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Mount Vernon Patch Editor Bridges Journalism and Social Media

Local Patch editor enjoys hula hooping and the Mount Vernon Estate.

This Q&A feature helps readers learn more about people living and working in the Mount Vernon business community.

This week’s Q&A profiles Jessie Biele. Jessie recently celebrated her two-year anniversary with Patch.com in Northern Virginia. Currently, she is Local Editor for the Mount Vernon, Fort Hunt and Belle Haven editions of Patch.com.

Originally from East Patchogue, NY, Jessie attended SUNY- Purchase College and graduated in 2008 with a double major in Journalism and Women’s Studies. While attending college, she was a contributor for her student-run weekly, The Purchase Independent and The Dispatch, the journalism department’s monthly publication. She also helped launch The Brick, the college’s first-ever student-run news website. She is currently in the process of earning her Master's in Public Communication at American University, and is set to graduate in May 2013.

Following college graduation, Jessie returned to Long Island and worked as a freelance reporter for The Long Island Advance, a community newspaper covering 10 towns on the Great South Bay. After two years of freelancing in her former community, she was hired as a staff reporter at Johnlor Publishing in Sayville, New York, writing for The Suffolk County News and the Islip Bulletin. She also freelanced for the Patchogue Patch, Sayville Patch and Bayport-Blue Point Patch.

Jessie resides with her German Shepherd-mix dog, Andy, and her 13-year-old cat, Jinx, in the Carlyle section of Alexandria.

How did you become interested in your line of work?

When I was in college, I was actually more focused on becoming a music   major, with a goal in mind of working as a music teacher. Back then, journalism was more of a side project. I really loved music, but wasn’t 100 percent sure that it was what I wanted to do for rest of my life. At the time, I had friends taking journalism classes, and it sounded very intriguing. I started to take some classes, realized I liked them, and then shifted my focus to the world of journalism.

What do you enjoy most about your line of work?

I really like talking to all kinds of interesting people, hearing their stories, and helping them share their stories with readers.

What’s an interesting aspect of your job?

Integrating social media with journalism. I really like how everything comes together … there’s so much you can do with online journalism and social media. They both play such an important part of  breaking news today. It’s really interesting. I love that, in my daily job, I get to interact with people both face-to-face and via social media.

With the recent two-year anniversary of the Mount Vernon edition of Patch.com (October), are there any new plans for the online publication in the year to come?

Yes, and we plan to make announcements about the direction Patch.com is headed in late November/early December...I’m really excited about the direction we’re headed in.

Where is your favorite place to go in the Mount Vernon area?

I really love going to Mount Vernon Estate. I love the events they have there during the holidays. I also enjoy running and biking along the Mount Vernon trail, especially during this time of year. The Parkway is absolutely gorgeous.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like running, working out at the gym, dancing and hula hooping. I’m also a foodie and love trying new places to eat in Northern Virginia and D.C.

What’s on your iPod?

Honestly, practically everything. I like to listen to a lot of country music lately. Favorites right now are Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts. When I’m working out or running, I tend to listen to more dance and techno music.

If you weren’t in this business, what would you be doing?

My dream job: I would like to one day own my own pubic relations consulting business where I could help journalists with social media.

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