stacy-marie ishmael

Each week we ask a leading figure in digital news about their work, their career and what it takes to be a journalist in the 21st century.

Our guest this week is Stacy-Marie Ishmael, managing editor for mobile at BuzzFeed News. She gives us some insight into her job, and explains which skills are important to her role and why.

What is your job title and what does that mean?

I'm the managing editor for mobile at BuzzFeed News, which means my team and I are responsible for the general editorial strategy for news on mobile, and specifically for running the BuzzFeed News apps for iOS and Android.

How did you get started in the industry?

I was the station manager for the student radio station at my university, PulseFM at LSE, and extremely involved in the student union newspaper, the Beaver.

And on the technology side of things, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household with the resources to have access to a computer and the internet from a very young age, and parents who supported my extreme nerdiness.

What do you most look forward to at the start of your day?

Getting caught up on what happened while I was asleep, because I know my colleagues in London would have been updating the app and getting the BuzzFeed News newsletter ready to send to our audiences.

I am a news junkie by both profession and personal persuasion.

What does a normal day look like for you? In emoji.

stacy marie emoji

What three tools or apps do you use most for work and why?

Slack, the BuzzFeed News app, and Outlook for iOS. Slack because that's what we use for group chat at BuzzFeed; the BuzzFeed News app because even if it weren't my job, it's a very good product; and Outlook because sending and receiving a lot of email is just one of those things you can't avoid in news, and this is the best email app for iOS by far.

What would you focus on if you were training as a journalist now?

Reporting and verification. These continue to be non-negotiable skills, and as people get more sophisticated at spoofing things, we have to get better at identifying what's a fact and what's a Photoshop.

What skills do you think are important to your role?

An insatiable curiosity, a deep desire to collaborate, and a certain ruthlessness about saying 'no' so you can focus on what's important.

What has your current job taught you about the industry?

No matter how fast you move, it is not fast enough.

What would you say to someone applying to work at your organisation?

If you are tempted to send in a novelty application, know that it will probably be neither funny nor original. And that it's BuzzFeed, not Buzzfeed. And that no one here says listicle.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Sleep on it.

Join us next week for a new look into the media industry – in the meantime, check out our other weekly interviews with digital media experts.

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