Leading Millennials: Candice Montenegro, D5 Studio

"As long as I’m doing work that inspires me, and my work makes people’s lives better, then I know I’m headed in the right direction."

Candice Montenegro is the Managing Editor for D5 Studio’s entertainment and lifestyle verticals. She spent a number of years at GMA, one of the biggest TV networks in the Philippines, honing her skills as a multimedia journalist.

She appears here as part of our stories to identify the evolving generation of professionals in the service of journalism. You can reach her on email at CMMontenegro@media5.com.ph.

What do you love about what you do?

I get to play around with new creative executions, and I often build things from scratch. So far, I’ve been lucky to be put in positions where I get to experiment and be innovative all the time. My current role challenges me to incorporate journalism values into an editorial team that’s not set up like a traditional newsroom, and I think that’s interesting and pretty cool.

 

Where do you struggle most?

Analysis paralysis always gets me. I often overthink a story, to a point where I find it difficult to begin working on something until I feel I have all the elements I need. I have to do better at working on a story and watching it unfold in the process, just like in the good ol’ days of journalism.

 

What do you think the next 3 years look like for you?

I honestly have no idea — and that’s what makes me excited about what’s to come. My role has evolved so much and quite drastically since I started out as a multimedia producer for a news website 7 years ago. I can only imagine how much the digital landscape will change in the next 3 years — and with it, my role as content creator.

What works for me is not having an actual “track” for what my career is supposed to look like, or where it’s supposed to head.

 

How do you figure out if you’re on the right track for your career?

What works for me is not having an actual “track” for what my career is supposed to look like, or where it’s supposed to head. As long as I’m doing work that inspires me, and my work makes people’s lives better, then I know I’m headed in the right direction.

 

What is the biggest thing you know today that you didn’t know a year ago?

“Quality over quantity” still — but quantity matters, too.

 

What are the top 3 things that would motivate you in a job?

Finding new ways to solve a problem. Working with bright people, and being challenged by their creativity. Hitting a creative block (surprisingly!) and looking for ways around it.

 

Where do you find inspiration?

From the most random things — creative food packaging I see at supermarket shelves, tabloid headlines, people I meet while in line at government offices. Everyone and everything has a unique story to tell. It inspires me to find what that story is and to draw it out.

I’d like to see experienced editors and managers consult their younger journos more about new ways to deliver stories.

 

What do you know about managing young talent in newsrooms that most managers probably don’t get?

When I started out in the field, filing reports on Twitter was unheard of, and my editors took a gamble when I proposed to use it for reporting on a major news story.

Seven years later, reporting on Twitter has become part of standard newsroom deliverables. I’d like to see experienced editors and managers consult their younger journos more about new ways to deliver stories. These kids play around with platforms to create personal content anyway — surely they’ll have creative ideas that will breathe new life into news storytelling.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a boss?

My current boss recently reminded me of a quote we heard at a conference: “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.” Being in that position requires so much from a person mentally and emotionally, but you’d rather be leading the wolfpack than following the herd. It’s always worth it in the end.


We’re looking for people with an elasticity in their views of media and journalism. It’s rare.

The faces of people in the service of journalism are often found on stage. They are often the heads of their newsrooms. They are often men. There’s little space on stage for the younger people sitting further down the hierarchy of these newsrooms. I want to tell their stories because some of them could one day redefine this industry.

So if you want to be featured here (or know of someone who should), drop me an email. I’m alansoon@thesplicenewsroom.com.

Co-Founder, CEO of The Splice Newsroom. Covering the business of media transformation in Asia. Follow Alan Soon on Twitter.

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