Meet Contemporary Media, Inc.: Katherine Barnett

Get to know the faces behind our publications: Contemporary Media, Inc. is the parent publishing company of Memphis Flyer, MBQ: Inside Memphis Business, Memphis magazine and Memphis Parent

Meet Katherine Barnett: Editorial Intern, Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business

1. What does your position entail? Anything and everything needed from the Memphis magazine or MBQ editors to put an issue together — content, development, and at the moment, serious research on our 2014 MBQ Power Players.

2. How did you get into this industry and what insight can you give someone interested journalism, marketing, advertising and the like? I was yearbook editor in high school, and I started college as a graphic design major wanting to design magazine layouts. I love the way magazines can bring together good design and a conversational way to address everything from hard news to culture. I decided to try out the editorial side and took my first journalism course my sophomore year. When our first assignment was to meticulously edit content and learn the differences between commonly confused words, I knew I was in the right place. If you find something you’re good at that most people dread, it’s probably a good sign.

3. On an off day from work, you will find me ... at Sonic Happy Hour on the way to Shelby Farms with my dog, Charlie!

4. What is number one on your Memphis bucket list? Memphis in May!

5. How long have you worked here? Give me a little detail behind your response. After being a distant fan for many months, I moved here from Little Rock and started in March.

6. What sets Memphis magazine apart from other publications in the Mid-South of its kind? Memphis magazine is set apart because there is nowhere in the world like Memphis. I think the magazine is unique in its ability to capture the feel of a city with such deep-rooted individuality and culture.

7. When you decided to get into this industry, was business writing something you were interested in? If no, why do you do it now and do you enjoy it now? I have always been a creative spirit and nothing business-related has ever come very naturally to me, but it has been a great experience in challenging myself and learning about something I might never have pursued.

8. When did you know that you loved words and wanted to use them to tell people a story? My mom took me to every event going on within 50 miles of our house growing up — book signings, art exhibits, concerts, you name it. Whether she knew anything about it or not and even if it seemed like the most boring thing in the world, she could always find some genuine reason that it would be interesting and worthwhile. So, for better or worse (as these things always seem to work out), I turned out the same way. I think one of the most important and rewarding parts of being a good writer is the art of finding the interesting part of a story that most people wouldn’t notice and being able to translate that into words.

9. Tell me anything else interesting about yourself. Your favorite book, movie, part about working here, your dog’s ridiculous name, anything! Most of my interesting stories about myself are really interesting stories about my parents. My dad is a thrift store/junkyard fiend and absolutely nothing if not resourceful. When I was in 4th grade, he somehow acquired a satellite dish from the 1980s with no real ideas for it, but who doesn’t need a 20-foot satellite dish? A few weeks later, light blue paint was on sale at Lowe’s and the vision was complete. Two coats of paint and an hour of running the water hose later, I had a front yard swimming pool for two summers. True story.

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