Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Alexandra Wray

Media mogul in the making, Alexandra Wray. Photo provided by Alexandra Wray.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is sports host, writer, content creator, Alexandra Wray. When she’s not appearing in video content for the Scottsdale Titans or Goodyear Ballpark, you can find her written work on Z’s Sports Corner Blog and Sports As Told By A Girl. Get to know Alexandra and her professional journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?

“What piqued my interest in the journalism field was the ability to create content on topics that I am passionate about. When I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to excel working in sports. I initially thought that what I wanted to do was be a reporter. However, as I went through college and started developing my writing and graphic design skills, I found that I enjoy all styles of media that are correlated with sports. My hope is that when people read or watch my content, they are as passionate and energized as I was when I was creating the content. My hope is that they are able to feel my energy through my work.” 

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?

“While pursuing my bachelors degree in Professional & Technical Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, I worked for multiple sports teams. My first job was an Ice Promotions Team Member with the Milwaukee Admirals Hockey Club, an American Hockey League team, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I worked with the Milwaukee Admirals throughout my entire collegiate career at UWM. While I was in my final two years at UWM,  I was blessed to receive an internship opportunity with the Northwoods League Lakeshore Chinooks Baseball team. I was a member of their webcast crew who was in charge of all the home game live broadcasts. This was a huge first step into my career in sports media/journalism. With a total of  about 36 home games, I was able to learn multiple positions like director, camera operator and webcast/graphics operator. With all the resources available to me, I was able to start creating content and practice on-camera features for my personal demo reel. After graduating in the summer of 2016, I moved to Arizona where I started my sports blog, ‘Z’s Sports Corner’. I started writing articles basically on anything I thought was a highlight of the week or on certain teams that I was most familiar with. I then progressed into wanting to work on being in front of the camera, so I began recording and editing my own recap videos and features on news happening in sports. Recently, I have developed my skills to conduct interviews with local athletes in the Phoenix area.”   

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?

“I will admit,  when I first began my career in sports,  I had little to no network, and struggled to build relationships and ask for opportunities due to my fear of being told no. However, once I moved to Arizona, I started to open up and realize that without creating a personal network of  like minded individuals I admire, it will be an incredibly lonely and hard path to grow in the sports industry. My first opportunity to grow my network in the sports field was in early 2017 , when I was hired as a Camera Operator at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear Arizona, during Spring Training for the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. I was given the opportunity to take over the In-Game Host position half way through the season. This gave me the chance to finally get in front of the camera and gain those live shot skills in front of thousands of people. When the season ended,  I was presented the opportunity  to work all special events at the Ballpark throughout the year as their emcee. Through this I was able to build relationships with the City of Goodyear Mayor and Council as well as became more confident in public speaking.  

My network expanded greatly in the summer of 2019,  when I attended the GALvanize Bootcamp . GALvanize Bootcamp was founded and operated by FOX Sports Broadcaster, Laura Okmin. With a total of twenty girls, we spent two days together learning from each other and growing as sports reporters. Through this bootcamp, I was able to grow my network of powerful women in sports . I still stay connected with all the women I met in 2019 and this year,  I had the opportunity to meet other women who have completed GALvanize boot camps in other parts of the country and have made lasting relationships with them as well. GALvanize isn’t just a boot camp, it is more like a sisterhood, where all participants are rooting for you and congratulating you on all of your accomplishments. I feel very blessed to have found such a group and I am glad that I have stayed connected with all of them even after so much time has passed.

 My goal is to be part of a sports network or organization where I am able to make content both on and off camera. While working at a local news station I would have the opportunity to report multiple sporting events throughout the year, but with a sports organization, I would be able to build strong relationships with people throughout the team. This would allow me to share more meaningful stories on “Who” the athletes are and expand on their passions as they pursue their dreams. 

I believe that my audience consists of individuals who love sports and who understand the lingo. I also create content for the people who don’t know much about sports, but by reading my articles or watching my content, they will begin to understand and enjoy my passion for it.” 

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?

“I would have to say that I felt most proud when Bria Hartley, a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury, liked and retweeted my article. I am a writer for ‘Sports As Told By A Girl’ and if you’re not already following them on social media, you should be. ‘Sports as Told By a Girl’, founded by Ashleigh Binder, is a sports blog written and published by women.  I wrote  an article called, “Being a Full-Time Mom and Athlete in the WNBA Wubble”, which featured rockstar moms who are not only taking care of their little ones 24 hours a day, but they are also playing in Florida for the WNBA season. When I shared the article on my twitter page, I tagged some of the women I featured in the article. One of these women, Bria Hartley, liked and retweeted my article. This was a huge boost in confidence for me because I knew that she not only read it, but she liked it enough to share it to show her followers for them to read and share as well.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field? 

“This field can be challenging when you try to follow one path to accomplish your goals. I have learned and am still learning throughout my journey, that the path is not always a straight shot to reach your goals. My advice would be to start now in creating your own path and content. People are watching you and they will start to follow and listen to you if you show them what you are passionate about. I am also a huge advocate on taking opportunities whether they scare you or not. I know I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today if I had said no because I didn’t have experience in the position. Another piece of advice is to try to find a network or mentors that build you up and that want the best for you. Having individuals to support you each step of the way in your career makes the journey worth it.” 

Stay connected with Alexandra Wray by following her on Instagram and Twitter.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!

Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Amy Lothian

Media mogul in the making, Amy Lothian. Photo provided by Amy Lothian.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is rising editor, host and writer, Amy Lothian. Lothian’s latest interview with recording artist and reality TV star AZIA for We Are Jersey Magazine is the curator’s best work yet! Get to know Amy and her professional journey below.

You are a multi-talented individual dipping and dapping in a bunch of other expressive fields. So, what was it about journalism or media that piqued your interest?
“I’ve been interested in journalism since I was young. My dad loved to read and that’s something he passed down to me: a love for reading, writing, and literature. I have been writing my whole life but my passion for journalism was inspired by a desire to tell unique stories and share other peoples stories in a meaningful way and in my own style.”

How did you get your start in the media field? Did you study communications in college? Internships? Hobby writing?
“Writing was at first just a hobby and outlet for me as child. I first got interested in Media by watching early 2000s talk and news shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show. Later, seeing women like Lala and Tyra Banks making waves in reality tv showed me the potential for black women in media and inspired me to pursue a career in journalism. Throughout my schooling, I kept my skills sharp by taking any writing course I was eligible for and entering several writing competitions. In college I majored in Communications at East Stroudsburg University and also served as Editor of the University’s newspaper, The Stroud Courier for 2 years.” 

Tell us how you built up your platform. What’s your mission/goals? Who’s your audience?
“I hardly consider myself to have a platform, but I’ve built a solid foundation for myself as a writer by consistently building my resume. Most of my writing opportunities have come from putting myself out there and just taking a risk in promoting myself. My goal is to tell authentic stories and show the human elements of people in ways that inspire those that read them. I’ve always been interested in entertainment media and most of my writing now is in line with that, features of events, people, businesses, and projects, but with a personal touch. My audience is people who like to read and learn about those making waves around them.”

So far throughout your career, what has been your proudest personal media moment?
“My biggest personal media moment has been he opportunity to write for WeAreJersey magazine and this feature! I’m honored to be recognized for doing what I’m passionate about as I grow as a writer and a professional in the entertainment field.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs looking to enter the field?
“Everyone says this but you really just have to believe in yourself. Keep your mind open new to opportunities and be flexible with your career path. Things may not always go to your plan but it doesn’t mean they won’t work out. Always work hard, network, and give 100% to everything you do.”

To purchase the latest copy of We Are Jersey Magazine featuring Amy’s interview with recording artist AZIA, click HERE. Stay connected with Amy Lothian by following her on Instagram and Twitter.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!

Media Mogul In The Making: Meet Flisadam Pointer

Media mogul in the making, Flisadam Pointer. Photo provided by Flisadam Pointer.

This week’s featured media mogul in the making is the founder and editor-in-chief of the independent entertainment blog ENVERT and our very own editor-in-chief, Flisadam Pointer. Get to know Flisadam and her professional journey below.

You are an adjunct teaching Digital Media at Rutgers University. What made you go into education rather than staying in the media field solely?

“Truth be told, I had no intention of pursuing a career in the field of education! I have a great deal of respect for educators. So to be responsible for molding the mind of a pupil is one I do not take lightly.  During my graduate studies, I had the opportunity to conduct a case study on how social media influences digital album sales examining Solange’s A Seat At The Table rollout. My professor at the time was impressed by my research methods and after graduating invited me to come back to teach undergraduates but I declined. She reached back out again, so I decided to take the leap and I’ve been teaching every since. She’s now my program director, I guess she saw something in me that I didn’t.

I love all forms of media which is why teaching it has been so enjoyable. After graduating I choose the path of digital media as in social media storytelling by way of marketing despite majoring in journalism because there are many ways to tell a story outside of just blogging. But life is full circle, in the past year or so I have been writing a lot more. Conducting artist interviews, album reviews, video spotlights and more. Quite ironic really.”

Tell us about ENVERT. How did it start? Where did you come up with the name and where do you see it in the next year?

“ENVERT is my creative baby! Initially, ENVERT started off as a one-hour weekly radio show on Rutgers University’s WRSU student radio station to showcase my favorite tracks I found on SoundCloud that week. It quickly grew into a two-hour weekly show with on-air performance, music premieres and in-studio interviews. There was a void to showcase independent artists and I tried my best to fill it. 

It really upsets me that despite being in the number 1 media market with stations like Hot 97, Power 105.1, Z100, WBLS as well as major television networks like BET & MTV that these artists weren’t getting the media coverage they deserved. Execs would rather play the same 6 tracks or videos all day. So the name came from my goal to reverse what entertainers were getting attention or inverting the coverage. 

We are growing little by little every day, so in the next year I would love to being producing a lot more video content and if possible live shows.”

Of all the forms of multimedia, what do you think is the most effective channel and what is your favorite or specialty?

“It’s hard to say which form is the most effective. It all depends on your audience as well as your intended goal with your content. Podcasts work great for long-form material. Video content is good for adding context to a narrative. Text based content is great for exploring opinions. I would say of all the mediums, I feel like words are my speciality so it’s my go-to medium. I am however beginning to explore outside of that with video and audio a lot more.”

Do you have a dream interview? If so, who?

“I love interviewing! I’ve always been a very curious person so speaking directly with the creative source is one of my favorite things to do. I have a ton of dream interviews. At ENVERT we cover independent artists so my list for indie musicians would be Kay Cola, ODDISEE, E-40, Kandi Burruss, Lupe Fiasco…there are so many. As for artists signed to the Big Three I would love to interview, Xavier Omar, Jazmine Sullivan, NAO, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey but I have an elite team I call my honorary Aunties that I would love to interview but I would probably pass out but I could get a word out that includes Anita Baker, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross.”

What advice would you give aspiring mediapreneurs and your students looking to enter the field?

“I have several pieces of advice I would like to offer that I pulled directly from my professional journey. First, it’s never too late to start. Even after graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies I decided to take another path. After hobby blogging for 6 years, I am just now fully embracing my identity as a blogger. Second, you are more than capable of turning your dreams into a reality. You do not need that “journalistic stamp of approval” from a major outlet in order to create amazing content. Research the market, network amongst those actively doing what you want to do, try your ideas out, fail then try again until you succeed. Lastly, understand that you may need to blaze your own path. The ideas you have may not be actualized in this moment, don’t let that deter you from executing on your vision. At one point executives though 106 & Park was a far fetched idea, fast forward to today it is internationally recognized as a culture reset and has influenced all other similar platforms that came after it.”

Why should someone support IEMC?

“People should support the IEMC because we are here solely to support the PEOPLE. As major media outlets continue to layoff and underpay their staff, it is important to us at the IEMC to provide the necessary resources whether financial, referrals, trainings and more to these media figures and journalists in order to help them earn a living off of their craft as a freelancer. Handing control back over to those who if they weren’t here the industry would come to a stand still. That’s why!”

To check out ENVERT’s latest coverage click HERE to visit its official website or follow the site on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can connect with Flisadam Pointer across social including on Instagram and Twitter.

The Independent Entertainment Media Coalition is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization dedicated to provided financial, educational, and professional resources for freelance media figures. Help in our efforts! To make a donation, please click HERE!