Have you ever noticed (I have) that journalists and media folk seem to be stories in themselves…oftentimes having lives and having a personal history more interesting than the stories about others that they are busy getting “out there?”
Proving my observation is Caron LeNoir whose own adventures include (to list only a few) a 14 year military history of service (1994-2008) in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, being confirmed as being a fully disabled veteran only after suing the VA to attain that deserved status, being a self-taught computer programmer, performing a public service announcement for the FTC warning about veteran charity scams, surviving five years of homelessness to create a successful path towards entrepreneurial journalism including owning her own radio station, etc., etc.
But her present efforts, built on this foundation which includes her membership in the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and more recently in Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) deserve a look.
Caron attracted LRT’s notice when she and several other veteran journalist members of MVJ participated in the launch of LRT’s new Rethinking Heroes (RH) public radio broadcast series on famed KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, CA which hits the air every Friday morning drivetime from 9-10 a.m. PST (noon EST). (Want to listen in at those times? Here’s the direct internet link: https://www.kpfk.org/player/)
VMJ is placing its members at the top of the hour to read the news – this time items about and for the veteran audience while; a unique way to provide broadcast exposure for their members while supporting a national campaign called Veteran Mission Possible and its mission to bring greater awareness to suicide and medical debt in that community and celebrating the “Solution Providers” that come up with remedies.
Naturally, Ms. LeNoir was among those selected.
“It was a rush,” Caron said of this opportunity to deliver veteran-centric news to KPFK’s listeners locally and nationally through public radio affiliates. “It reconfirmed my own determination to see that veterans like myself get greater experience and exposure within the media world. I personally felt revitalized.”
In bygone days, journalism and entrepreneur would never be included in the same sentence. Entrepreneurs “did” it, and journo’s “reported” it. No longer. The days of a secure position in any sector of media, whether print, broadcast or otherwise, is no longer assured or even possible.
U.S. newsroom employment has fallen 26% since 2008. Major media outlets are announcing major layoffs, print cuts and hiring freezes. That’s a strong hit against veterans attempting to work in those industries, considering only 2% of media employees are veteran in spite of vets being 8% of the U.S. population. This requires a new breed of creatives. Many organizations such as NABJ and MVJ are training its members to be more business-minded as they become guns-for-hire. (We at Let’s Rethink This took note of this new environment and created Our Newspaper to ensure that its writers and contributors would have an assured outlet for their stories.)
This where Caron steps up. By way of podcasts, speaking engagements and cultivating a clientele of businesses clamoring to be noticed but unaware of how to present themselves as a news story, she serves as savant and consultant…and reaps the rewards.
“Profit is great for my complexion,” she cooes. “That I help my clients bring in more work and have greater success for themselves make it glow all the more.”
Impact Journalism and ROI is the today’s journo’s new-new thing! Pay attention.