Meet Julia Taliesin: Multimedia Journalist at The Somerville Journal

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Julia Taliesin is the only multimedia journalist covering Somerville, Massachusetts for The Somerville Journal. She graduated from Simmons College in 2018 with a degree in journalism.

Q: How do you balance your day-to-day life?

A: It is a challenge. I would say I have gotten better at it. It was harder at the beginning, for sure. This is also my first job in my field after college, so it was really a crash-and-burn type of learning; it was tough. But honestly, I have had to get really good—and I am still learning—how to say no, even when it is hard. I can not get to everything, and I have had to forgive myself for that. 

Q: Are you working on anything that you are particularly excited about?

A: There are so many things! It sounds really boring at the start, but the city actually just passed a comprehensive zoning overhaul. Because of the development boom that Somerville is in, I think it is very important for me to understand it enough that I can cover it in an ongoing fashion. Another story I am working on right now is a sexual harassment case. I feel like it is a big responsibility when someone comes to you with a story like that, but I have been trying to do it justice.

Women protesting in the Women's March on Washington

Q: What do you like about Somerville?

A: Pretty much everyone I have met has no trace of apathy. It seems that everyone really believes that what they have to say and what they are advocating for is going to make a difference. It is just easy to write stories when people are that passionate.

Q: How much do you care about what readers want to read? How much do you tailor your story ideas?

A: Everyone wants something and everyone thinks that their thing is the most important; I can not be swept in that current, but at the same time I have to pay attention to what people want to be reading and what people are interested in. But, of course, I care! I do pay attention and I ask people constantly, even if I can not incorporate all of it.

Q: What was your job search process like?

I got this job through a networking connection from someone who knew that a position was open, and I think that was what got me the first interview. Then I had another interview as well as a story I had to write for them. So it was a very long process, but networking connections are real—believe your professors! 

Q: Is there anything you wish you had done differently in college?

A: I went to Simmons. I think I really needed a liberal arts education because I went to school undecided. I guess in a way, I wish I would have come to journalism sooner, but the fact that I did not let me learn a bunch of other things I would not necessarily have taken. 

Q: Do you have any advice for your younger self?

A: Learn how to say no faster. It is okay that you can not get to it all. You are doing your best and that is enough.

Q: Do you think that working at a smaller publication for your first major job has given you a more well-rounded experience as opposed to one at a larger publication? 

A: I do not have anything to compare it to, but I would say yes. Just based on the [number] of things I have had the chance to write about and learn about, absolutely! I have bylines that range, so I really get the chance to tailor the clips that I offer whenever I do get the chance to apply for other jobs.

Read Julia's work at The Somerville Journal!

 

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