Kristen Maldonado’s favorite movies of 2023, her experience working as an entertainment journalist for Pop Culture Planet

CE: What does your job as an entertainment journalist look like on a day to day basis?

KM: What people might be surprised to know is that many entertainment journalists and TV/film critics in the industry have full time jobs on top of their journalism gigs. While I spend my days working as a Senior Manager of Social Media at MTV, I spend the rest of my free time on my journalism endeavours. No day is ever the same. I may wake up early to film, edit videos and write for my website Pop Culture Planet on the train, go to my day job, and then head to a screening or cover a red carpet in the evening. Some days I’m binge-watching shows or movies for review or preparing for an on-camera interview opportunity. There’s also been exciting milestones for me recently to go on New York Live to talk about the Grammy Awards, to take on paid sponsorship opportunities, and even walk red carpets instead of just conduct interviews on them, which has been a dream come true.

CE: Favorite movie of the year so far? Is there a movie you’re looking forward to?

KM: I went down a rabbit hole watching all the movies in the Scream franchise to prepare for Scream VI, so that was definitely up there. I’ve been really into TV lately and highly recommend The Way Home, Beef, and Class of 07 as ones to check out. Some movies I’m anticipating are Barbie, The Little Mermaid, and Joy Ride. I love projects that feature representation and inclusion in ways that we don’t always get to see, but deserve, and highlighting that is a huge mission for me at Pop Culture Planet.

CE: How big of a role does social media play in your job and networking with others?

KM: Social media plays a huge role in the work that I do. While it may seem a little unconventional, that’s how I started my entertainment journalism career nearly a decade ago. I studied Broadcast Journalism in college and was always told that you needed to create a reel if you wanted to get an opportunity on camera. I took that idea to the next level by starting a YouTube channel reviewing shows and movies and doing celebrity interviews. Over the years it’s evolved into so much more with the addition of a video podcast and website with Pop Culture Planet, but social media will always be the heart of what I do. In terms of networking, it’s really helped me find a community with other film and TV critics from all over the world. I’ve been able to meet up with other critics in my home state of New York, as well as California, Arizona, and even London.

CE: Any advice for someone looking to get into entertainment journalism?

KM: My biggest advice for someone looking to get into entertainment journalism is to just start. You don’t need to wait for someone to give you the opportunity. I started my own outlet with Pop Culture Planet by just putting my voice out there continually and not giving up. Persistence and consistency are key. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. Just be yourself and keep working to make what you create better over time.