Jamie Biesiada, an alumnus and current managing editor of the Star News Group, has been named one of this year’s “Top 25 Under 35” journalists by Editor & Publisher. According to Editor & Publisher, the newspaper professionals chosen for this honor are “[making] this industry an exciting place to work again.”
Biesiada said that she was “pleasantly surprised” when she had found out she was put on Editor & Publisher’s list. “It’s flattering to be included alongside such a talented group of young industry professionals,” she said.
The annual honor is a feature done by Editor & Publisher that is meant to highlight the achievements of young and upcoming leaders in the journalism field. According to the article, it states that the 25 men and women chosen work with a true amount of passion and excitement that is not seen very often in the industry anymore.
According to Editor & Publisher, “Digital redesigns, pay-wall strategies, niche coverage opportunities, and unique advertiser partnerships are just a few of the ways this year’s ‘25 Under 35’ are leaving their mark on the business of selling news.”
The Star News Group is the publisher of two print newspapers, The Coast Star and The Ocean Star. Biesiada, 25, started at the Star News Group as a beat reporter in 2009 right after she graduated from the University. Even though the economy was not doing well, she explains that she got lucky.
“I had the right resume at the right time,” Biesiada said.
Biesiada works out of two offices, The Coast Star office in Manasquan and The Ocean Star office in Point Pleasant Beach. Along with being the managing editor at the publishing company, she is also the webmaster. According to her resume, the position includes some of the tasks such as “keeping content fresh with online-only stories and bonus contents, ranging from multiple photos to special files and presentations and generating weekly videos, both news and sports.”
Cassandra Figueroa, junior communication major, is currently an intern at The Ocean Star and has personally worked with Biesiada. “She’s a really great editor and everyone at the paper agrees. She’s not only resourceful but she’s also very helpful and she always has a positive attitude,” said Figueroa.
Eleanor Novek, associate professor of communication, had Biesiada as an undergraduate student. “She was that great combination of an excellent writer and a great reporter, and her work was highly professional even then,” said Novek. “She was also a photographer and had a blog very early on, so she had diverse skills.”
Biesiada was nominated for the honor by Doug Paviluk, the editor of the Star News Group, who she referred to as her “mentor.” “Being honored by Editor & Publisher was a great thing for me, and it’s keeping me focused on continuing to improve both personally and professionally,” said Biesiada.
Editor & Publisher explained that Biesiada is one of the youngest to be featured on the “Top 25 Under 35.” She told the magazine that she believes managing a newsroom is not any more difficult because of her age.
Biesiada said she believes that since she has spent her time at the Star News Group, she has moved The Coast Star and The Ocean Star to the next level by including more in-depth stories and increased reporter preparation.
When asked about her accomplishments Biesiada said, “Particularly, I’m proud of teaching many reporters about trial and court coverage, local planning board and land use coverage and other legal matters, ranging from the Open Public Requests Act, to bankruptcy, to criminal and civil law matters.”
Biesiada feels journalism will not stop changing anytime soon. “I think the future of journalism is, to a degree, a question mark,” she said. “Journalists will always exist, but the platforms we use and our methods to reach readers with the stories that matter to them will change. The extent of that change is the real mystery.”
Novek explained that students studying journalism do not have to work in the city or a large organization in order to break into the journalism world. “Nothing could be farther from the truth. Starting out at a weekly paper offers many more chances of mastering the craft and advancing through the ranks quickly,” Novek said.
“[Biesiada’s] the type of editor every journalist wants; she’s encouraging, she’s fun to be around, and she gets the work done,” said Figueroa. “I think it’s great she was recognized for all her work because her job is not easy. It takes hard work, effort and patience to create a good paper; and Jamie does it well with a smile on her face.”
To see the other 24 journalism professionals that were featured in Editor & Publisher’s “Top 25 Under 35” or to read more about Biesiada, visit editorandpublisher.com.
PHOTO COURTESY of Jamie Biesiada