Ann Shoket is one of my ‘editorial icons’-somebody who has worked in Journalism that I look up to. It has been a pleasure to interview the lady herself; now you can read what she has to say.
When growing up, did you aspire/want to be a Journalist?
I thought I would be a doctor for a long time. Then I thought I would be a novelist. I landed on being a journalist when I realized that 1) I had to pay the bills out of college 2) I liked talking to people and asking nosy questions!
As a media expert, do you think that print will eventually fade or not?
The important part of the work I do is having conversations with young women about what matters most in their life. We can do that on any platform.
Is it vital to read a variety of texts, if anyone wishes to become a Journalist?
If you want to be a good writer, read good authors. Right now I’m obsessed with Ann Friedman! But my all time favorite book, that taught me about storytelling and voice, is The Bell Jar.
What do you think about Bloggers influence on the publishing industry?
Is it important to have ‘dynamic ideas’ on a magazine?
You want to inspire, dazzle and delight your readers. They are smart and they will know if you’re not giving them your very best.
You’ve created media outlets before-such as Tagmag.com. Do you think that media skills-whether online, or with print software-are important?
The important thing about tagmag.com, the website I created in 1996 (!), is that it was a chance for me to be the master of my own domain. I could write what I wanted to say, publish the people I thought were smart/funny/cool/weird. I got to see how it felt to be the boss when I was just an assistant in my day job. When you’re young and trying to get the world to listen to you, you need a side-hustle, so you can prove to yourself how capable you are.
What made you want to work at The American Lawyer?
When I got out of college, I just wanted a job—any job! But it turned out to be a master class in media and journalism. The American Lawyer was run by the legendary Steve Brill. So I learned how to be a reporter and writer from the best in the business. But he was also such a role model in how to build a multi-platform media business—before that was the thing that everyone was talking about! Steve continues to be an innovator—I’m inspired by his hunger to change the world with journalism.
In the next five years, what do you hope to achieve?
I’m not a fan of making big plans. I find it so much more interesting to follow the opportunities that pop up. You want to go where the adventure is, go where the heat is. I can’t wait to see where my next adventure will take me!
What essentials could we find in your bag, for ‘a day at the office’?
iPhone 6 plus, an engraved leather notebook that was a present from my husband, Pilot Razor Point Pens—I’ve used them since 1994 because my first boss used them—and she inspired such respect in the people around her. I call them my Power Pens
Do you have any advice for anyone who wishes to follow in your footsteps?
Be curious and never stop looking for adventure.
And finally, one random question: Do you prefer lipstick or lipgloss?
I’m using Nars chubby pencils these days!