Women in Journalism: How I Became My Own Boss While Empowering Others In The Media Industry - The Story Of Jelena Pantić-Panić

"My vision is to empower journalists so that they have all the tools they need to revolutionize the media landscape. I believe empowered journalists are capable of launching and excelling in new formats, while also demanding better working conditions..."

When Jelena Pantić-Panić decided to take her career into her own hands she was faced with the insecurities every individual feels when they become independent. Many questions clouded her mind and she was faced with doubts. But the former head executive of “das biber” did not let that stop her from creating medien.geil; an online site filled with witty anecdotes on how to acquire and master your skills in the media sphere. Not being tied to a large media corporation has enabled Jelena to dabble in other fields as a speaker and moderator, along with hosting opportunities for various events. In this week’s interview, Jelena informed us on her career path and the many factors that led her to where she is now.  

B: As it states on your platform you deal with different forms of media and also help others learn more about journalism and the various branches of media. How did you first come up with the idea of ​​medien.geil?

J: Thanks for having me! When I entered journalism a few years ago I didn’t know anything. The media landscape seemed like a huge jungle to me: What should I write? How do I get an internship? How do I handle criticism? And these are exactly the same hurdles aspiring young journalists of today are faced with. This is why I founded medien.geil. To help them gain a foothold in the media industry and develop their potential to the fullest.

B: What content do you produce on medien.geil and who exactly is the content for?

J: On medien.geil there are tips, tricks, and insights into the media industry. I give insights into my everyday life as a freelance journalist, show tricks on how to be successful in media and I also share news and facts from the industry. The content on medien.geil is for everyone interested in media, writing to earn money and also how to become self-employed.

However, my main target group is split into young women between the age 18-24 who are just starting to learn about journalism and journalists of the ages 25-34 who want to improve their skills and talk about the industry.

B: What are the goals of medien.geil? Do you hope to make a change in the Austrian media landscape?

J: My vision is to empower journalists so that they have all the tools they need to revolutionize the media landscape. I believe empowered journalists are capable of launching new formats, demanding better working conditions and maintaining patience - an aspect that receives very little attention in the media industry although psychologically speaking journalists, in particular, suffer most.

B: Have you received positive reviews from members on your platform? 

J: Honestly speaking, I constantly get positive feedback, which I am very grateful for. These type of messages usually sound like "Thank you for addressing that!" or "Thanks to you regained the courage to go for my dream job as a journalist!" Messages like that mean the world to me and remind me why I do all of this.

B: Compared to your previous activities at Broadly, Wienerin and other media houses would you say that working at medien.geil is more fulfilling?

J: The work I put into medien.geil is the most rewarding one in my career till date. I set the pace, I'm my own boss, I know where to pull the strings and I’m in control of my own work. That's a great feeling that I sought to achieve. No employer had ever been able to offer me this. But without the previous work I did I would not have had the necessary experience to “raise” medien.geil.

B: Could you picture yourself working for a media house again?

J: I just love being independent. This is my ideal way to work. Currently I can’t imagine myself being employed to a media house but I would not want to completely rule it out. When the right offer comes around I would definitely accept it.

B: You’ve also worked as a presenter and speaker for various events. Would you say that the offline interaction is just as important as the online contact?

J: The events that I had hosted did not directly affect my readership audience. But I've noticed that people who have seen me moderate, had then ended up becoming new readers. Naturally I am very happy about that. I enjoy interacting with people offline, because the conversations are usually more constructive and are more up to par. Online the tone of a conversation can get rough quickly. You just sparked an idea in me - I should definitely have a meeting with my medien.geil-followers!

B: Do you have any events in mind, in which the audience were most carried away by your words?

J: At the Youth-Enquete 2016 about 150 young adults and I exchanged our experiences with multiculturalism. I had each group’s full attention, which is not a simple task when it comes to teenagers, and by the way this applies to adults as well. I really felt I left an impression on them.

In their follow-up post reports they described our discussions as "extremely exciting", which I was very happy about.

B: As a last question; We at  ēsyvte care about providing a positive image for career oriented women both at work and outside of work in order for them to feel confident. On that note, which three garments from your wardrobe give you exactly this feeling?

J: I immediately know the answer to that: A discreet checkered blazer, which I purchased from Camden Market in London, a marine blue and white striped, loose-fitting shirt and my everyday companion; my nude colored Elektronista clutch with an integrated power bank.

In general, I love clothing that looks good and sits so well that I don’t have to fiddle with anything. That way I can concentrate more on my work and less on what I’m wearing.

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