By definition interactive media is “a method of communication in which the program’s outputs depend on the user’s inputs, and the user’s inputs in turn affect the program’s outputs; interactive media engages the user and interacts with him or her in a way that non-interactive media does not.” (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/interactive-media.asp)
Prior to coming to grad school, I had never heard of Interactive Media as a subject that you could study, but I was familiar with the concept of it. As an undergrad, I studied Communications and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with focuses in Journalism, Broadcasting and Mass Media. The importance of interacting with my audience whether it be through articles I’ve written, radio shows that I’ve hosted, or news on which I have reported, audience participation and feedback have been a cornerstone for the success that I have had within my field of study. The practical applications of using social media to further my journalism brand, and grow my audience seemed like the natural progression of things. When I found out about the interactive media master’s program at Quinnipiac University, I knew that this was the direction in which the Lord was requiring me to go, and I knew deep in my spirit that His grace would cover me and His provision would be there.
It is my aspiration to create and own a Christian Lifestyle Magazine for young adults. I started creating the layout for my publication over 5 years ago, but was unaware about how to bring my vision to life, until now. So far the greatest benefit that I have seen throughout my time as a student within the ICM program at Quinnipiac, has been developing a POST Strategy, gaining a wealth of knowledge about how to create, market, distribute, and develop a product of quality for the audience that I already have and those that are yet to come. I am beginning to see the benefit of using social media to grow my brand and the correct way in which to do it. I am also more savvy in how to read, track and collect relevant information for analytic purposes.
I am a firm believer that now more than ever before, people want to be apart of the world’s conversations, they want to be in the know about what is going on around them, and in what ways they can get involved. Because of this, social media is quickly changing the game on how we as a society communicate. News source outlets are following the trend of using social media platforms as a way to interact with their audiences, gain instant feedback, get their stories out faster, and even encourage their audiences to help find new stories on which to report through the process of citizen journalism.
For me, as a journalist I think that in order to be successful in this field it is imperative that you find your voice, understand your target audience: who they are and what they desire from the content that you are producing, and perhaps what is becoming equally as important is making the experience they have online, when the they interact with your website or your content as enjoyable as possible; because that is one of the ways in which you can keep them coming back.