How I Work: Aisha Salaudeen, Multi-platform producer at CNN

There is a good probability that you have came across Aisha Salaudeen's work if you have recently viewed a program or item on CNN that was centered around Africa or if you read an article on the website. Aisha, who came from a background in finance, decided to make the brave leap into journalism, and as a result, she has achieved rapid advancements in her career. The following is how she operates.

Current role: Multi-platform producer Location: Lagos It's a computer called a MacBook Pro. Mobile device: iPhone 11 Pro Give us a one-word summary of your working style: Thorough

Give us a quick rundown of how things got started for you and how you got to where you are now.

When I was still in school, I launched my profession as a journalist and have been doing it ever since. Because I had a buddy who was a presenter on the school radio and because I like listening to them, I decided to give it a shot myself. I was successful in getting hired at the radio station, and I eventually became a presenter there. It appealed to me very much, and as a result, I've been inspired to investigate the media industry in general in greater depth.

After that, I started contributing pieces, including social commentary, to Nigerian publications by writing articles myself and sending them in. I just knew from that experience that I wanted to do something that had to do with journalism or being in the media space. I could see myself working in either of those fields.

Tell us about how you got started in journalism after working in finance.

When it came time for me to enroll in college, I had no idea what field of study I wanted to pursue, and I think that's the first thing you should know about me. Despite the fact that everything I've ever studied has been tied in some way to finance, I was never really strong in that financial background. My time at university and A levels was spent with me veering to the left and right, which is why it was extremely simple for me to come to the conclusion that I did not want to work in the financial industry.


At first, I was under the impression that I was going to have a career in accounting. I obtained many degrees, including one from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), but when it came time for me to transition into the field of journalism, it was extremely simple, and I did so right away. I had a lot of conversations with my acquaintances who worked in journalism, and eventually I began freelancing. The decision was not difficult to make, but making the shift itself was challenging.

Aisha Salaudeen

What exactly do you do for a living? Walk us through an average day in your life.

At the moment, I work as a multiplatform producer, which is a fancy way of stating that I make stories for CNN by making use of a variety of different platforms. I am responsible for producing their television shows and contributing articles to them. Consequently, the majority of what I do consists of writing stories in a variety of mediums.

There is no such thing as a regular day because each day is unique. I write and produce scripts for a few out-of-Africa television programmes, including African Voices Changemakers and Inside Africa. These shows air on international television. I simply make sure that everything runs properly from the very beginning right up until it is broadcast on television.

When I have something to film, a typical day for me consists of knowing what I want to film, finding my guest, speaking to them, agreeing on the time and logistics, getting a budget, planning the shoot, and then going outside with the crew and filming all of the agreed-upon parts. When I have something to film, a typical day for me consists of knowing what I want to film, finding my guest, speaking to them, agreeing on the time and

There are two excellent camera people working with me, and we just have to make sure that we stick to the story idea. After filming, we travel back to our base, where we collect the raw video, compose the show's script, and then send it off to the team in London or Atlanta, depending on where the editing is being done. After that, we come up with a really compelling narrative, and then the episode is broadcast.

On some days, it's just articles. You've had an interesting experience, and now you want to write about someone or something that's really wonderful. I simply speak with them for the interview, then write the article, and after that, it is published.

And then for the podcast, it's a little hard because I'm a co-founder of a podcast production company, which means that I'm continuously producing different podcasts. However, my job is basically to make sure that all the moving components of the podcast are taken care of from the beginning to the end.

Together with the other members of my research team, I brainstorm potential subjects and ideas, as well as potential interviewees. To provide some background, the podcast is a storytelling podcast that captures the narratives of African women and the unique ways in which life has affected each of them. In each episode, we focus on the experiences of a single individual to convey a more universal message. When we want to talk about something like postpartum depression, for instance, we look for a woman who has gone through it so that we can share her narrative.

It's not just a standard conversational podcast; we have that, but then we get back together, make a script, put in sound components, and cut it. So it's really a lot of research, finding individuals who fit, and developing scripts, because it's not just a regular conversational podcast.

An audio engineer, an associate producer, and an editor are the other members of the team that I work with. We pieced together the narrative and made it available on several streaming platforms (we recently added videos). After that, I am concerned about distribution, and then advertisements, and just getting the podcast to a large number of people because podcasting is quite difficult, particularly in Africa, where we haven't quite reached our peak yet.

Both of my jobs are intertwined in the sense that while I am performing my actual work—which, of course, takes precedence—I am also mixing work for my podcast, as new episodes need to be released on a weekly basis. Therefore, striking such a balance can be rather challenging.

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Which mobile applications, electronic devices, and/or tools can you not live without?

My laptop is definitely indispensable to me because it has everything I need, from the files for the work I perform to Netflix for when I need to relax. Both my iPad and my phone at the same time. Because my laptop is so cumbersome to carry about, I often bring my iPad instead. If you're going to be a producer, you're going to need a rather huge laptop for your footage.

Because I'm currently on a path to improve my fitness, I recently realized that I also can't function well without my Apple Watch. Therefore, I am always keeping an eye on and keeping track of my fitness goals, and it is helpful to have an app or a device that you can use to visualize your progress.

Twitter, in terms of app usage. Twitter has me completely hooked. I open it up each and every free second that I have where I'm not doing anything else. Additionally, I find that I am utilizing Canva quite a bit more frequently these days since there are times when I need to put material out for the podcast even though the designer isn't available. Zencastr is similar to zoom, except it's designed specifically for podcasts; I use it frequently. Then there are all the different applications that begin with "Google," such as Google Docs, Google Slides, and so on. Those are some of the apps that I use on a regular basis.

What is your go-to method or trick for completing tasks quickly and efficiently?

I do not have access to any hacks. Currently, what I do is make sure that I always consult my to-do list. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a hack, but at the beginning of each day, I sit down and write down everything that I need to get done that day, and I don't get up from my table until I've completed everything on the list. When the last item on the list is crossed off, I tell myself, "All right, I can relax now." However, there is no magic involved.

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What task do you detest yet nevertheless do?

I despise driving very much. And because I have to drive in Lagos, which is notorious for its gridlock, the situation is further made worse.

What do you do to refresh yourself or take a break from the tasks that you perform?

Two very important things. I like to watch shows on TV. The majority of the episodes that I watch on television are adaptations of comic books, particularly those that are based on Marvel characters. When I feel the urge to relax and unwind, I like to watch all of the Marvel movies again in order. In addition to that, I spend time with my buddies. It's always pleasant to have excellent people around you.

What are you listening to, what are you watching, and what are you reading right now?

This incredible podcast, titled "This Is Uncomfortable," is currently playing in the background of my computer. It's a podcast about the decisions we make with our money and how those decisions effect our lives. So here are all the different ways that money can influence you. The podcast is fantastic, and I adore it with all my heart.

I am currently reading a book written by Guy Raz titled "How I Built This." This book was written by Guy Raz, who is widely regarded as one of the most talented podcasters in the world. It is titled How I Developed This because it is about entrepreneurs and other individuals who have built successful businesses. Since I'm thinking about switching careers and becoming a product manager, reading that book has been quite informative for me, both in terms of understanding how products operate and how product managers do their jobs.

On Disney+, I am currently watching Moon Knight for the second time. It's a Marvel television show centered on a Marvel hero by the name of Moon Knight. *laughs*

Aisha Salaudeen

Tell me about the most useful piece of guidance that somebody has ever given you.

This is a thought-provoking line of inquiry. I believe the advise was something to the effect that I should unlearn shame. "Shame" is sometimes the factor that prevents us from moving forward in our lives and occupations since it keeps us confined to a certain area. It's embarrassing to need assistance. Let's imagine you're having trouble with something at work, but instead of asking for help from your manager or having talks with other individuals who you know could be helpful to you, you choose to ignore the discomfort and pretend it doesn't exist.

This guidance is quite useful for me because I am able to put it into practice in a variety of contexts. There is no shame in inviting everybody and everyone I can think of to appear on my shows as a guest when I'm looking for someone to interview. When I need assistance for the advancement of my career, I ask for it. There is no longer any reason to be ashamed of anything. Even if they say no, it won't be the end of the world for me; I can handle whatever comes next.

Who is the one person you want would respond to these questions?

To begin, let's talk about Elon Musk. This is something I'm saying because the guy is always tweeting and talking about stuff, and the majority of the time, what he's saying doesn't make any sense, and I'm simply wondering. Because I find his mind so intriguing, it would be interesting to learn what he ruminates about and the problems he's attempting to address.

The second individual is a good friend of mine named Silm Momoh, who is also one of the people that started Eden Life. Because he is such an intriguing individual, I am curious about the things that he spends his time reading, listening to, and doing in general. In addition to that, I am looking forward to seeing Ted Oladele, who is the Vice President of Design at Flutterwave. Since Ted is always working on something, it would be interesting to gain a glimpse inside his thought process and find out how he manages to get things done.