SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Michele Hollow has plenty to say about pets.
South Orange resident Hollow is a blogger who for nearly three years has been running the website “Pet News and Views, the Latest News and Informative Views” on pets. “My goal is to raise awareness for various animal welfare issues and to let people know that they can help,” Hollow said.
Originally the blog was going to be about animals in general; however, about 90 percent of the blog is centered around dogs and cats. On occasion, Hollow also posts about horses and wildlife such as birds. Hollow does not claim to be an expert about animals, although she has acquired a substantial amount of knowledge about cats and dogs.
“I’m on the same team with my readers,” Hollow said.
Some of Hollow’s content advocates for various organizations and shelters. Hollow is a strong supporter of pet adoption and rescue, and all of her pets have been obtained this way, including her current pet, her cat Earl Gray.
In addition to advocacy, the blog is utilized as a go-between for organizations and various companies seeking to make donations for “good will.”
Overall the blog has gotten a lot of positive feedback, according to Hollow, and is followed in many states, as well as several countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Many of the blog’s readers are from New York, New Jersey and California. Hollow has even been approached by advertisers in the UK.
Although Hollow is not an official member of any specific animal rights or advocacy groups, she does support many of them by commenting on their issues, speaking at conferences and allowing guest postings. As a speaker, she has been sponsored by the Iams dog and cat food company.
A native New Yorker, Hollow was raised in the Bronx and as a child loved the zoo. In her teens, she began to take zoology classes at the zoo to expand her knowledge of animals.
“I have always loved animals,” Hollow said. ”They are so different from us.”
After obtaining a journalism degree from City College in New York, Hollow moved to southern Louisianan to work for a local newspaper. From there she returned to New York and worked for several publications, including Home Fashion Daily, before turning to freelance writing full-time.
As a freelance writer, Hollow has reported on a wide variety of topics from travel to insurance, and has written pieces for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Newsday.
“I take blogging very seriously,” Hollow said, adding that she loves to do research.
Hollow confesses that it took her a while to commit to blogging and get a handle on its technical side as well as realizing how to make a profit through advertising.
In addition to blogging and freelance writing, Hollow runs a networking group called Professionals in Media. The group meets ones a month to network and discuss issues in the media industry for professionals.
Alexandra Lubischer is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts designed to give students real-world experience