Tyra Laster | Editor | Byline: Rolling Out, VIBE, Kontrol Mag
Most people who are in the field of communications started out on a college campus. Elaborate on your college experience, being that you went to an HBCU.
When I came to Tennessee State University, I didn't have any friends. I came from a predominately white high school so going to an HBCU was a culture shock. At the time, I considered myself to be a loner but once I started getting into various clubs, such as Forensic Speech and Debate, I started to break out of my shell. During my sophomore year, I pledged A.K.A., and once I got to Junior year, I really started to embrace who I was as a person. I started to evolve into everything that I wanted to be. My college experience was fun for the most part. I've had my horrible days, but I've also had my great days as well.
Talk about how you felt when you first saw your byline attached to a story?
I don't remember what my first article was, but I know I did feel accomplished. I felt like I was on the right path and it's a jumpstart into something greater because nobody really checks for you until your work is published. No editor is going to really care about what's on your blog. They want to see published work with companies.
The world of Journalism is a field that primarily has more women than men within the infrastructure. Do you think the field of Journalism is one that is dominated by women?
Historically, Journalism started with men. You had Walter Cronkite who was reporting news at the time, then women such as Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer started to bring a different viewpoint on topics that they would discuss. I don't know if women are more dominant, but if we're speaking of now, I can see it when it comes to female bloggers. There are so many female bloggers, and blogging can now garner you a full-time career. There's just a lot of people in different outlets who are reaching the top and they happen to be women.
What are your thoughts on people who are in media, but don't have social media at all?
See, I've always wondered about this because, as annoying as it is, a social media presence is very powerful. It blows my mind when I'm working for certain people who don't even have a social media presence. You wouldn't know who they were if you had to look them up because they have nothing to show for, as far as their byline and accomplishments.
Writer versus blogger. What side of the spectrum are you on pertaining to these omnipresent words?
I hate the word blogger. I started a blog called, "Tyra Talks" while in college and it was big around campus, but I stopped it once I became "Miss TSU" because I was over the whole blogging experience. I wanted to be more private, and I just didn't care enough because, at that time, everybody was considered to be a blogger. Blogging tends to damper the journalism qualities of a story sometimes as well.