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Job Title To Watch: Digital Correspondent

Being a blogger forces you to be a multi-tasker. If you’re good at what you do, you not only write, but edit, photograph and sometimes even act as videographer and editor, all to create an engaging blog post. So how can you parlay that into a career?

Today the American Journalism Review has a story on Mara Schiavocampo, NBC‘s first digital correspondent. In April of 2006, Schiavocampo left her job as a television news anchor at New York City’s WRNN. Sensing a disconnect between the way news is/was produced and the way new audiences were demanding to receive it, she boarded a plane to Jordan and set out to carve out a niche for herself as the first international digital correspondent.

Combing video, photographs and blogs to tell a more complete story, Schiavocampo used peoples’ desire for increased media transparency and audience interaction to create reports that went beyond sound bites from an interview.

Find out how Schiavocampo eventually secured an official job with NBC and what it takes to become an international digital correspondent after the jump.


She immersed herself in her surroundings. She spent afternoons talking to people at United Nations refugee camps, for example, looking not for a sound bite but for “facts and feelings.”

During the next three weeks, Schiavocampo traveled across Jordan, Syria and Egypt.

Though the process was confusing at first, Schiavocampo soon developed a work flow. She spent every other month traveling across newsworthy regions, covering racism against Africans in Russia or the killing of bonobo apes for food in Congo. She spent much of her time abroad shooting footage, which she edited after her return home.

She sold her work to outlets including ABC News, National Public Radio, Current TV, Yahoo! and Ebony. In August 2007, the National Association of Black Journalists named Schiavocampo its Emerging Journalist of the Year.

Impressed with her tenacity and reporting style, NBC President Steve Capus and NBC Senior Vice President Alexandra Wallace, who at the time was executive producer of “Nightly News,” gave her the created title of digital correspondent.

Now Schiavocampo spends her time coming up with story ideas, shooting video and still photography, editing, blogging and producing stories for web and television. Her subjects have spanned everything from Detroit citizens coping with the struggling auto industry to the origins of American hair extension&#151a report that took her to a Hindu temple in India that sells the hair that religious devotees shave off.

While certainly not an easy job, digital correspondence has allowed Schiavocampo explore the world and intimately engage with her subjects for more in-depth reports. Think you have what it takes to be a digital correspondent? Comment and let us know how your experience might apply to this job.

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