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I started working at BLACK ENTERPRISE right out of graduate school during the summer of 2008. During that time, small business editor, Tennille Robinson, was working on rolling out a special feature titled BE Next. Articles would highlight 21 to 35-year-olds making a mark on the global economy. After hearing her speak so passionately about how she wanted to bring their stories, efforts, and success strategies to the forefront, I knew that this new Black Enterprise franchise could be more than just the traditional editorial package, and I wanted to be a part of that.
With the assistance and support of our Vice President of Broadcast, Genevieve Michel-Bryan, producer Shannon Lanier, and our Senior Photo Editor, Lonnie C. Major, the first BE Next video debuted in 2008. This year we did it again highlighting another group of dynamic business leaders from varying industries. The goal of the video was to give our readers a sneak peak at what goes on behind the scenes at a photo shoot. You can see the art team putting the set together, hair and makeup, the stylist picking out wardrobe, and the subjects telling their stories in their own voices. Creating the video allowed us to bring the pages of BE Next to life and present the story in a different way.
As journalists we should always consider how we can aggregate our stories into multimedia packages. In doing this you may have to wear several hats. This year, you can find BE Next in the January issue, a making of the cover shoot video, a slide show, tweets, Facebook updates, and several blogs. When it comes to video, you might be the on-air talent, producer, editor, etc. You may have to discuss story lines; gather visual elements and photographs; get a variety of shots, like slow pans, push ins, pull outs; and understand what equipment is needed for the shoot–one camera vs. two cameras, tripods, monitors, wireless mics, etc.
As a member of the BE Next demographic, it inspires and empowers me to see such energetic, fearless, and innovative young people breaking out on their own and changing the business landscape. It is my hope that each group of BE Nexters will encourage more young people to foray into entrepreneurship and start realizing their dreams.
As our president and CEO, Earl G. Graves Jr. always says, “BE Next is Now.” Do you have what it takes to BE Next? I hope to be interviewing YOU next year.