Author, journalist, Press Club of Long Island awardee, devoted wife and mom of two; there isn’t much that the talented Adina Genn hasn’t already accomplished. Genn, who originally wanted to be a writer, recently offered Hofstra students some valuable insights into the life and daily struggles of a working journalist in today’s economy.
While Genn now admits she was clueless of her career path once finishing college, her first job was with an academic book publishing company. From there on out, she then began to work as a freelancer and soon as a stringer, covering business meetings which she says helped her build connections and meet people in the industry who would later prove valuable. Genn then had a short stint with Long Island Business News, a local online and print newspaper, where she put her business background to use. However, for the past four and a half years Genn has worked with the hyper local newspaper: the Long Island Patch and watched it grow and evolve. She recalls how the Patch, who once had over forty employees, now do the same job with four employees and still manage to cover twelve areas on Long Island, of which she herself covers Huntington, Northport and Port Washington – the last being her hometown.
With regard to the changing nature of journalism, Genn says that her work nowadays consists largely of aggregating stories rather than doing actual fieldwork as it’s no longer practically feasible to do so, in fact it even provides a certain advantage wherein she can gather information without the necessity of traveling and being present at locations. She also cites social media as a major source of information for obtaining tips on potential stories.
On the subject of advice to young journalists starting out, Genn states that the skillsets learned in the field are “amazing and transferable” to any other field of one’s choosing. For those who are inclined towards the public relations field, Genn affirms that it’s always helpful to be able to prepare succinct press releases, which make it easier for journalists to use in their reports. Overall the talk proved to be very inspirational and provided students with an accurate depiction of the life of a journalist.