For Nyesha Stone, meeting a Black newspaper editor during her sophomore year of college in 2016 changed her life. And set her on a path to start her own media company.
“I sent her my resume and work samples. I told her I wanted to get paid to write. She invited me to her office and said, ‘I’m going to be honest with you, I didn’t even look at any of your writing samples. But, I see myself in you, and I’m going to give you a chance’,” Stone tells ESSENCE. “Ever since she let me write that first article with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it’s been up from there,” she says.
Not only did the Milwaukee native continue to write for that newspaper and several other publications. In 2017, while still a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she founded Carvd N Stone(CNS), a news media company with a unique mission to report positive news stories about Black communities.
The 26-year-old media entrepreneur says she wanted to combat the negative news coverage from local, national, and global media outlets and provide her local community with a better representation in the media.
“When I tell people we cover positive news, they’re like, what the heck is that? And then to how the heck are you even still here to this day? So it blows people’s minds,” Stone shares with ESSENCE.
The weekly news outlet has covered hundreds of positive news stories in Milwaukee and Atlanta through online articles, video and radio interviews and more. It also covers major positive news stories worldwide with a small team. Stone oversees much of reporting and writing and works along with two Black women photographers.
Some of the recent stories include features on local businesses employing Black youth and teaching them new skills, a photographer who created the project “Corporate Natural Hair” to inspire and uplift others and a software company that secured a $400K investment to develop tech that would aid individuals impacted by the justice system.
“I want people to know that they don’t have to rush the vision. I did this well by myself. And when I can afford it, I’m going to get more writers,” says Stone, whose goal is to hire full-time employees eventually.
In addition to covering positive news, the company’s PR and Communications department serves corporations, nonprofits and small business owners with public relations and marketing as well as event activations.
CNS also gives back to the community through grants, scholarships and other community initiatives. Since 2019, the media company has awarded over $17,000 in scholarships and grants. It has also taught over 100 students basic journalism skills and held multiple media training sessions.
“I just want to support Black people and young people because I’m young, I’m black and I know how it can be and those challenges often faced.
In early December, the millennial founder launched the Carvd N Stone Podcast (CNS Podcast), which will expand the brand’s positive news coverage. The weekly podcast will include interviews with entrepreneurs, community members and everyday people about the positive things in their lives.
“People have been asking us for years to start a podcast and now the time is right,” says Stone. “I’m excited to reach our audience in a whole new way. This is a chance for me to further connect with the CNS audience. They’ve been on this journey with us since 2017 and it’s only going to get better.”
Her advice to other women, be it in the news industry or another profession is always to remember their value and just like that editor who took a chance on her at the start of her career, Stone says it’s important to do the same for others.
“It took a Black woman to be like, no, I see you,” she says. “It is very important that Black women know how valuable we are in that we deserve to be at the top in these spaces. We’re caring people, and we’re very intelligent and we’re out to make a difference.”