Kim Osorio of The Source talks hip-hop, jobs

Kim Osorio, editor-in-chief of the hip-hop magazine, The Source, spoke to students on Thursday about hip-hop, her past, and the future of journalism.

Before Kendrick Lamar performed at this year’s Juice Jam, he was featured on a 2012 cover of the historic hip-hop magazine The Source. Editor-in-chief of the magazine Kim Osorio said that she was skeptical when her interns and young employees first told her that they wanted to feature Lamar.

“[They wanted] to put a crown on his head like Biggie and I was like ‘blasphemy!’” Osorio said.

Eventually, in her interns’ excitement, Osorio remembered the passion that she had as a young writer for up-and-coming hip-hop artists, and she ultimately decided to feature Lamar.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists hosted a Q/A session featuring Osorio Thursday night. She spoke to a group of about 50 students on topics ranging from her favorite hip-hop artists to the struggle that she faced as a female, Latino journalist in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Osorio spoke extensively about her favorite artists and the hip-hop industry in general.  The audience laughed at references to specific stories and offered many suggestions when Osorio was prompted to share her favorite emcees. The latter was Chantal Felice’s favorite part.

“We wanted someone who dealt with certain adversities to come and speak to media students and kind of give her experience and perspectives on things, as well as talk about a genre that is very popular among college students and so its relevant,” Felice said.

Felice is a broadcast and digital journalism junior, and vice president of NAHJ.

Osorio is the first female editor-in-chief of The Source. She has worked for various other hip-hop media outlets including, Global Grind, XXL, Billboard and was recently featured on "The Gossip Game", a VH1 show.

Osorio announced to students that her book was recently optioned for television and that she is currently in conversation with Chris Rock about developing a show.

Javaughn Loftman was attracted to the lecture because of Osorio’s level of experience.

“I watched "The Gossip Game" - I saw her on TV - and I felt like it would be interesting to hear what she had to say because she’s so established in her career,” said Loftman, a communication and rhetorical studies freshman.

Lastly, Osorio spoke specifically to young female students about pursuing their careers, telling women in the audience that once they figure out how to get their foot in the door, the path will be easy. She said that the condition of media is changing, and there is a large importance placed on online journalism, personal branding, and having an all-inclusive knowledge and skill set.

Yet Osorio assured aspiring journalists, reminding them that anyone with a specific skill, like writing, should be able to find a job.

Said Osorio: “People in the industry don’t have skill – you do.”

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