As Told To

By Jewel Wicker

Featuring insight into working as a freelance reporter and contextualizing Atlanta.

Featuring insight into working as a freelance reporter and contextualizing Atlanta.

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Here's how you can help build a newsroom that centers Black Atlantans

Hi, friends. I hope y'all were able to enjoy some time with family and friends last week. (And, I hope y'all have thrown your leftovers out by now...I'm so sorry.) I had a pretty chill Thanksgiving that involved spending time playing games and attempting to m…


Thank you, Jovita

I don't really have much to say today, nor do I have any desire to take away from the meaningful words of those who personally and intimately knew and loved Jovita Moore. Mostly, I just want to say thank you to an Atlanta media legend who has been an inspirat…


"...We Are Broken, Too"

If all the news is breaking all the time, then we are broken, too. - Sam SandersIf the first three years of working as a freelance reporter were about hurling myself at every possible opportunity, this past year has been about stepping back. Stepping into a n…


~Some News~

If you follow me on Twitter, you might already know I announced some major news this morning. Capital B, a non-profit news organization launched by Lauren Williams, former editor-in-chief of Vox, and Akoto Ofori-Atta, former managing editor of The Trace, will…


I think I've said enough online this week...

I sent a couple of tweets criticizing anonymous IG news accounts this week and people acted like they'd lost their entire minds – cussing me out, calling me names and leaving rat emojis under my posts for three days. For the record, I stand by saying these ac…


Stop playing in freelancer's faces

Here's a quick word of advice for any freelance reporters who want to know how to tell if an editor/client is going to be a nightmare to work with. If their call for pitches or initial email features wildly unrealistic expectations for freelancers but doesn't…



As of this month, it has officially been four years since I left the AJC to work as a freelance reporter and figure out if journalism was a career I wanted to continue to pursue. (Spoiler alert: I'm still a journalist and truly couldn't imagine doing anything…


Do we all secretly loathe social media?

I recently told one of my friends that I’m mostly interested in growing my social media following so I can gain more professional opportunities then deactivate my accounts. They thought I was being weird, but I was mostly being serious. I recognize that socia…


On beat reporting

I’ve told this story on social media before but when I was in college, I went to a networking event and mentioned to a prominent broadcast reporter that I wanted to entertainment to be my beat. She offered me a piece of advice that has stuck with me in the ye…



Hello from runoff day here in Georgia! Sending a special issue of this newsletter with a few reminders about today:



Welcome to As Told To. I’m Jewel Wicker, a freelance entertainment and culture reporter whose work has appeared in Billboard, Atlanta Magazine, Pitchfork, GQ, Teen Vogue, etc. Every other Wednesday, I publish this newsletter, featuring my most recent work (as…


The one major thing I haven't accounted for as a freelancer...

My family is going to be so upset when they read this…


Georgia got something to say

Welcome back to As Told To where Georgia has always been the center of the universe. I took a break from publishing last week because if I, a reporter, needed a break from the influx of things being published, I can only assume you did, too.


The community journalism we've all been craving

I’ve been pretty vocal about the things that are lacking from the publications we have here in Atlanta and how much I miss Creative Loafing. I read the work of Gavin Godfrey, Maurice Garland and Rodney Carmichael in the alt-weekly when I was in college and th…


The power of newspaper archives and cold calls

I don’t love popping up at people’s businesses unannounced or doing cold calls. But, doing so has sometimes helped me produce my favorite stories. (Granted, I cover entertainment so I am rarely surprising people with serious accusations, although I’ve certain…


Thank God for Zendaya.

For the most part, I liked MTV’s new series 16 & Recovering as much as I can like a show about teenagers struggling to navigate the struggles of substance abuse and mental illness. In general, I think it’s hard for most people to understand the implicatio…


I got nothing.

Struggling to find the words as a reporter is a strange feeling. There’s a guilt that comes with not being able to type up an essay that encapsulates the collective grief of this year. But, the truth is…I got nothing. And, for now, that has to be OK.


It's not enough to enlist marginalized voices if publications still undermine their work.

The recent drama surrounding Billboard’s cover story on Verzuz is a reminder that writers often have little input in the images that accompanies their work. The article itself highlighted the significance of the Beenie Man and Bounty Killer battle, but the co…


The south still has something to say.

When Briana Younger emailed me to ask if I’d write four blurbs for NPR’s newly released Southern Rap Canon, I was ecstatic. Then the anxiety set in. It’s hard to verbalize how overwhelming it is to write about the significance of an album like Goodie’s Mob So…



We’re keeping things short in today’s newsletter because today marks the eighth anniversary of my accident. (I wrote about it here and I have no plans to do so again because it makes strangers and mere acquaintances feel like they can ask me invasive question…