Media Matters Blog

Posted on November 5th, 2020 in Alumni Spotlight, News Reporting, Social Media Jobs by Emily Turnier
Picture of alumna Tarena Lofton smiling
IUPUI Journalism and Public Relations alumna Tarena Lofton

Tarena Lofton, B.A.J ‘18, has been on the frontlines of disseminating news about COVID-19 as Assistant Social Media Manager for Kaiser Health News (KHN) and California Healthline. KHN is a nonprofit news service covering health issues, and California Healthline is a service of the California Health Care Foundation produced by KHN.

“I’m learning a lot and working with some of the top people in the health care and health policy world,” Lofton said.

Before COVID-19, Lofton’s hours were mostly 9-5, but health care news is moving extremely quickly now, and KHN is publishing a lot more content.

“My schedule has become more flexible so that content can be promoted in a timely manner and so I can make sure our social media feeds are staying fresh,” she said.

Lofton has been working from home for several months. The transition was smooth, as her job is heavily technology-based, and she has multiple streams of communication with her colleagues and their IT team.

Lofton enjoys getting useful information out to the community, but she has found that it is easy to become consumed with worry about the pandemic, she said.

“Both my work and personal accounts are swamped with COVID-19 [information], so it can be hard to turn my work brain off,” she said. “This has been a bit of a challenge.”

Lofton noted that she uses skills that she learned during her time at IUPUI — especially in her social media and writing classes — while at work.

“People that I built connections with through IUPUI are doing great work on social media,” Lofton said. “Their work inspires me and gives me fun and creative ideas to use for my current position.”