joy reid

*Politics is tricky business. If you aren’t well informed, one single segment of Fox News or CNN will make your head spin like a top.

Helping to spread knowledge among the politically-challenged, MSNBC’s Joy Reid has developed a distinct reputation for producing quality journalism. The hours that she’s logged in front of the camera, combined with her extensive news background, makes Reid a dual threat and gives her an edge over the competition.

“I think being a good writer is the most important aspect of being a journalist; it’s a  skill you must have in this business,” she explained  during an interview,  while having lunch in LA, with EURweb’s Lee Bailey. “No matter what happens in TV, I primarily consider myself a writer and that’s what I love to do. I think it’s crucial.”

As one of the best and brightest minds in her profession, Reid’s Harvard education and impressive resume boosted her to heights few other African American women have reached in recent years. Reid, the former managing editor of TheGrio.com; also serves as a political columnist for The Miami Herald, and is the editor of The Reid Report political blog.

“I have always been a news junkie,” said Reid. “I grew up watching Nightline with my mother every night.”

“I was always fascinated by politics being in a political household,” she added, “my mother was a very liberal democrat and my father was a republican. He loved Ronald Regan. ”

Although she’s in high demand these days, Reid’s path to success required her to pay a fair share of dues.

“I took a job for $7.25 an hour writing for a morning show at a Fox News affiliate in Miami,” she recalled. “It was a big come down in terms of income but it was great learning job. I was also blogging and doing a lot of political writing. I worked on a web team [of political pundits] from 1998 until 2003.”

She continued, “I eventually became more interested in the commentary side. I figured if I wanted to get into that side of it, I needed some experience in politics. I left the news business for a while and focused on gaining the necessary tools to advance my career.”

Joy has worked in television and radio news since 1998, including for WTVJ and Fox station WSVN. In addition to the Herald, her columns have appeared on Salon.com, TheGrio, CommonDreams.org, in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and the South Florida Times. From 2006-2007 she produced and co-hosted “Wake Up South Florida,” the morning show for Radio One’s then-Miami affiliate WTPS

During the 2008 presidential election, Reid saw an opportunity to be part of American history. Eager to gain more experience in the political field, she served as a press aide to then-Senator Barack Obama’s Florida campaign.

“They [Obama Campaign] were having some issues in Florida with Black media they needed some help so I worked for them a few months,” Reid explained. “Having worked on the campaign, having the experience and the body of work, I began doing more TV appearances.”

 

“What Obama had is sort of a once-in-a lifetime thing,” she continued. “He had the African American community, even against the wishes of most black elected officials who wanted Hillary {Clinton]. He had younger white voters on his side. He was on the right side of the Iraq war, so he had anti-war older white liberal voters on his side. He had the perfect storm and just happened to have the ‘it’ factor. He just had the perfect ingredients. There’s hunger by the Tea Party to humiliate Barack Obama. He beat them twice and the’re very angry.”

After the election, Reid went on as a political commentator on radio and television, including Miami PBS affiliate WPBT Channel 2, WTVJ (NBC 6), Britain’s Sky News and Miami radio stations Hot 105 and 103.5 The Beat.

As more people consume news online, news organizations face the dilemma of reallocating resources to attract new readers and viewers while still trying to hold on to their existing, and usually aging, print or broadcast audiences. Despite these mounting odds, Reid envisions a promising future for MSNBC and her show.

“It’s a rough time for the cable news business,” she explained seriously. “Given how difficult the environment is for what we’re doing, I think we’re faring pretty well. We’re building up a loyal social media following, and we get a lot of feed back on the show; we’re powering through the challenges.”

“Our target audience is anyone who cares about policy and loves politics,” she quickly added. “Everyone is trying to reach younger audiences and get them interested in politics, which is very challenging. But were trying to expand the pool of people who do care about it.  That’s our mission”

Check out Joy Reid as she hosts “The Reid Report” Monday – Friday at 2pm Eastern on MSNBC.

Watch the host’s “Reid Between the Lines” commentary segment on the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision: