Untold Story: Things I Learned While Being a Black Woman in the Media Career


Untold Story: Things I Learned While Being a Black Woman in the Media Career

By: Tori Glaude

All throughout college, I knew I wanted to be in the radio/TV field. I was very proactive in having my own radio show in college and supporting media organizations on campus.

However, nothing prepared me for the reality of how challenging it is to "make it" in this industry. Leading women in this field such as Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes do not get enough credit. I want to share some of my experiences with you and shed some light in this field.

As a television production assistant in the news industry, I've observed how challenging it is to move up. In one of my communication courses in college, I learned that the news rooms are typically made up of older whiter men, an observation that media organizations are trying to break the glass ceiling through and integrate other races.

Unfortunately, that insight given to me four years ago about the news industry hasn’t changed that much. Being the only black production assistant in my department, I often feel like I stand out. However, I stopped saying "I don't fit in with anybody." Although it would be great to see more faces like myself, I realized that for one to break barriers, one must first be able to adapt to any environment or situation. Working here has taught me that to be successful in any role, it isn't good to limit your mindset, because it is the situations we are uncomfortable in that challenges and changes us the most.

One of the most important things I learned while being in this industry is everything shouldn’t be a black or white issue. I've equally had challenging coworker experiences with both races. I've even had a situation where I had to be brutally honest about the poor work ethic of a black coworker. And in that, it has become more important to me to have integrity and be true to how I feel rather than being "too black" or "trying to be white".

I can't say that I've endured racism, but there have been times when I've questioned my career on my path to become a producer. The biggest moment I questioned was being told I need a certain amount of experience to get a producer position, while watching others become a producer with less experience.

All in all, each profession has its pros and cons. I know that it is up to me to continue working hard, editing videos, writing scripts and assisting producers in getting events on air. And I do have faith that I will advance in the media, and play a role in paving the way for women who look like me to make it in the media industry.