Meta J. Mereday, president and founder of the Veterans Entrepreneurial Development Initiative from Baldwin, was selected to be included in the Military Veterans in Journalism’s expert directory on Nov. 11 in recognition of Veteran's Day.
Mereday, who was a civilian responder at the world trade center attacks in 2001, is an advocate for veterans, and a media executive. She was recently included in MVJ’s esteemed list that includes veteran and civilian experts in military and veterans’ affairs and community coverage. Military Veterans in Journalism, a non-profit news institute, focuses on getting more military veterans working in America’s newsrooms and providing balanced coverage about veterans and their issues.
“Being selected in the directory speaks to the importance of having informed civilians in the military journalistic space,” said Mereday. “We need as many people involved to fully understand and be aware of the needs of our veterans and their families."
According to the United States Census, approximately 7 percent of Americans have served in the armed forces, however; only two percent of media professionals are military veterans. Military Veterans in Journalism recently launched an extensive media guide to provide a broad range of resources to increase the hiring and utilization of veterans as journalists.
“The directory serves to combat the many misconceptions about veterans by giving journalists a resource to speak with experts in the field,” said Mereday.
Their “expert guide” provides style points and useful resources to better understand and report on the military community and includes an expert directory that features established content leaders with expertise in the understanding of the veteran community and awareness regarding effective and informative coverage.
Mereday, who is a nationally recognized advocate for veterans and media expert, was included in the directory due to her longstanding involvement in reporting on and advocacy for veterans and their families. In addition to being a 9-11 First Responder following the September 11th attacks on the United States, where she provided support for recovery teams at Ground Zero, she also reported directly from the site to national media.
Mereday also witnessed firsthand and reported on the preparation for soldiers via the innovative Military Journalism Experience 2012 that she took part in with an immersive experience at both Fort Leavenworth and Fort Leonard Wood. During this experience, the selected group of journalists participated in morning exercises, disarmament activities, training sessions and briefings along with graduation exercises preparing America’s military.
As the Founder of Veterans Entrepreneurial Development Initiatives (VEDI), Inc., she has been a staunch advocate for veterans and drafted many stories and initiatives to improve the transition for veterans into successful civilian lives and to help their caregivers.
With a focus on diversity and inclusion, Mereday has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Black Journalists where she coordinated an event with the US Army that recognized Black and Hispanic Veterans including those who were journalists during the historic Unity Conference. She is also a co-founder of the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc.
Most recently, Mereday joined forces with the collaborative venture Veteran Mission Possible to provide media support and to assist with platforms to address the high rates of suicide and medical debt within the military. She is the co-founder and senior editor of Influence-DiCOTA, a diverse, global multimedia platform that is a job creator for under-utilized creative people of color, and the Veterans Entrepreneurial Development Initative, Inc. and was welcomed to the Task Force of the National Veteran Business Development Council's Military and Veteran Task Force to increase awareness and opportunities for veteran-owned businesses to create jobs for other veterans.
“I am humbled and appreciative of this recognition with MVJ, and I look forward to engaging with others who are featured in the directory to achieve MVJ’s mission to not only increase and diversify the number of military journalists, but to improve the coverage of veterans throughout the media itself,” said Mereday. “The diversity and inclusion focus within MVJ resonates with me and it ensures that inclusive and accurate coverage will be a priority.”