You can not tell me that the new Black Enterprise iPad app is not the first really cool thing we’ve done in the 21st century. (Check out the early kudos from people like Ken Gibbs Jr., an entertainment, culture and tech writer, who consults personalities and brands on digital strategies for new and emerging platforms.) The development and design of the BE app point to the potential to restore magazines to relevance in the digital age, not relegate them to extinction. The introduction of this new media platform has totally inspired me and my peers in content creation at Black Enterprise, including Black Enterprise Magazine Editor-in-Chief Derek Dingle, Creative Director Terence Saulsby and Black Enterprise Television Broadcast Director Genevieve Michel Bryan–all “old pros” of traditional media.
The confluence of journalism and digital media has opened up tremendous opportunities for innovation and service to media consumers. I happen to love it that social media has all but obliterated the wall between those of us who create media and decide (with no small amount of arrogance) what information will be shared with and by whom, and those who once had no choice but to consume what we delivered, how we delivered it–like it or not. I think it’s great that consumers of media can go to sites like BlackWeb 2.0 or The Atlanta Post and tell us exactly how they feel about the job we’re doing. And I’m even more pleased that, as an editor and media executive, I can participate in the conversation, whether by commenting on a blog, sharing a relevant article or video, or joining a discussion in the Twitter stream.
The truth is that I’m having more fun and am more excited about the possibilities being offered to us as media professionals than at any time in my career. I know the realization of the full potential of journalism and digital media will not likely be reached until after I retire (or at least semi-retire) from the media game. And it’s true that, in many ways, I am celebrating my own impending obsolescence in the industry that I’ve loved and excelled in for nearly all of my adult life, as my ability to adapt to the demands of new media consumers is outstripped by the skills of those born and raised in the digital era. Still, I am totally geeked by developments of journalism and digital media that allow us to pursue the Black Enterprise Wealth for Life mission in ways we hadn’t even considered only few years ago.
The bottom line: I got into the media game to help inform and empower people to live better lives. It’s been my calling; my personal ministry. I’ve never been picky about the tools, tactics and weapons I’ve had to use to serve that mission–and I’m not about to start now. Traditional or new, it’s all just media to me.