#BlackWomanInMedia Highlight: Editor Jade Ashley

#BlackWomanInMedia Highlight: Editor Jade Ashley

In honor of Women’s History Month in March I want to take this time to highlight women in media who are breaking barriers.  Being a black woman in the media is hard because just like in any career, you have to be the best and look good while doing it all.  This is for all the young ladies making their dreams come true and recognition that they deserve.

Jade Ashley

Social Media: @Jade_Ashley94
Career: Editor at The Shade Room based in New York City
Quote that I live by: No matter what obstacles I face, and no matter how many times I give up. I promise to NEVER let my heart fail me. I will reach my dreams and I promise myself that.” -Jade Whiteside
(My quote I created for my high school senior yearbook, and I’ve been living by it since)
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Editor, Jade Ashley

 

How did you find your passion and when did you know that this is what you wanted to do?

I’ve always had an interest in music and entertainment since I was a little girl. It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. I always wanted to be a singer, and always wanted to be the center of attention.  In elementary, I was on the dance team, step team, almost in all the school plays. I went to performing arts high school where I was vocal major, and I’ve been seriously studying music ever since.

My passion for media, and wanting to be a media personality came when I was 16 and I made my first visit to 106 & Park during the summer of 2010.  Earlier that year I had begun my first blog, which was originally called “It’s Whatever,” but it would later be renamed to “When The Beat Drops,” once I realized all of my blog entries were music related.

During my freshman year of college, I was accepted to North Carolina A&T as a music major.  The day before I moved into my dorm my dad convinced me to switch my major to something I could “fall back on” just in case music didn’t work out.  I always said if my dreams of being a singer never worked out, I would rather be a music journalist and host my own show where I can bring good music and artists to the forefront. So that’s how I became a journalism major. Although I still study music privately, as you can imagine, four years of undergrad and a whole bachelors degree later, journalism/media has become more dominant in my life.

 

How would you say you got your break into the entertainment industry?

I feel like I’m still trying to break into the industry, and I’m not quite there yet.  However, after my freshman year, I transferred schools and came back to New York.  I attended SUNY Purchase for the remainder of undergrad because I wanted to be closer to the city (and also because they had an amazing music program).  Nonetheless, as a native New Yorker, I felt like if I was going to break into the industry I needed to be home, which just so happens to be the media capital as well.  So when I wasn’t upstate at school, I was home in the city going to events trying to network.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2015 things started looking up for me a little bit. At the time The Shade Room was looking for interns, I applied and went on with my life. A week before my senior year at Purchase started I had returned home from vacation to find out that TSR wanted to do a phone interview with me.  At this time “When The Beat Drops,” wasn’t just a blog, but had become my own little web show on YouTube for about a year.
The work I did on both my blog and YouTube helped get me an interview. To make a long story short, I was picked as one of the interns and worked hard throughout my entire internship. Shortly after graduating from Purchase (about 2 weeks) I was hired as a staff member after applying and expressing my interest in staying with the company. Fast forward to 2018…. then BOOM!!! I’m one of the editors on the team, and September 2018 will make three years total that I’ve been working for TSR (internship included).
What do you feel was the most helpful thing that jumpstarted your career?

Again I still feel like I’m starting out so in a sense I honestly don’t feel like I have a career yet.  Other people may view it differently, but I feel like I’m still working towards starting my career.  However, I think to have my own blog and web show definitely helped. I had and still have something that’s my own, which helped prove what it is I want to do and also what I can do.

 

What does it mean to be a black woman in media to you?

To me, being a black woman in media exemplifies a form of power.  To be a black woman alone is just powerful period.  But to be a black woman in media not only allows you to spread information to the masses but it also allows you to become an influencer. Name me one black woman in media that is not an influence on somebody somewhere!!!

What has it been like to work for one of the biggest blog sites?

It has been amazing working for The Shade Room. Being a part of the platform has exposed me to so much both inside and outside of the industry. I always think about how blessed I’ve been to had been chosen as one of those few interns three years ago.

 

No matter what obstacles I face, and no matter how many times I give up. I promise to NEVER let my heart fail me. I will reach my dreams and I promise myself that. -Jade Whiteside Click To Tweet
What inspires you to keep going in this industry?

I always try to remember how things were for me a year before.  So as each year passes I realize the things that have changed, and it always pushes to keep going because I never know where I can be a year from now.

 Share something about your position/or the industry that you wish you would’ve known before going into it.

I don’t think there is anything I would have wanted to know beforehand.  It’s like if I knew certain things already then how can I expect to learn?  Literally, everyone has their own experience within this industry, so it’s all about becoming a sponge and learning all that you can and using it to your advantage.

Who are some women you look up to in the industry?

I was highly influenced by the 106 & Park and TRL eras, and because I was born and raised in NYC and knew that these shows were literally right there; it just made me believe even more.  So almost every host to grace the screen on 106 & Park, of course, I loved Lala Anthony ever since her TRL days.

NYC radio also played a major for me as well.  Back in junior high school, I used to listen to “Miss Jones In The Morning” on Hot 97 EVERY single morning.  Her show ended during the summer right before I went to high school (2008).  So I started getting into “Ed Lover In The Morning,” on Power 105.1 and then he eventually was replaced by “The Breakfast Club,” and they have been my morning ritual ever since.

What has been the most difficult situation you’ve had in your career or with starting your career?

I think the most difficult situation is just fighting for where I truly want to be, but that’s every person’s struggle.  So to this day, I’m still learning all that I can and also reminding myself that remaining persistent will eventually get me where I desire to be.

What’s a piece of advice you would give a girl who wants to do what you do?

Always be willing to learn. This game literally changes every day, so don’t ever think you know it all because, in reality, you don’t.  Always remain appreciative to everyone that helps you along the way and never stop grinding.

 

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