Crystal Carter, 26, is currently employed at The North County Times located in the San Diego. She recently launched her own publication called Pops Campaign News Magazine, which is a revolutionary news magazine on pop culture, phenomena and politics. She is also a marketing consultant and public relations coordinator. She is active in journalism, social media and business management. Her areas of interest include: event planning, contemporary art, public affairs, urban policy, library science, international relations, and family/culture/community issues. She is involved with numerous organizations, including the Bay Area Black Journalists Association. Carter graduated from San Francisco State University in 2008 with a B.A. in journalism and a certificate in conflict resolution.
She was interviewed by Janlyn Holden, 21, a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in communication studies and getting her minor in mass communication and journalism.
Betsy Bates: Why did you become involved in journalism?
Crystal Carter: I became involved in journalism because I enjoyed speaking to people about things that they were passionate about and to encourage them to continue to do the good work that they are doing. When I was writing for my high school newspaper I also found myself uncovering the truth and validity about many controversial issues such as teacher protests, student drug testing policy and racism on campus. I always wanted to have conversations about topics and I always liked communicating new things that I learned to other people.
BB: How do you define journalism today?
CC: Journalism is a lot more face paced because of technology and the Internet. I still think that people are very eager for the news even though they’re not waiting on the corner for the paper boy to come around. Because of the need for information and world’s current political climate journalism is the number one tool to organize and stay informed about the latest issues going on in our society. I was able to see how much the newsroom is shrinking first hand and it gets kind of discouraging but I know there will always be a need for journalists and social media and technology as well as communications positions have provided more opportunities for journalists.
BB: How has technology influenced or affected your career?
CC: I feel like I have to be the “Jane of all trades!” Because the lack of jobs and the influx of technological advancements I feel like I have to know all aspects of journalism and communications. Including radio, broadcast TV, photography and HTML. Luckily I enjoy all of these things!
BB: How will technology affect the future of journalism?
CC: Journalism will be a lot more interactive and community driven. Which is a good thing because people will be able to participate in a more democratic sort of way.
BB: What one word would you use to describe the status of women in journalism today?
BB: What role(s) will women have in the future of journalism?
CC: Hopefully we will have more voices and more collaboration and MORE OPPORTUNITIES!
BB: How do you view equality today? (Status of women and minorities)
CC: We are making more advancements in minorities being represented in the news. CNN, I feel, is doing a great job at having a diverse news staff. And when you think of great journalists in general you usually think of women, which is a great thing. Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Rachel Maddow. Women journalists are doing something right!
BB: What inspired you to start your own publication?
CC: I was inspired how people in my generation were the deciding factor in Obama’s presidency. The Millennial generation turned out in record numbers to participate in this historical event. I realized that the people in my generation have so many concerns and are sometimes overlooked. I want those voices to be the voices of my magazine.
BB: What kind of challenges have you faced as a journalist because of your gender or race? Or have you had none?
CC: I am a black woman and sometimes I find myself sticking out at journalism conferences and gatherings. Sometimes there are one or two black folks and a handful of woman but I definitely find myself being the minority! Would love for there to be more!
BB: What is your career goal? Where do you want to take your career?
CC: My career goal would be to run a successful non-profit focused on media advocacy, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and digital media arts.
BB: Do you have a favorite piece you have written, and why did you enjoy it so much?
CC: My favorite piece has been when I wrote a profile on Kamala Harris who is currently the Attorney General of California. It was for a one-time publication called the Panorama which was published by the award winning author Dave Eggers.
It was great to listen to her story and listen to all of her personal triumphs and how she overcame racism. Her grandmother was a revolutionary and it was just interesting to see how that played in to her wanting to change the world as well! Definitely the most inspiring story I have done thus far. I also really enjoyed doing the research! I got to call the White House and speak with some really important people.
BB: What do you enjoy the most about being a journalist?
CC: I enjoy getting in free to fun events with my press pass!
BB: What qualities, if any, do women offer as journalists that men do not?
CC: I think women are more tenacious than men so they are more likely to get a story. I also think women share a lot more so they are more likely to spark a relationship during the time that they are interviewing and doing reporting for the stories that they are writing. I also think it is very important to follow up with your sources even after the story is written. It shows that you are appreciative of the time the source took to tell you information. They are also more open to collaborating with other journalists, which is key especially in this political climate.
BB: Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like us to know about women in journalism?
CC: If you haven’t watched the documentary Miss Representation, do it, ASAP! Essential viewing for all women journalists!!
This is part of a series of profiles of JAWS members by University of Iowa students. For a complete listing, see this page.