Erin Medley, J/MS ’04, appointed director of engagement at NJ.com

Erin Medley

Photo by Flisadam Pointer
Erin Medley, a pioneer in the field of online journalism, stands in front of the Morristown office of NJ.com.

By Flisadam Pointer —

As readers browse NJ.com for the day’s top news stories affecting the state, they should be aware that a J/MS graduate from 2004 is one of the driving forces behind the popular website.

Erin Medley is now the Director of Engagement for the online news source, NJ.com.

As the Director of Engagement, Medley is responsible for increasing user engagement, distributing NJ.com content more widely through site programming, and promoting the brand across social media, third-party alliances and newsletters.

From her office in Morristown, she oversees a team of producers that includes the social media producer, community producer, sports producers and homepage/site producers as well as freelance bloggers.

Her position at NJ.com allows her to feel the pulse of New Jersey while serving as kind of an unofficial ambassador for the state, a job she takes seriously. “New Jersey is an amazing place, and it’s important to showcase all — the good and the bad — we have to offer,” said Medley.

Many would consider Medley a pioneer in the field of online journalism, having worked in the decade following graduation at Shape.com as a content development manager where she produced and edited short-form videos.

She also spent time at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment as a senior manager for programming and editorial content, where she developed content for web properties like audio, video and multimedia, and at VH-1/Viacom as a senior producer of music and events. There she led creation, production and posting of content for music pages on VH1.com. This included the popular TV music series “VH1 Storytellers” and “Unplugged,” live acoustic performances by the top recording artists of their hit songs.

When asked about her most recent transition from entertainment to hard-hitting news, Medley said, “I wanted more substance. I loved doing entertainment news but I just wanted more.”

Wanting more is what has driven Medley since her first days as a journalism major. During her undergraduate career Medley created the widely popular film review television segment “Pass the Popcorn” on the university’s student station RU-tv. She also started Rutgers’ chapter of KTA, the journalism honor society and served as its first president.

Although the many courses J/MS offers in social media and online news post-dated Medley’s academic career, Medley channeled the knowledge she acquired through courses such as News Reporting and Writing.

In exchange for the skills she learned at J/MS, she never stops giving back. Medley is always available to students for career advice and last May gave the keynote speech at the KTA induction.

As her 10th class reunion approaches Medley jokingly admitted, “I feel old.” In that decade, though, she has achieved success in a variety of media — from TV to radio, magazines to online journalism — and that is very rare.

Medley throws herself into her work, but manages to devote time to one of her favorite hobbies, recreational volleyball.

“Initially my social life did take a hit,” she said. But she emphasized, “It’s your responsibility to create that happy medium between professional and personal.”

She credits her success to “going out and getting hands-on experience” as well as “always saying yes — within reason,” which is her advice to students entering the workplace.