Premieres. Early screeners. Paychecks. Hollywood.

That is what fans think being a journalist is. The reality? You make barely any money, have to fight tooth and nail for screeners, and are shocked when you get a premiere in a city near you.

Then– to top it off, you have irritated people on social media who agree or disagree with your opinions and hounding a public relations firm to give you exclusives.

Unless you’re someone big like Entertainment Weekly, Variety, etc…you’ll get the runaround most times.

I’ve been lucky over the years and have met some really great colleagues and business partners through interviewing celebrities and writing pieces.

But then, the bigger the project–the more gatekeeping you seem to get unless you’re a gigantic name or a large company.


If you’re better as a leader and as an editor, expect to be passed up and get the bare minimum of a writer with crap pay. Also, expect when you get hired by a new company to have all of your meetings on a platform called Slack where favoritism runs amuck.

You’ll get your piece smashed to bits and once you do get approved by a powerful white male editor, your post will be put in a queue of about 500 and their friends and colleagues will get published first while your deadline means nothing.


After said deadline, you’ll be lucky to a; keep your job, or b; work up the ladder. I recently witnessed a popular news site last year that had over 800 articles in a queue for the editors to look over. They were never looked over. It was a disorganized mess and some quickly took their leave.

Daily, I see wanted ads for an editor of a column or a writer in the same category they have been trying to fill for months. Not to mention, in some of these companies–you make pennies every time someone clicks your article.

If you run your own magazine, then you’ll be making zero money. And you’ll be meeting high deadlines and stress and sometimes even sobbing into your cat.


Very RARELY have I had trouble with any particular company. But when I do, I see a lack of compassion and numbers. The smaller outlets get passed over and even sometimes smaller outlets than that seem to get all of the interviews and such.

  • Save

It’s particularly upsetting when someone asks all of the most interesting questions, gets all of the exclusives, and then another magazine either a; swipes your story or exclusive or b; writes their own and continues to publicize it every time there is a need for it.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve done it or how long you have worked for a company. It’s all about numbers. And then you see a few bad apples that ruin it for everyone else. People who keep getting access even when they have downright insulted the project, and the people involved and make it absolutely personal in their daily reviews or recaps.


Another problem is social media. People can be downright volatile.

If they don’t agree with you or something you are posting about. Journalists are sometimes forced to do what is called shadow writing, and that is when we have an official source of a project, usually an actor, the director, or a writer who cannot be named or quoted until the project is over.

It’s stressful because even though this information is imperative to get out and in a respectful manner, randoms on the internet will tear it apart in places like Twitter and Reddit.


Most of us are professional union actors ourselves or involved in some way in the business. We are human beings with feelings and it can be just as cruel to see awful things in this business, as it is to receive them online. We are writers for a reason. Journalists have thick skins. Actors are even thicker. But don’t forget, without us–you wouldn’t have your reviews, your spoilers, or your interviews and pictures.

Be respectful the next time you interact with a journalist or ask them to cover a project.


Lorette Magazine
  • Save

About the author: Katie Harden is a professionally repped New York-based/bi-coastal musical theater, entertainment journalist, and indie film actress. She is proudly part of the Actor’s Equity Association and frequently interviews colleagues, friends, and celebrities, along with reviewing television and movies. Find her at the bottom of a can of Arizona sweet tea or in the ocean! @KHardenOfficial    

Share via
Copy link