Carrie Sheffield: From Journalist To Digital News Entrepreneur – Forbes
I spoke to Carrie Sheffield, who is the founder of Bold, a digital news and cultural platform for a new generation of thinkers and creators. In the interview, Sheffield talked about why she decided to launch a news platform after years being a journalist, what she’s learned from growing the company, the differences between news in Israel and America, how her family has influenced her career and her best career advice.
With Clay Aiken, Carrie co-hosts Bold TV, produced by Al Roker Labs. A Salon contributor, she appears on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, HBOâs Real Time with Bill Maher, CBS, Fusion, and The Blaze. Carrie has published in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, American Spectator and Daily Caller. She began her journalism career in Washington with Robert Novak, later covering Congress for The Hill. A founding reporter at POLITICO, Carrie contributed on political economy at Forbes, wrote editorials for The Washington Times under Tony Blankley and advised the digital Millennial womenâs site Bustle.com.
Dan Schawbel: After years of a journalist, why did you decide to launch Bold? What have you learned so far from the experience of growing the company?
Carrie Sheffield: We launched Bold as a digital news network committed to bipartisan dialogue & innovation for people, business and communities. We just didn’t see anything like that currently in the media ecosystem. Bold is filling a void in society and the media marketplace: in addition to connecting with traditional conservatives, it also gives voice to conservatives who have historically been left out of the movementâwomen, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, LGBTs, and many others. But we also force conservatives of all kinds to sit side-by-side and dialogue with passionate and eloquent progressives from a diverse range of backgrounds and grapple with pressing issues. Beyond politics, through our Bold Business television programming, we curate inspiring stories about trailblazers, business startups, people who boldly break outside the confines placed around them.
Schawbel: You’ve written in both Israel and America. What do you think are the unique differences between both countries and what are your impressions of the impact of Israeli startups on the world?
Sheffield: As author Dan Senor writes in his great book Start-up Nation, Israel is a unique hotbed of entrepreneurialism and innovation. In some respects, the entire country of Israel is almost a startup vs. the more isolated island of Silicon Valley here in the United States–something that President Trump is looking to change by bringing Jared Kushner to start a new innovation initiative. In Israel, a sense of service, community, responsibility and maturity is imbued nationwide at an early age through mandatory military service. This translates later on into a nationwide culture of personal strength, management acumen and civic responsibility that lend themselves well to startups. In America, unfortunately, our youth culture since the 1960s, in many cases, promotes a perpetual state of arrested development and anti-authority anger. This sadly creates the perception that launching a business is boring and/or slightly sinister. That is a disservice to young people today and future generations. While Silicon Valley gets a sexier image, its startup mentality unfortunately is too often isolated among the same set of elite recruits coming out of a narrow swath of colleges and universities. Sadly, our education system scooping up the brightest minds has created economic segregation that reinforces bubbles of like-minded people who aren’t exposed to people from different walks of life. We need a broader cultural transformation in America to bring a startup mentality to Middle America, urban America and low-and-middle-income America.
Schawbel: The world of journalism has changed drastically over the past decade. What new skills do journalists have to develop to stay employable and how do they get those skills?
Sheffield: As a journalism student at Brigham Young University during the early 2000s, the dividing line between print vs. broadcast was fairly bright. Now that line is totally blurred in this new media environment, and print journalists must now also think visually, audibly, graphically and socially. Many of these skills are learned best by doing rather than in a sealed academic environment. So if you’re in school now, grab as many internships as you can, start that blog, sign up for social media and start connecting online with the journalists you admire. You never know what will come of reaching out to others online. Some of the best relationships I’ve developed started online. That includes Silicon Harlem–which I found on Twitter and whose co-founder, Clayton Banks, is now a Bold adviser, or LinkedIn, where I was able to get a Wall Street job through a cold contact.
Schawbel: You have a very successful and unique family, including Matthew Sheffield and Charlotte Sheffield. How have they influenced your career and life decisions?