If there’s one thing that Jamilah Lemieux knows, it’s good content.
As Interactive One’s new VP of News and Men’s Programming, the digital guru is on the company’s front lines, creating strategy for content that reaches audiences.
“I think the future is really bright,” Lemieux says. “Interactive One has done a phenomenal job of establishing itself as the leading online destination for African-American millennial audiences and African-American Generation X audiences, in particular. We really want to find that sweet spot between the two groups, and the sort of content that connects them to continue to serve our audience.”
Since its 2008 launch, Interactive One has been the definitive digital platform for African-American and millennial audiences. The company reaches millions of users each month through its suite of online, mobile, social and content offerings at GlobalGrind, HelloBeautiful, News One, and TheUrbanDaily, as well as digital destinations for dozens of local radio stations and syndicated radio talent.
Lemieux plans to continue to build on Interactive One’s burgeoning legacy with big ideas and efficient execution.
“I’m known for having a big personality and big ideas with the work that I did in my last company, so I just want everyone to know that I’m not coming in like a wrecking ball,” Lemieux jokes. “I’m here to support and affirm the great work that’s already being done and find exciting, new and innovative ways to do even better work.”
[pullquote]I’m here to support and affirm the great work that’s already being done and find exciting, new and innovative ways to do even better work.[/pullquote]
That great work, Lemieux says, is made easy with the help of her supportive team. About a month into her new role, she’s transitioning into her projects and the Interactive One office feels like home already.
“Everyone has been really fantastic and supportive, and I’m just really happy,” she says. “It feels almost like family already, which I’m very excited about because I spent nearly five years at my last job, so this is a very big change.”
Lemieux proved she’s no stranger to the digital space throughout her career as an editor, columnist, and social media savant. She led the reimagining of Ebony magazine’s website in 2012 and was later promoted to senior digital editor before becoming its senior editor for the print publication.
In addition to her recognizable work at Ebony, Lemieux’s work has often appeared on a host of multimedia platforms, including Mic, Essence, the Nation, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Guardian, Gawker, and her now-defunct, award-winning blog, The Beautiful Struggler.
Now in her new role, she’s currently on the forefront of online editorial development of NewsOne and TheUrbanDaily, and has some innovative concepts lined up for the future of the brand’s editorial strategy, especially for Interactive One’s African-American male base — a group that has often been left out of media focuses as companies across the nation have rushed to embrace new trends set by female audiences.
“I think it’s unfortunate that we’ve gone this long without seeing enough dedicated programming for Black male consumers — online, in print, and in other places,” Lemieux says. “It’s such a rich opportunity to serve a demographic that’s been content creators and conversation drivers, architects of style, fashion, and innovation.”
Even as Black Americans continue to have an unprecedented impact in media, in culture, and across industries, content producers overall have failed to steer efforts toward creating editorial specifically for Black men. Lemieux says that she has something in store for this often overlooked group.
“I can’t think of a more deserving group of consumers that are in need of something specifically geared toward them,” Lemieux says. “And I’m looking forward to working with editors and video producers to understand that audience and provide content for them that they deserve.”
[pullquote]I can’t think of a more deserving group of consumers that are in need of something specifically geared toward them.[/pullquote]
Lemieux’s passion doesn’t end there. As an advocate for racial equality, social justice, and LGBT rights and acceptance, she is often requested to appear on MSNBC, Huffington Post Live, and Al Jazeera America, or to speak on NPR, BBC, or CBC radio stations about the cultural issues affecting Black Americans. On social media, she’s become a voice that’s both well-heard and well-respected.
Lemieux is a supporter of the truthful storytelling and although every advocate may not have the same platform as an opinion journalist, she says it doesn’t mean that you can’t affect change, but being responsible about the content you create is essential.
“The internet has, in many ways, democratized who gets to be a writer and influential voice,” she says. “With that comes great responsibility. You have to be thoughtful about the things that you say, be mindful of your relationships with institutions and with individuals.”