Meet the Media Monday returns! The series features a brief Q&A with leading Charlotte media members as we get to know the faces behind the stories that matter most in the Queen City. For the latest installment, we sat down with Cathy Martin, Editor at SouthPark Magazine.
Where are you from?
CM: I’ve been in Charlotte for over 20 years. I grew up in Eastern North Carolina in a little town called Wilson but I haven’t lived there since high school. My mom is still there and I get back to visit her. My husband is a Charlotte native. He grew up in Weddington but it was considered the country back then!
How did you get into journalism?
CM: I was Sports Editor of my high school paper. I always liked it and all of my friends were on the staff. Several of us ended up at UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad in the journalism school. There was always something I liked about journalism with the story-telling aspect.
About 8 years ago I took a job as Assistant to the Publisher at Business North Carolina which is a state-wide business magazine. I liked it but I very quickly moved over to the Editorial side and that’s where I discovered what I love. I consider myself an Editor first, and writer second. Most people look at it the other way! I like managing projects and I’m very detail-oriented and that’s what I love about being an Editor.
Has it been different moving from a business to a lifestyle publication?
CM: It’s really fun! I loved covering business and found it interesting but I’m a curious person and am interested in learning about anything. I’ve lived in Charlotte for 20 years but I feel like I’m discovering a whole new side of the city with my role at SouthPark Magazine.
What’s your favorite activity in Charlotte?
CM: Being married to a chef, I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants. It’s really evolving and there’s a lot of interesting things going on in Charlotte that was not the case 10 or 20 years ago. The Whitewater Center is fun too. I don’t get out there as much as I would like to but it’s as good as they say it is!
What’s your favorite season in Charlotte?
CM: I’m a summer girl but Charlotte’s maybe not the best place for summer activities so I guess fall. There’s a lot going on in terms of festivals and patio seating. If I can be outside, I will take it.
What are the challenges of being a journalist in 2019?
CM: I think just generally the state of the industry is everyone trying to do more with less. I don’t think of things so much as a challenge but rather as an opportunity to learn new skills. Sometimes people who’ve been in the industry for a long time are less adaptable and that’s a challenge.
There’s also a nuance to magazine writing if you haven’t done it before. It’s a different type of writing and a lot of people who pitch me are used to writing more short, snappy things and I have to coach them. It’s fun and I enjoy it! A lot of people in the industry are open to learning new things as something they can add to their repertoire.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
CM: At Business North Carolina, everything was Twitter all the time. SouthPark Magazine is more geared towards Instagram - that’s where we get the most engagement. Instagram has been a great tool for me to learn more about our partners and the people we work with. I’m more of the Facebook generation but I like Instagram. I love pretty pictures and I’m more visual.