Meredith Bodgas is the editor-in-chief of Working Mother.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I was on my high school yearbook’s staff and got a college scholarship through the now-defunct Teen People magazine. It led to an internship after my freshman year and I got hooked on magazines. But I entered the magazine industry as many books were shrinking and closing, so I made sure to open myself up to online editorial opportunities. I’ve done a mix of print and digital since the early 2000s.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I catch up on relevant news on my train ride into the office and prepare that day’s online lineup. Then, I’ll either write or edit a freelancer’s piece for the site. Then, I’ll edit my team’s online stories. I’ll usually have a few meetings in between and I spend the afternoon working on magazine stories and reviewing Facebook promos. On my commute home, I often write stories for the next day. I can’t waste a moment if I want time with my family once I pick up my son from school. Lately, I go to bed early because I’m pregnant so efficiency is more important than ever.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
I’m a heavy Google apps user. Our daily online lineup is on a Google sheet. Our magazine lineups are on Google Docs. My work and personal life are on a Google calendar. Having to pick up my son from preschool on a deadline each night is my best productivity tool.
Here’s my desk in my office on my birthday. My team was good to me.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
I’m constantly reading — news sites, competitors’ sites, my friends’, and fellow mom-group members’ Facebook posts. These all put ideas in my head. I also try to talk as much as possible with my fellow working moms to learn what their issues are so I can address them in our stories.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR WRITTEN PIECE?
I love oral histories of 90s pop culture phenomenon. This one on a particular party scene in Clueless is one of my favorites.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I will forever be shaken by the Orlando Sentinel’s interactive coverage of the Pulse shooting. It was a layout of the club and you can see how all the victims moved around from the time the shooter entered to the time he took his last shot. It took incredible reporting and design and told an important story in a modern, compelling way.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM THAT YOU’RE PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
Paid parental leave. I’m a working mother about to give birth to her second child, so it’s top of mind for me, but it’s also greatly affecting the WorkingMother.com audience. For the first time, this is a bipartisan, national conversation, and yet not enough is happening quickly enough. I’m trying to change that, one story at a time, like with this piece about all the ways leave benefits not just families but also businesses and societies.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get to work for the biggest outlets at first. The best experience can be had at smaller publications where everyone is integral to the brand’s success. I’ve worked at major national consumer magazines with 30+ people on staff and smaller brands with teams of five. My favorite clips and experiences have come from the latter.