Relevant Magazine editor finds media industry is converging
By Veronica Vanderbeek
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
When Jesse Carey started college at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Media had always appealed to him, so he got involved with the student newspaper and campus radio station. Carey’s interest in media grew, and he graduated with a degree in mass media with an emphasis in journalism.
During his senior year, Carey held an internship with Relevant Magazine. He was also an editor at the school’s newspaper and really liked the process of planning the tone and direction of the paper. He always enjoyed writing, while editing allowed him to have more of an editorial voice as he planned the paper.
After Carey graduated, Relevant offered him a temporary position in marketing. He spent a summer on a concert tour promoting books and Relevant Magazine. Relevant then offered him another marketing position that allowed him to apply as an editor when the job opened up.
Currently, Carey is a contributing editor at Relevant Magazine.
He works from home but meets with managing editor Tyler Huckabee daily via Skype. He also writes daily and updates the feature pieces in the middle of the web page every morning. Depending on their publication schedule, he also might work on small features for the print magazine, attend meetings, come up with content ideas or co-host a Relevant podcast.
Feature writing is Carey’s favorite part of the job. His job consists mainly of day-to-day tasks, but writing print features is a longer process that allows him to invest creatively in the piece. “I don’t do it every day so it’s sort of a treat to spend more time writing something,” Carey said in a phone interview.
Carey said he would advise college students to “Get involved in everything you can.” He said students should not worry about making money with their writing but should take every opportunity presented to them. Carey believes that all kinds media will converge at some point so it is important to have experience in all aspects of journalism.
“You’ll hear writers on broadcasts and podcasts so just get as much experience in every field that you can, whether it’s paid or not,” Carey said.
Carey also encouraged students to be prepared for the learning curve when beginning a job. “I would say the biggest challenge initially, when I first started, was to realize a lot of the stuff I learned in school wasn’t necessarily applicable because the industry had changed so much. You’re taught all these rules … but the reality is a lot of the stuff you end up writing today isn’t hard news,” Carey said.
Carey talked about the inverted pyramid style of writing and many other things journalist are taught in school, but said sometimes you just need to focus on writing with a little personality and figure out how much of yourself to put into the story.