Why Young Journalists Need to Read Rookie Mag’s Jane Pratt Interview

Olivia Hall/Rookie Mag

Olivia Hall/Rookie Mag

I had Rookie Mag’s recent interview with Jane Pratt sitting in my tabs for over a week before I decided to finally sit down and digest it last night. Because I’m an idiot who doesn’t recognize career-affirming advice when it’s staring me in the face from my laptop screen. For some context to my readers unfamiliar with the two subjects mentioned in the headline (glad that didn’t deter you from reading), Rookie Mag is an online mecca for teen girls founded by Tavi Gevinson who represents everything I wish I had the guts to be at her age (17). And Jane Pratt founded the groundbreaking women’s magazines Sassy and Jane before taking her talents to new media two years ago and starting xojane, which to me is one of the most important online resources to learn about, understand, and appreciate the female human experience ever created.

As a journalist in the, well, rookie years of my career, I’m constantly on the hunt for articles and interviews with journalists I’m impressed with or inspired by. I’ve read so many stories about Jane Pratt before but none have been as refreshing and enlightening as this one and, surprisingly, it’s only a Q&A. But Anaheed Alani, the editor who conducted this interview, is great as what she does and so her questions dig at the side of Jane Pratt we rarely get insight on: her life pre-Sassy as an up-and-coming editor with a passion for telling real-women stories in a world where those stories are often dismissed. Then again, most of the stories I read about women journalists like Jane are written by men, so I can’t be shocked when they focus more on her editing prowess rather than her rise to that notoriety.

You don’t have to like or even care about Jane Pratt but if you’re a young journalist, you need to read this interview and know how she got to where she is today. Or if you like to read success stories, then this one’s perfect for you too. I know from going to J-school and working in the field that getting an education in this industry goes far beyond a year or four’s worth of college credits. You need to do your research and figure out why you care about journalism. And that is why I urge young journalists, especially women, to read this interview.

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Life Updates!

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I know what you’re thinking. Back in January when I relaunched my site, I resolved to embrace frequent blogging. Thing is, when I made that promise I severely underestimated my grad workload for the spring semester. I took three reporting/writing intensive courses which left little room for personal blogging outside my music Tumblr. My apologies. But despite my blogging hiatus, I never ceased paying attention to media industry news. Instead, I’ve adopted a better medium for sharing that information: Twitter. So if you’re looking to stay on top of what’s going on at the major magazines, newspapers, and digital media outlets, give me a follow.

Since my last blog back in March, I graduated grad school! In May, I received my master’s in magazine, newspaper, and online journalism from the greatest J-school on Earth: the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Now, I’m a fairly humble person who rarely brags about personal or even professional achievements. But I fought for years to get into this school and nearly gave up on my dream of being a journalist twice along the way. So, I can’t help but emit pride when I call myself an alumna of this prestigious school and a member of the powerful Newhouse Mafia. I was taught by the best, worked alongside the best, and became a better journalist because of it all.

Since graduating my life has kicked into overdrive. Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been up to:

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