Q&A with Award-Winning Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur, and Screenwriter Alysha Scarlett

Q&A with Award-Winning Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur, and Screenwriter Alysha Scarlett

Although the media industry is undergoing change on multiple fronts, Alysha Scarlett – a freelance writer, publicist, business owner, and screenwriter – is unafraid of the evolution. Described by a community newspaper as a “big-city cousin,” Scarlett’s engaging resume of freelance work can be seen across local, national, and digital outlets.

With 800 followers on Medium, 13 writing awards (secured in just five years of applying), and 101 bylines in USA TODAY, Screen Rant, Bleacher Report, Patch, and The Good Men Project, Scarlett’s optimism for the future of digital media is nothing short of refreshing.

5WH recently had the chance to ask Scarlett about her diverse range of work and perspective on where the industry is headed. Here’s what she shared:

Q: Of the many changes taking place in the media industry, what recent shifts have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day?

A: Cutting back of staff. The best course of action for me in journalism at this point is to be a freelancer.

Q: What components of reporting are more difficult than they used to be (fact-checking, seeking sources, keeping readers engaged, etc)?

A: Newsgathering. Without a police scanner and other tools found in a newsroom, it is more of a challenge to gather news.

Q: Have you embraced any digital tools (for example, Twitter, TikTok, webscraping, HARO, Hemingway, etc) in your reporting in recent years? If so, which ones?

A: Yes. Twitter, HARO, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and reddit.

Q: On a scale of 1-10, how concerned are you about AI’s impact on journalism? If you’re very concerned, what impacts worry you the most?

A: 1 (not concerned at all). If AI replaces journalists because it is better at doing the job, I don't see how that's a bad thing.

Q: Is there anything you’re particularly optimistic about for the future of digital reporting?

A: A whole lot where digital reporting and AI intersect. An example of that is how ChatGPT may be able to increase reporting speed.

Q: What keeps you up at night as a journalist in 2023?

A:Writing the next article. Like, literally, that keeps me up at night. And with one story last month, overnight.