Behind the Screens: Meet Tafisha Edwards
Tafisha joined PBS in 2013 after earning her degree from the University of Maryland. She is an invaluable COVE expert, and also builds Bento sites from time to time. We talked to Tafisha about her role at PBS Digital and the lessons she's learned thus far in her public media career.
Describe your role on the PBS Digital team.
I work closely with Pete Van Vleet and help manage the videos that enter and exit COVE—from video ingestion to program packaging and everything in between. I also built and manage the PBS Indies site, which will debut 26 short independent films as a prelude to this year’s Online Film Festival.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned working in public media?
Our work is vastly underappreciated. There is so much interesting and innovative content provided by all forms public media, and so much experimentation to deliver that content to those who are looking for it (and even those who aren’t) and that isn’t always recognized.
Based on what you know now, if you could go back to your first day at PBS and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to be very flexible in the face of looming deadlines. There are so many moving pieces for any given task—contracts to be finalized and amended, assets to be collected, videos to be edited—that it often takes brushing up against a deadline to truly have everything in place. Keep calm and carry on!
What’s the one website you can’t live without?
The Washington Post. Every morning before I get out of bed, I steal a few minutes to read the paper online.
What newsletter should subscribe to?
Marie Forleo’s newsletters are great. She has helpful tips on melding creativity with entrepreneurial savvy, and I always look for ways to incorporate those tips into my daily routine.
What is your favorite mobile app?
HBO Go. I was sold once I realized I could watch “Veep” and “Game of Thrones” at any time.
Describe your perfect weekend.
Sleeping in until 11 a.m., cooking brunch for a few friends, reading one of the many books in my “to finish pile,” a little light shopping and a night out on U Street at Marvin’s.
What do you think are the upcoming trends in the digital world?
I think Amazon will continue to strive for greater accessibility and expand their delivery options (though I don’t think drones will be flying around just yet), and I think that we’ll see an increase in cord-cutting, especially if more services allow viewers to access programs that were traditionally locked into cable packages, like sports channels. I don’t think it will happen overnight, but at some point, I predict someone will be willing to experiment.
If you could have a Google Hangout with any three people, who would you choose?
I would choose Jon Stewart, because he is able to balance his political acumen with his sense of humor, and I’m interested in his evolution; Melissa Harris-Perry, because she has been instrumental in shaping my perspective on womanism and feminism; and Natalie Dormer is one of my favorite actresses and is so formidable on-screen.
Describe the Internet in a word.