Written By: Maggie Brown (maggiethe_journalist)
Jadriena Solomon, Senior Editor at The Shade Room, shares her career journey and how she landed her current role with Kamara Daughtry.
Solomon is an exceptional journalist with almost 10 years of writing and various media experiences from different sectors.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree from The City University of New York Brooklyn College (CUNY), which is also her native state.
Solomon got her start in the media industry in 2015 while working as a Staff Writer for RnBass.com.
She would later go on to work for several different companies in various roles that included:
- Editor In Chief – TheNewMVMT.com & FM Hip Hop.com
- Staff Writer – TheRapFest.com
- Ticket Scanner – Rolling Loud Festival
- Executive Assistant to media personality Cherry Martinez
- Contributing Writer – Bronze Magazine & Interactive One
- Writer – Blavity & 21Ninety
- Copy Editor/ Host – Blavity
During her various jobs at different companies, Solomon still managed to maintain her own personal blog entitled 24Jaded.com
Read Solomon’s latest article here
After being blown away by Solomon’s career journey and education during their interview, Daughtry created a special Q&A to showcase her as a hidden gem in the media industry.
Daughtry: I looked at your LinkedIn profile and I was like, whoa! You started off as a freelancer, and now that you are a Senior Editor, I’m like her story needs to be told. So can you give us a little background? How did you start off in your journey when it came to writing?
Solomon: It would have to go all the way back to my childhood. My mother was very into reading and wanted to instill that in me and my sister growing up. She always prioritized reading with us, whether it was school related or not.
Growing up, she made us read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, [and] different novels like that. She always emphasized that reading is how you learn to write, reading is how you learn to be articulate, and reading is how you become familiar with different words that may be out of your everyday use.
Outside of that, I was always somebody that was compelled by History and English class. Those were the classes that I always looked forward to and I was fortunate enough to attend both an elementary school, high school, and college that prioritized learning for students and excelled in academics. All of that combined really laid the foundation for me to prioritize writing and language.
Daughtry: Would you say that writing is an outlet to you?
Solomon: Definitely. Outside of reading, my mother also emphasized keeping a daily journal writing out our thoughts and feelings. That really helped me to express myself and express myself so well through words.
It’s one thing to be able to speak and articulate yourself. But it’s another thing to be able to do that through putting pen to pad. So that was also very important as well.
Daughtry: Why did you decide to choose writing as your your career path?
Solomon: So to be honest with you, it really came naturally to me. It was something that I wanted to do. It never felt like an assignment. It never felt like a chore whether it was something related to school, whether it was something I did on my own time, I never felt forced or like oh my god, I hate that I have to do this assignment now. It was always something that I looked forward to and I felt like it gave me an outlet to show my skill, and that is what really initially inspired me to go that route. It really was an outlet; I started my own independent blog in 2014 I wrote this one-off article about Tupac just because I’m a huge fan and I just wanted to express the things that I admired about him and that was just something that I did on my free time board one summer and I just put it up on the internet. Surprisingly I still have it there to this day and it’s gotten a lot of people that agree. So yeah, it just never felt like a chore. It always felt like something fun, an outlet of expression.
Daughtry: So for African American students or content creators in general; I believe that we are trendsetters. I think if we wear [something], within 48 hours, everybody does it, especially if you have a massive influence.
Daughtry: So why do you think it’s important, especially for African Americans to tap into the scriptwriting in the copy editor field?
Solomon: Well, like you said, we’re trendsetters and anything that we do makes the rest of the world want to do [it], and I think oftentimes people, especially when they get into their respective industry, they feel like they have to stick to one thing. If you start as a content creator, you have to forever be that if you start as a journalist, you have to forever be that, but you don’t. Whatever we do, it goes crazy. The whole world wants to do it. So it doesn’t mean that if you start as a writer, if you start as a content creator, you can’t move on and do different things.
Daughtry: How would you persuade African American students to go into the writing field?
Solomon: I think they naturally have to have a passion for it. But also, I think your question speaks to a larger issue that is present in society right now where everyone wants to be the “face” of something. Everyone wants to be the star on social media and it’s much easier to get on a camera than it is to sit down and write paragraphs on paragraphs about different things.
So I think it really starts with society — shifting that prioritization and praise of content creators and influencers, and maybe showing more love to the more humble jobs like journalists, copy editors, and copywriters — the people that have those other skills. It’s only natural that children are going to emulate what they see being praised in front of them.
Secondly, if a child feels like they can’t write or read well, they’re not going to feel confident about pursuing jobs that have those requirements. So I think that also points back to a larger issue with schools having the resources to be able to educate children the way that they need to be educated because we know not every school is equipped the same and I think that’s really important to acknowledge as well.
Daughtry: What do you think of Chat GPT?
Solomon: The world has definitely progressed since I graduated high school because we definitely did not have that. I think those types of programs really hinders learning for not only students but people of all ages that rely on using them.
Daughtry: How did you become the Senior Editor at The Shade Room?
I always kept my resume up to date and applied to every opportunity that I saw, and The Shade Room was one of those opportunities. One piece of advice that I will share is that when you are in the job search in any arena, you should take any and every opportunity, whether you feel you’re overqualified or underqualified. Always keep your resume up to date and stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.
Secondly, make a personal connection with the person that’s hiring for the open position. That could be what allows you to stand out amongst a crowd of 1000 people.
Daughtry: What does a typical work day look like for you?
Solomon: A day in the life of a Senior Editor of editorial at The Shade Room is, … I start my day getting familiar with any news stories that have since broken since my last shift and I prioritize those stories for our editorial team to cover for the day.
There’s a lot of writing throughout the day, which I enjoy. But outside of writing news stories, we create original compelling content that keeps readers coming back to theshaderoom.com, and keeps them engaged.
Daughtry: How did you like find your own writer’s voice?
Solomon: We all have our different voice, we all speak differently, and I think that plays into when you sit down to write an article or write an essay. It’s something that comes naturally.
I don’t think a voice is something that you can learn anywhere. It’s something that you can adjust depending on the platform that you’re writing for the type of news that you’re writing, but I don’t believe it’s something that can be taught.
Daughtry: What do you think is the difference between a blogger and a journalist? Do you those lines are blurred?
Solomon: That’s definitely blurred in today’s day and age. So much so that even if you are a journalist, you can get criticized for being a blogger.
A blogger, I would say, is someone who has never taken a journalism class. They’re on their computer writing their thoughts, writing their opinions — writing about subject matter that they enjoy. A journalist is somebody that goes to school to get the necessary knowledge to be able to carry out that job.
They’re able to write about articles accurately, timely, objectively, and prioritize being ethical. That’s already a huge distinction there because when you’re a blog, you’re not committed to those same principles. You can be as nice as you want to be. You can be as mean as you want to be. You’re not prioritizing society at large or the individuals that you’re writing about. But, when you’re a journalist, you have a responsibility to the public. You have a responsibility to the people that you’re writing about to be accurate and to be objective, fair, and factual about what you’re writing. Opinion isn’t included in any of that.
Daughtry: Since you have reached this level of success at a very young age, what is next?
Solomon: When you’re in these positions, and you’re still motivated to do more, it doesn’t feel like you’ve made it. Yes, I’m here and I’m thankful, but there’s so much more that I want to do in my career.
There’s other things that I want to explore like being able to be on a talk show and share and give commentary on different things, whether it’s music based or lifestyle based, that’s definitely a goal.
A year ago I didn’t know I would end up here, and I feel like that’s always a great mindset to keep — to always be open and open minded to all of the possibilities. . You just never know what’s going to happen. You think it may be one thing, but there’s a whole other plan for you you know, and I never like to close myself off to the possibilities in life.
Daughtry: What is a quote or inspirational saying you live by?
Solomon: Biggie once said, “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase sky’s the limit.”