The Girl Bosses of UNT Series Shines Light On Jade Jackson
Do you currently follow Jade?
You might know her by her social media username, IAMJADETHEGREAT. If you currently follow her, then you must know how inspirational and ambitious she is. She is currently majoring in Public relation and plans to pursue a career as a news reporter. I decided to make her the first person I would feature in this series because she does a great job of utilizing her college experience. I don't know anybody who has as much drive and determination than her. I honestly follow her because she shows you that you can do anything as long as you work hard for it. She doesn't make excuses and is the true definition of #blackgirlmagic. I reached out to her recently about this feature. She was happy to participate and we were able to set up an interview at Apple-bees. I was very nervous at first because I have never interviewed anybody before. I'm glad I started with her because I felt like the interview was more like a conversation with a good friend. We were able to talk about her career, her tips and advice for social media, and black businesses in Denton. It was a good time. I was able to come up with a few questions to ask her. I will have the interview questions and answers down below.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself
A: I'm originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. West Side Indy, Haughville USA. I feel like it was destined for me to be in the industry of journalism since I was nine years old. When I was in elementary school, we had a broadcast for our school announcements. They would only allow sixth graders to be on the broadcast. My librarian who was in charge of announcements, noticed my personality and decided to put me on air. I was only in fourth grade at the time. He ended up telling my parents at the PTA meetings that there was something there. That it is beyond the norm and my parents would just laugh it off. Its crazy because 15 years later, I'm actively pursuing a career in this. Besides Journalism, other facts about me is that I'm very peculiar, very claustrophobic, and I have a weird fear of pickles (unless there's Kool-aid in them).
Q: What are you currently studying?
A: It's weird but I'm currently majoring in public relations with a minor in social sciences. People often assume that I'm studying broadcast journalism. I just do broadcast journalism for fun. I join other organizations that help me cultivate those journalism skills but I wanted a background in public relations. I wanted to use it as something I could possibly fall back on. It's more so a safety net but now that I'm a senior I realize that I had nothing to fear. It's still good to have my background in public relations but having a safety net suggests that you're not willing to take a risk. But I do want to shout out the PR people. I love them!
Q: What made you decide to go into the broadcasting Industry?
A: Not only my experience from elementary school but also in 8th grade during President Obama's election campaign. I remember watching the CNN documentary by Soledad O'Brien called Black in America. I remember watching her and watching those stories about black people. Back then I didn't really see a lot of representation of us in the news industry. There was one black reporter named Ericka Flye, who's at RTV 6 in Indianapolis. It was inspiring seeing Soledad and how poise she was. I loved how she portrayed black people in a different light. I kind of hold journalists, especially women journalists, at a higher standard. Almost like elegant vessels of storytelling, expect with any truth there's always that edge you have to have.
Q: What are the major lessons you have learned since deciding to go into the Broadcasting Industry?
A: I realized that journalist are nosy, which means they are naturally messy. Some of the lessons I've learned is that you have to let your ego go at the door. I learned that you have to have tough skin because people will literally pick you apart. As students we are told that we are supposed to be there for each other and that its us against other schools but then once you get into the real world you realize its starts to become us against each other. I started to see that people would start to separate instead of come together. They would rather be apart. I also learned to become a level mind and not to get trapped into the superficial things that come with being on air. It's important to realize the importance of why you do what you do, which is to tell a story. It's also very important to know that you can cultivate your own story, you don't need to join a certain organizations or be friends with certain people to be successful in your career path.
Q: How do you balance internships, school, social life, and organizations?
A: I don't. It's either you're going to sacrifice one or the other. People call me JadeTheGreat but I'm really mediocre. Where I'm excelling in one part, maybe academically sis ain't doing so well. But that just means I need to try to balance it out. For example, I was working in KNTU at the beginning of the semester but I had to tell them " look, right now is not the best time for me to dedicate to this. I really need to dedicate time to my studies now". Balancing it out just means you got to get up. If you know you're going to be sick and tired, maybe this isn't for you. I force myself to get up. My schedule can consists of waking up, going to the station, get my story, and start editing it. I don' t have to get up at 9 if my class is at 11 but I know that if I want this story done by 3 pm. I'm going to have to get up those extra hours . It's also making sure that once class is over, the homework is finished. Since I'm graduating this Fall, my studies are a main priority. I think I have done a great job on making sure my resume looks good. Now it's time to focus on ending my undergrad on high academic note. Balancing is like a trick of the mind, it takes a lot of discipline and knowing what you have to do to get everything done.
Q: Is being a person of color limit your opportunities in your industry?
A: Heck Yeah! I think being a person of color can have it's pros and cons. It tends to be that, I could be looked as a token black girl. Which might be what they want or need at that time, if they're looking to diversify. You can also look it as, "Oh, since she is the token black girl, she's only here BECAUSE she's black." It's kind of a lose lose. I just feel like as long as I have the job, that's incentive enough, because as long as I do my job well enough where you're not focusing on my skin color anymore then you see my talent. I will say when you do have organizations like NABJ, National Association of Black Journalists. It does make it better knowing you're not the only one going through it. When we all come together on a national level, you will see that there is a lot of us. It's empowering to know that you have a community of people who have the same passion as you and look like you. So even if you go back to your station and you're the only black one, you can still connect to your brothers and sisters that are on similar paths as you.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is considering a career in broadcast journalism?
A: How bad do you want it? When people come up to me and ask me for advice, I always ask them that question. I currently don't own a car, so for my last internship at CBS 11, I would literally wake up at 3:00 in the morning to get ready, pack a lunch and get out the door by 5 am. I walked across campus through sketchy neighborhoods to get on the Fort Worth bus by 6:00 am. That would take me to Downtown Fort Worth. The bus ride would usually last about an hour and half, since it made stops along the way. I would then walk from the drop off stop to my internship to arrive by 8:00 am. Even though I'm supposed to clock in at 9:00 a.m. If I did it any other way, then I would be late for my internship. But that's just me. That's just what I did, so when people come up to me and ask me how I do what I do, I always say, "what are you willing to do to get there?" If you feel like you have distractions such as, you would rather hang with your friends and party than work on a new story, then maybe you don't want it as bad as you think you do. You have to literally look inside yourself and ask yourself "HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS?" If you can answer that, then you really don't need my advice because you already know what you want and what you're willing to do for it.
Q: Do you have any upcoming events that you would like us to know about?
A: Yeah! I'm being nominated in the journalist category for the 2018 DAM (Denton Arts and Music) Awards. If you want to, you can come out to the show or you can go to http://www.thedentonite.com/music/2018-dam-awards-nominees to vote for your sis, Jade Jackson. But everything I have upcoming is on my website under events for the new year. That's www.JadeTheGreat.co. I have also started working on producing my own radio show via Tha After Party radio in Dallas stay tuned in the spring for that.
End of Interview
I am so honored and grateful that I was able to catch an interview with such an amazing woman. If you don't know her name by now, you will in the future. I know she will do amazing things in the future. And I'm glad to see more representation of black women on TV screens in a positive and inspiring light. I will have all her social media/ website links down below. I would personally love it if you would follow her and send encouraging words her way. Don't forget to share this post and comment below more women you would love to see be featured on the series.
Jade Jackson's Links
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