Interviews

Published on July 10th, 2020 | by Jerry Doby

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Meet Rising Journalist and Talk Show Creator Brionna Taylor

Brionna Taylor is a multimedia journalist and talk show host. She has written for various publications such as ESPN, AfroPunk, Okayplayer, D Magazine, World Boxing News, JBA League, and more. She’s been making inroads into the music journalism side since undergrad and has broken exclusive music stories etc. Brionna is currently just 24 years old.

Brionna also began her own talk show called E-Koh (pronounced Echo) which helps bridge the gap between celebs, rising talents, and locals. She says, “We really strive to focus on bringing back true storytelling and journalism. We also use the platform to help showcase rising artists and celebrities. There are a lot of talented artists who don’t get the media attention they deserve so it is my goal to help shake up the industry and media world.” Highlighted shows have had everyone from the legendary comedian Guy Torry, Floyd Mayweather’s Bodyguards, Justin “Guitarslayer” Lyons the first K-Pop Sensation, Multiple Grammy Award Winning producers, and more. Brionna says she is now further using her platform to help showcase rising artists.

The Hype Magazine got this rising talent to weigh in on a few things

From the outside looking in, who is Brionna Taylor?

I am a storyteller. I always say my life is as a pen that documents the world.

What brought you to journalism?

Since I was a toddler, it was like the world of journalism was calling me. I remember spending time with my family for different events and the adults would watch new commentary shows and talk shows. These journalistic shows resonated with me and in a way consumed my interest, especially in elementary school. I was the kid who looked up to both Barbara Walters and Arsenio Hall and admired their talk shows. I saw that journalism was limitless and I loved the freedom of the voice it gave to other people. Still, as a child, adults and people from all walks of life would open up to me and share their stories. In a way, after the conversation, they would often feel shocked because they just had a deep therapy-like session with a child. It wasn’t weird to me. I loved it. I love listening to people and their stories. It never mattered to me if someone was a Hip Hop artist, athlete, guru, or an everyday person trying to overcome their struggles, humanity always interested me. 

How has your life been impacted by the access granted you as a journalist?

There are so many ways my life has been impacted by the access I’ve been granted as a journalist. One of the main ways is by the plethora of people from all walks of life I’ve been able to connect with and meet. I’ve been able to interact with people from all over the world and in some cases even travel out the country or to new states to cover different multimedia stories. It’s truly a blessing! I’ve been able to work with people from Italy, Africa, and India to Floyd Mayweather’s crew, legendary comedians, professional athletes, top Hollywood talent, and more. Without a doubt, my life as a journalist is a blessing and tremendously humbling. It’s humbling because although I have access to what others might consider the “upside,” I also get to see how life has been for those experiencing homelessness, people trying to make it, and chase their dreams to feed their families and redefine their family legacy with little means. I’ve also personally seen different women within certain cultures that have great dreams, but they’re unable to fulfill them because they are oppressed by the laws within their country. 

What is the most important aspect of being a part of the media for you?

The most important aspect of being in the media is honesty. It is everything for me.  As we can all see, it’s a very tricky thing in today’s media climate. I am uncompromising when it comes to being honest in this craft.  

How do you ensure you keep your journalistic integrity when crafting a story?

I am very selective about the stories I take. The first thing I ask myself is what is the overall agenda. Why do I want to cover this story and in some cases, why is someone asking me to cover this story? If the agenda isn’t pure, I won’t cover the story. Additionally, research is everything. I go extremely deep into my researching process. Especially if I’m doing a feature story, I’m checking out that person’s character and their overall agenda in society. If there was ever a question about something, believe me, I’ll find it and get to the bottom of it before I take on the story. I choose and cover stories for impact and to inspire others to some capacity. That is one thing I pride myself on. I have never compromised my journalistic integrity…not for money, not for fame, not for anything. 

What has been the greatest challenge you’ve overcome being accepted as a serious journalist?

The greatest challenge I’ve had to overcome to be accepted as a serious journalist is what others might consider my young age for the career. I’m in my early twenties and I’ve been blessed with many opportunities to cover top exclusive stories and interviews. On different occasions, I would be discriminated against by certain publications because they couldn’t understand how I could get such top stories. I don’t think people always understand, it’s not about how long you have been in a craft that makes someone great or credible, but it’s about the efforts toward the art of mastery and breaking the mold that will allow someone to be great. 

What’s been your greatest satisfaction thus far in your career?

The greatest satisfaction in my career is that I have always stayed true to who I am and I’ve never tried to take anyone else’s blueprint. I am very pleased that I have been able to create my own blueprint and successfully remain my own boss. By doing so, it has allowed me to have an extremely diverse body of journalistic work from cinematography, print stories, photography, and create my own talk show E-Koh. I’m blessed to have been able to work with companies and platforms such as ESPN, Nickelodeon, AfroPunk, Okayplayer, Ozy, and the Dallas Cowboys. I love that my career can’t be put in a box and that I didn’t allow others to convince me that I had to box myself in to make it. 

Tell us about your talk show E-Koh and what it means for you!

E-Koh is a talk show that I created which aims to bridge the gap between celebrities, rising talents, and locals. I always say no story is ever too big nor too small to be heard. For me, E-Koh is all about flipping a switch on culture and aims to bring back the art of true storytelling and journalism. There are a lot of talented artists and individuals who don’t get the media attention they deserve so it is my goal to help shake up the industry and media world. On the show, I have had everyone from the legendary comedian Guy Torry, Floyd Mayweather’s Bodyguards, Justin “Guitarslayer” Lyons the first Black K-Pop Sensation, multiple Grammy Award-Winning producers, and more. I am now further using my platform to help showcase rising artists. 

Give us a highlight moment from your show

A great highlight moment from my show was definitely having the legendary comedian Guy Torry on. He has an unbelievable story and he’s worked with so many iconic figures in the world of comedy from Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, and Eddie Murphy. He was also on Def Comedy Jam. When he came up to the studio, I saw how people from all walks of life respected and admired him. That goes to show you how much influence comedy can have on a person’s life. Comedians are some of the most important and powerful people in society because they are able to bring awareness to all issues through humor. 

Where can we tune in to the show and when does it run?

E-Koh officially launches this Fall season and will be available on all social media outlets and our very own platform via the E-Koh’s official site. It’s going to be a great experience. However, also stay tuned because the show is also getting some good looks from other outlets!

What do you hope to accomplish with E-Koh?

With E-Koh, it is my aim to redefine this aspect of the media sector and create a global movement. With the show, it is my overall goal to be a household name and create my own multimedia empire. I truly want to help change lives and leave people inspired by my show. I’m here to take the skill of good true journalism and package it into a modern way with a new vibe. 

What’s the most fun part for you about being in the media world?

The most fun part about being in the media world is the freedom that it grants. You can find yourself covering an NBA game one day, attending a red carpet event and award show the next and then later that same week breaking a hardcore news story. It’s a boundless medium. The world of media and journalism has the unique ability to be whatever you’d like it to be. 

What saddens you the most about the state of journalism today?

What saddens me the most about the state of journalism today is there is a fine line between what is tabloid gossip and what is true journalism. The respect and art of journalism have been tainted in many forms. As a result, a lack of trust towards journalists and the media has developed. I also see that the term, journalism is being used too loosely. People must realize in many cases their is a difference between a media personality and a journalist and just because something is posted on a blog doesn’t mean it’s a credible piece of news or journalism. 

What guidance would you give your peers to correct the direction the craft is going?

I always try to tell my peers that it is important to have pure intentions and a clear set agenda for why you want to enter the world of journalism. You want to be respected for your work and impact on society. It never pays to sell out in journalism nor in any craft because everything catches up to you. Journalists have the unique ability to make or break careers. To whom much is given, much will be required. But, if your motives are bad, you’re only destroying yourself in the long run. Do not let the want for fame taint your morals and ethics. Fame is temporary, but have the right impact can last a lifetime. 

I guess that leads us to the WHY you do what you do!

I ultimately do what I do to help inspire others. I want to not only change lives, but I also want to save lives. It is my aim to create a global movement and have a global impact on what I am doing and will do with multimedia storytelling and journalism. 

Anything else you might want to add?

I want to make my show, ‘E-Koh a footprint in the land so that significant lifechanging stories can be heard whether it’s a big name celebrity or the up and coming talent so that people’s lives can be impacted and change can occur.

 



About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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