat, and inspiring countless budding fashionistas along the way.

With the newly released edition of The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide To Careers in Fashion, Astley and her team are dispensing their best career advice for newbies hoping to join their glamorous ranks. Here, she shares her top tips with Mediabistro on breaking into the competitive industry.

1. How can a young journalist make a good first impression with an editor?
The thing that resonates the most with me is a good attitude. Every boss is different, but for me if someone is energetic, cheerful, excited to be there — I can forgive a lot of mistakes. That’s not true for every boss. But for me, their attitude is really, really important.

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So What Do You Do, Amelia McDonell-Parry, Editor-in-Chief of TheFrisky.com?

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Amelia McDonell-Parry, editor-in-chief of the popular women’s lifestyle site TheFrisky.com, is probably the last person you’d expect to find at a men’s magazine like Maxim. And yet, McDonell-Parry’s career path has taken plenty of unexpected twists and turns, from her early days as an intern at Jane to scoring her first gig at Rolling Stone, to her current position heading up TheFrisky.

Here, McDonell-Parry talks about the surprising office culture at Maxim, going up against censorship at Turner and how she finally got past her fear of failure.

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Mark Aldam, President of Hearst Newspapers on the Future of Print

Mark-Aldam-ArticleMark Aldam, president of Hearst Newspapers, has been working in the field of print journalism for close to 30 years. He has seen the changing media landscape firsthand and has some ideas on how to keep print afloat.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Aldam explains how Hearst differs from its competitors (such as News Corp., Tribune, Gannett), what most excites him about the newspaper business and why print isn’t dying:

I think there’s obviously some truth to the concern about the printed newspaper’s future given just the relationship between print ads and the size of the paper that most publishers produce. But my first response is: I believe that the printed newspaper will be around long enough to print our obituaries. I think the newspapers that have responded to where consumers demand to access news and information — which is in their palm, and on their desktops and tablets — I think we stand a very good chance of being an influential part of the community…

For more from Aldam, including what his typical day is like, read: So What Do You Do, Mark Aldam, President of Hearst Newspapers?

Pitch Practical Advice to Scribes for The Writer

The-Writer-Article3The Writer has been instructing and inspiring readers since 1887. The mag covers the nuts-and-bolts of writing, with everything from how-to stories and reported articles to narrative essays.

The pub is 60 to 70 percent freelance written and editors want queries on concrete topics, by novice and experienced writers alike. Article length varies from 300 to 3,000 words, and there are plenty of regular features to choose from. These include:

• Breakthrough – First-person articles about a writer’s experience in “breaking through” to a market, which includes advice and lessons learned. This section runs about 700 words.
Freelance Success – Tips on the business of freelancing in about 1,000 words.
Writing Essentials – These articles cover the craft of writing. The section runs 800 words and should include a sidebar with resources.
How I Write – An interview with an author that contains a short bio and runs about 600 words.

To learn more about the mag, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: The Writer.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Pitch Buzzworthy Personal Essays to Mom.me

Mom.me-articleMom.me is a different kind of parenting site in the sense that it doesn’t limit mom’s interests to her life as a parent. That’s why the site covers fashion, beauty, health, home, viral videos and more.

The two-year-old site is 70 percent freelance written, and editors are on the lookout for freelancers who can write share-worthy articles on everything from toddler playdates to the empty nest. Personal essays in particular are in demand:

Personal essays can reflect a moment in the writer’s own life or someone else’s in an “as told to” format, while news pieces might jump off a new study on autism, breastfeeding or mom’s own health. However, [Cerentha Harris, lead editor of the site] says it shouldn’t be a straight “news of the day” piece. This should really be an influential think piece. “I’m particularly interested in people who pitch stories that are going to break into the national parenting conversation,” Harris says.

To learn more about Mom.me, including editors’ contact details, read: How To Pitch: Mom.me.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

We’re Hosting a Media Intern Party!

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The networking event will be held at Turtle Bay next Tuesday, August 12, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. We’ll have drink specials, complimentary appetizers and even a chance to win a free Mediabistro course.

This is a great opportunity to meet your fellow city-dwelling media interns, swap stories and learn more about how Mediabistro can help you to land that all-important first job.

You can register for the party here. We hope to see you next week!

Legendary Journalist Belva Davis Dishes on Interviewing the Greats

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Belva Davis, the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast, has paved the way for the likes of Tamron Hall and Soledad O’Brien. She is a true pioneer, a self-taught journalist whose incredible career has spanned print, radio and television.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Davis talks about how she landed her fig gig at Jet, the reason she never turned down a story in the first decade of her career and why some of her memorable interview moments stand out for the wrong reasons:

I interviewed Jim Jones, who was someone I never wanted to talk to, and I had a poor interview with W.E.B. Dubois because I was young and didn’t know the significance of his importance. As time went on, I was interviewing Muhammad Ali one day and in the presence of Malcolm X the next. I did one of many interviews with Huey Newton in Cuba. Celebrities were open to me because I’d been on radio. I just pulled out some files the other day: interviews with Ella [Fitzgerald], Nancy [Wilson] and Lena [Horne]. But I think it was my first interview with then-Governor Reagan because it was unusual that I got past the Republican barricade. That was because of a co-worker and mentor named Roland Post, who became my co-anchor on a political talk show.

To hear more from Davis, including her experiences with sexism during the civil rights movement, read: So What Do You Do, Belva Davis, Pioneering Broadcast Journalist, TV Host and Author?

Paul McKenna on What Makes a Great Interviewer

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Paul McKenna has worn many hats during his eclectic, impressive career. He’s an international best-selling author, a hypnotist, a self-help guru and, now, a TV host.

On his new show McKenna (currently streaming on Hulu) he interviews media moguls like Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Rachael Ray and Randy Jackson to find out “what makes them tick.” In our latest So What Do You Do column, McKenna gives advice to up-and-coming media pros and shares his thoughts on what makes a great interviewer:

I’m not a journalist. So I haven’t come from conventional journalistic training, which is to go for the jugular, you know, sneak one question in under another, try and get the other person [to] expose something. I’m just fascinated and curious. I think 25 years in the trenches, working with the most challenged of people you can imagine, has given me an ability to have a politely inquiring manner, I hope. I think you get more from people if they feel that they’re being genuinely listened to and understood, and that they don’t need to be on guard.

For more from McKenna, including how a chance encounter on Simon Cowell‘s boat resulted in his latest gig, read: So What Do You Do, Paul McKenna, Best-Selling Author, Hypnotist and Host of Hulu’s McKenna?

Join Us Tomorrow for a Career Lunch Hangout with a Veteran Freelance Copywriter

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Be sure to tune in tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET for our latest Career Lunch Google+ Hangout! Mediabistro managing editor Valerie Berrios and MediaJobsDaily editor and career expert Vicki Salemi will be chatting with Kim Taylor, a veteran freelance copywriter and MediabistroEDU instructor.

Taylor has worked for a variety of agencies and brands, including David Levy, Brand Jam and American Express Platinum Travel. She’ll share her best advice for freelancers, on everything from managing your time wisely to scoring new clients and more.

Join the conversation with your questions and comments on TwitterFacebook or Google+ with the hashtag #mbhangouts.

Marcy Bloom on How She Became Condé Nast’s Youngest Publisher

Marcy-Bloom-ArticleMarcy Bloom is a publishing veteran, having worked at numerous glossies like Self, GQ, Teen People and Lucky. After taking a year off to volunteer abroad, Bloom hit the ground running with her current gig as senior vice president and group publisher of Modern Luxury.

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Bloom talks with Mediabistro managing editor Valerie Berrios about the changing landscape of modern advertising and how she became Condé Nast’s youngest publisher while at Lucky:

One [reason was] putting a lot of pressure on myself. [Having] a lot of amazing mentors, and quite frankly, Condé was such a great experience for me. We loved what we were doing at GQ. I learned a ton from the brand and my bosses there. And when you’re loving what you’re doing it’s easy to grow and work hard, and so with a lot of support from my management and the corporate management — they really put me [in that position at Lucky]. I think if you work hard and your intentions are great and you know what you’re looking to accomplish, people respond.

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