Mariah Stewart, Ferguson’s voice
Stewart visited her old campus and talked to the Online Journalism class about her experience in the journalism field, giving students some advice. Mariah encouraged them to follow their journalist’s spirit.
At Lindenwood, Stewart GPA is not the best, however said she regretted not giving her best back then.
“I think I had instead of senioritis, I had junioritis, she said.”
“I knew I liked journalism,” Stewart said. “But I was not exactly there, I had a little doubt in myself.”
After Michael Brown got shot by police, officer Darren Wilson, Stewart recognized and acknowledged the importance of covering Ferguson so she went down there and reported it.
Jill Falk, Associate Professor of Communications and Program Chair, Department of Journalism said Stewart pointed out Stewart was not giving herself enough credit.
“You have been able to be part of history,” Falk said. “The entire eyes where on Ferguson, and you where there,” Falk said. “She was once you.”
Huffington Post’s Ferguson Fellow
Stewart said she has been surrounded by lots of national news reporters.
“I’m standing side by side with these New York Times people,” said Stewart. “It was really intimidating at first but they are really open to talk to you.”
“It is important because I am covering a story I feel no other journalist here really is, I have been embedded since the beginning into the story, whereas other journalist are focusing another topics are writing this too,” said Stewart. “[…]it is important to make sure that there is a national reporter on ground covering this.”
“That was the point of the fellowship, so many national reporter came into Ferguson to report on the story and left,” said Stewart.
A day in the life of Huffington Post reporter’s life.
Mariah’s routine — it starts with brainstorm.
“On Mondays we usually just talk about ideas we at that time and things like that,” Stewart said. “I always just try to look at press releases and try to see what is the real big picture here that we should be concerned about.”
She always goes to twitter for news and that is how she got her way around Fergusson.
“If there was a spot we should be going to, went right on Twitter to look where to go,” she said. “I’ll go right on Twitter.”
Being a Black Female Reporter
Stewart said that being a black female reporter gave her advantage covering Ferguson. However said that being a female had its disadvantages.
“As female reporter, I do see intimidation tactics when we come to police,” Stewart said.
She said that being firm when in comes to ask questions and reach the police or people in general can be a challenge sometimes, but said that there are always other reporters that stand by you in this situations.
“I see how we can, if we are not strong and hard, we can be intimidated,” she said.
Reporting on Ferguson
There were times she had to run, but said she kind of got into the swing of it now, on how protests demonstrations go. In order to protect herself she said to stay very aware of her surroundings.
“There is this fear that comes over you,” said Stewart. “Some of us click up into groups, it gets chaotic so fast.”