Monthly Archives: June 2010

Alabama Journalists Get Intensive Online Media Training

By Marie Sutton, freelance journalist and member, Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

Many veteran journalists can write a news story in their sleep, but are baffled by how to use social media. “I have colleagues who have no clue what Twitter is or how to use it as a tool of journalism,” said Shaun Chavis, diet editor for Health magazine.

All photos courtesy of Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

But as journalists across the country fall victim to downsizing and budget, cuts many are having to figure out how to use those Internet tools as they reinvent themselves as bloggers and online reporters. For that reason, the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ) recently partnered with the Online News Association (ONA) to present a day of free intensive social media training.

The Parachute Training Initiative was offered on June 5 as part of a $25,000 grant presented by the Gannett Foundation. About 70 journalists from across Alabama participated in the conference that was held in the Hill Alumni Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The sessions were tailored specifically to the needs of independent, community, non-profit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and students in the Alabama area.

Workshops included everything from “Free Tools to Kick Your Site Up a Notch” to “Harnessing the Power of Social Media,” and “What You Need to Know about Internet Law” to “Jumping from Print to Multimedia Journalism.” Speakers included social media all-stars like Danny Sanchez, Digital Platform Manager of Tribune Interactive; Josh Hatch, Director of Interactive for USATODAY.com and Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California, Annenberg.

“It was a great session that opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t know existed,” said Willie Chriesman, BABJ member and freelance journalist.

“I think so many professional journalists don’t know how to use the emerging technology, don’t often get opportunities to learn about it, and feel uneasy about continuing to do their jobs without knowing how to use these tools,” Chavis said. “This ONA Parachute Training was a huge help.”

Steve Crocker, president of BABJ, said this conference was right in line with what his organization wants to do for the area media professionals. “One of our priorities for BABJ  has been to provide opportunities for professional development wherever possible, especially that training is getting harder to come by in many newsrooms.”

This event was the third of its kind presented by ONA. Others were held in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Boca Raton, Fla. The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists.

“For ONA to bring so much value with them by doing the heavy lifting in terms of logistics and putting the schedule together makes it a no-brainer to bring them back to Birmingham as soon as they want to come,” Crocker said.

He said BABJ hopes to bring the organization back for another training session within the next 6 to 9 months.

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

  • Webbmedia Group has a great calendar of events that catches things not covered below.  If you want to subscribe to the calendar, click here. You can also subscribe to this calendar so the information appears on your personal Google Calendar. Just go to the Webbmedia Google calendar, click the “+Google Calendar” icon at the bottom right, and then click “Yes, add this calendar” in the dialog box.)
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training from now through Oct. 30.  Courses include Stills & Video for Multimedia; One-man Band; Intro to Web Design; and Audio Narrative.  For more information go to Maine Media Training.
  • Mediabistro New York will hold a workshop on Advanced Social Networking for Media Professionals Wednesday, June 30 from 6:45-9:45 pm at the Chinatown YMCA. Columbia University professor and social media guru Sree Sreenivasan will host the event. His guest will be Twitter star @SorayaDarabi, who has 400,000+ followers and helped devise the initial NYT Twitter and Facebook strategies.  USE THIS DISCOUNT CODE, SREE25 and save 25% on the class price.
  • The Bulldog Reporter is holding its Media Relations Summit June 29 in New York City. Attendees will discuss the future of PR, Media, Journalism and Social Network marketing.
  • The Digital Journalist has released its workshops — The New Platypus DSLR Video Journalism, Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshops for 2010. Workshops will be held in Prague, Czech Republic July 9-18; and Rockport, Maine, July 25-August 3 at the Maine Media Workshops.
  • July 12 is the deadline to apply for the Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2010 APME Journalism Excellence Awards. The awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers and online news sites across the United States and Canada. The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well written and incisively reported and that effectively challenges the status quo.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding an online group seminar – Headlines That Work – July 12-Aug. 6.  Participants will learn about the different information needs and habits of these audiences and how to write headlines that will help engage readers on any platform.  The cost is $399.00.
  • The Paid Content Mobile conference will be held July 20 at Faculty House, Columbia University in New York City. The event will offer tips on how to develop a sound mobile strategy.  Registration costs $495.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – “Unpublishing” Online Content: Fairness and Credibility Guidelines – July 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn how to manage requests to remove past online content while considering accuracy, fairness and credibility with your readers and other audiences. The cost is $27.95.
  • The City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism is offering a workshop on 11 New Ways To Use Google on July 27 from 6:30-8:00.  Discover the most useful features of Google’s software suite in a 90-minute immersion seminar.  The cost is $40.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – Writing Headlines for the Web: 2010 Edition – July 29 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn strategies to increase traffic from search tools and keep those users on your site. You’ll also learn techniques for writing the all-important web headline. The cost is $29.95.
  • The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute is offering three Multimedia Boot Camps for Journalism Professionals and Educators.  They are scheduled for Aug. 2-6, Aug. 11-15 and Nov. 17-21 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.  The cost is $850. The deadline to apply for the Aug. 2-6 boot is July 16 and July 23 for the Aug. 11-15 boot camp.
  • The Online News Association is holding a Parachute Training Initiative at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, Calif., Aug. 4.  The cost is $10, but 60 free spots will be made available to members of the Asian American Journalists Association.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “How to be an entrepreneur as a business journalist” Aug. 9-13.  The weeklong Webinar, which teaches how to use your skills to make a living outside mainstream media, will be taught by freelancer and National Association of Black Journalists member Maya Smart and “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm will teach the five-hour course.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – Multimedia Storytelling With Video – Sept. 20-24.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due Aug. 9.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute will host Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010 Sept. 23-24 in Chicago.  Reynolds Fellow Michele McLellan and New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen will lead discussions from leading pioneers of online local news sites to discuss what’s working – and what needs work.  The event is invitation-only.
  • Registration is now open for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28-30.

If you have any items that I’ve missed, please drop me an email via the DJTF Yahoo! Listserv or at regaviationqueen AT yahoo DOT com.  Thanks!

Friday Fast Five – The Video Edition

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Last week was WAY too busy, so I missed writing the usual post.  To make up for it, today we’ll focus on tips that will help jumpstart or boost your video efforts. And to make up for last week’s missing post, this week you’ll get 10 tips.

But before we get started, forgive me in advance for putting in two shameless plugs for upcoming events.  First,  if you’re going to the NABJ conference in San Diego next month, I hope you’ll sign up for the SHORT COURSE: Advanced Multimedia Training I & II.  The details are here.  Created by the Digital Journalism and Visual task forces, it will be a two-day intensive training for those who need to actually get their hands on equipment and produce a short multimedia story.

Second, DJTF will celebrate Social Media Day Wednesday, June 30, with a roundtable discussion on how — and why — journalists should use social media tools in reporting on stories.  We’ll also offer social media tips and tricks and have time for your questions.   We’ll be using Blog Talk Radio for this discussion, and more details are here.  I hope you can join us.  Now onto Fast Five!

  1. 10000 Words – I’m happy to note that my streak of including a blog post from here continues, unabated.  5 Ways to broadcast live on the web (and why you should do it). I’m happy to note that I use three of Mark Luckie’s suggestions here.
  2. Mashable – 10 Killer Tips for Creating a Branded YouTube Channel.
  3. Flip The Media – How to Create a Vlog.
  4. Mashable – 5 Tools For Integrating HTML5 Video in Your Website.
  5. Teaching Journalism Online – Video for HTML5: The latest update.
  6. Mashable – 4 Tips for Producing Quality Web Videos.
  7. Multimediashooter – Why no one is watching your video and 9 ways to improve your story [VIDEO].
  8. SaveDelete – 10 Best And Free Online Video Editing Software.
  9. Mashable – 6 Tips For Experimenting with Web Video.
  10. Multimediashooter – 10 hella funny videos about journalism you must see.

NABJDigital To Celebrate Social Media Day

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

According to my go-to blog Mashable, Wednesday, June 30 is Social Media Day.  And considering how many journalists continue to add  social media tools to help them with their reporting,  I thought it would be great to join in the festivities.

So please join me on June 30 a noon Eastern time for an NABJDigital roundtable discussion with our guests Walter Fields, founder of NorthStarNews.com, Dr. Sybril Bennett, associate professor of journalism and the Executive Director of the New Century Journalism program at Belmont University in Nashville and Georgia Dawkins, a graduating broadcast journalism senior at Florida A&M University and the student representative on the NABJ board. We’ll talk about how — and why — journalists should use social media tools in reporting on stories.  We’ll also offer social media tips and tricks and have time for your questions.   We’ll be using Blog Talk Radio for this discussion, and more details are here.  I hope you can join us!

NABJDigital Profiles the Professor Diva Diaries

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Back on April 14, I did an interview with Maurice Cherry, creator of the Black Weblog Awards. And on May 19, I did a blog post on nominations opening for the annual Black Weblog Awards.

One of the comments from my nominations post came from Yolanda McCutchen, an NABJ member and a university professor.  When I clicked on her name, I was led to the Professor Diva Diaries blog.

The blog was co-founded by McCutchen and Nekeidra Taylor, a professor at a community college, two friends who recently began careers as college professors with an interest in fashion, fun and travel.  “Niki and I have been friends for years.  Last fall, we both started teaching at the college level.  I lived in Washington, D.C. and worked at NBC, but I went to grad school because I wanted to teach,” McCutchen recalled.  “I spoke to Niki, and we both went to the Blogalicious conference and thought what we were going through was interesting, and we said let’s share it with everyone else.”

“We were both in communications and decided to take on the academic world,” said Taylor.  “New things come up for us and we talk about it.  And we wanted everyone to see what the classroom is like for us,” she said.  “The blog is a way to share what we’re doing without having to call everyone individually.”

Taylor went to school for broadcast journalism, but she has done public relations for the last nine years.  She teaches public speaking at her college.  McCutchen has done independent PR work, but has worked mostly in broadcast news. She’s currently teaching mass communications and PR courses at her university.

The blog’s audience is for people like us, in their 30s and making a career change or those interested in making a change, said McCutchen. “We also talk about our other interests. We like fashion and travel, and people with those interest are our target

The professor stereotype is an older white male, not two modern African-American women in  their 30s, said Taylor.  “People find the blog interesting because we provide a different perspective, and that’s why people come back,” she said.  “We do things outside the classroom and we incorporate that into the posts.  Academics are important, but we have lives too.”

The blog is broken down into six categories: academic probation; beauty student; divanaires; divascapes; school dayz; and stiletto studies.  “All the posts are about things going on in our lives,” said Taylor.  “It’s amazing how easy it is to come up with a topic.  With many of our fans are women, that’s how we come up with ideas.”

The blog was created back in November using the Mimbo theme on WordPress, and we hired a graphic artist to create the logo, said Taylor.  The blog does accept ads, and Taylor said she hopes to have at least two sponsors by the end of 2010.

Social media has been “100% important” in getting the word out about the blog, said Taylor.  “We had problems with our blog at the beginning, so we used Facebook to put up our posts,” said Taylor.  “What we saw happening was a good amount of people coming to the Facebook page.  And our Facebook posts are connected to our Twitter account.”

Both McCutchen and Taylor urge people to do their research before launching a blog.  “A friend referred us to a book, ‘Blogging With Moxie,’” said Taylor.  “For someone who’s not an avid IT person or knows HTML, the book breaks down on where and how to host your blog and the type of blog you want,” she says.  “It asks what are you looking to do and who try to capture with your blog.  You definitely need to blog about something you’re really interested in and know about.  Your audience will pick up on that, engage in what you’re interested in and keep coming back.”

McCutchen also urged new bloggers to talk with other bloggers about how they got started and what issues they faced. “We went to the Blogalicious conference and learned so much,” she said.  “After you start, ask other bloggers what they think.  Comment on other similar blogs links and leave your web address.”

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

  • Webbmedia Group has a great calendar of events that catches things not covered below.  If you want to subscribe to the calendar, click here. You can also subscribe to this calendar so the information appears on your personal Google Calendar. Just go to the Webbmedia Google calendar, click the “+Google Calendar” icon at the bottom right, and then click “Yes, add this calendar” in the dialog box.)
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training from now through Oct. 30.  Courses include Stills & Video for Multimedia; One-man Band; Intro to Web Design; and Audio Narrative.  For more information go to Maine Media Training.
  • The Reynolds Journalism Institute is holding a congress entitled “From Blueprint to Building: Making the Market for Digital Information” June 23-25 in Columbia, Mo. The event is designed to consider establishing a non-profit collaborative that will specify standards, platforms and protocols for a digital information marketplace; supporting investment and partnering with operating companies.
  • The Poynter Institute/News University is holding a webinar, The New Content Providers and the Media, on June 24 at 2:00 p.m. There is a new generation of content providers collecting, producing and distributing user-generated stories. These low-cost, high-volume content distributors have captured the attention of major media players. This Webinar will discuss these new content providers, their products and how the affect traditional news organizations.  The cost is $27.95.
  • Mediabistro New York will hold a workshop on Advanced Social Networking for Media Professionals Wednesday, June 30 from 6:45-9:45 pm at the Chinatown YMCA. Columbia University professor and social media guru Sree Sreenivasan will host the event. His guest will be Twitter star @SorayaDarabi, who has 400,000+ followers and helped devise the initial NYT Twitter and Facebook strategies.  USE THIS DISCOUNT CODE, SREE25 and save 25% on the class price.
  • The Bulldog Reporter is holding its Media Relations Summit June 29 in New York City. Attendees will discuss the future of PR, Media, Journalism and Social Network marketing.
  • The Digital Journalist has released its workshops — The New Platypus DSLR Video Journalism, Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshops for 2010. Workshops will be held in Prague, Czech Republic July 9-18; and Rockport, Maine, July 25-August 3 at the Maine Media Workshops.
  • July 12 is the deadline to apply for the Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2010 APME Journalism Excellence Awards. The awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers and online news sites across the United States and Canada. The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well written and incisively reported and that effectively challenges the status quo.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding an online group seminar – Headlines That Work – July 12-Aug. 6.  Participants will learn about the different information needs and habits of these audiences and how to write headlines that will help engage readers on any platform.  The cost is $399.00.
  • The Paid Content Mobile conference will be held July 20 at Faculty House, Columbia University in New York City. The event will offer tips on how to develop a sound mobile strategy.  Registration costs $495.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – “Unpublishing” Online Content: Fairness and Credibility Guidelines – July 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn how to manage requests to remove past online content while considering accuracy, fairness and credibility with your readers and other audiences. The cost is $27.95.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – Writing Headlines for the Web: 2010 Edition – July 29 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn strategies to increase traffic from search tools and keep those users on your site. You’ll also learn techniques for writing the all-important web headline. The cost is $29.95.
  • The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute is offering three Multimedia Boot Camps for Journalism Professionals and Educators.  They are scheduled for Aug. 2-6, Aug. 11-15 and Nov. 17-21 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.  The cost is $850. The deadline to apply for the Aug. 2-6 boot is July 16 and July 23 for the Aug. 11-15 boot camp.
  • The Online News Association is holding a Parachute Training Initiative at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, Calif., Aug. 4.  The cost is $10, but 60 free spots will be made available to members of the Asian American Journalists Association.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “How to be an entrepreneur as a business journalist” Aug. 9-13.  The weeklong Webinar, which teaches how to use your skills to make a living outside mainstream media, will be taught by freelancer and National Association of Black Journalists member Maya Smart and “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm will teach the five-hour course.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – Multimedia Storytelling With Video – Sept. 20-24.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due Aug. 9.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute will host Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010 Sept. 23-24 in Chicago.  Reynolds Fellow Michele McLellan and New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen will lead discussions from leading pioneers of online local news sites to discuss what’s working – and what needs work.  The event is invitation-only.
  • Registration is now open for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28-30.

If you have any items that I’ve missed, please drop me an email via the DJTF Yahoo! Listserv or at regaviationqueen AT yahoo DOT com.  Thanks!

NABJ Member Retha Hill Among Winners of Knight News Challenge Grant

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Retha Hill

The Knight News Challenge presented $2.74 million to 12 grantees to fund ideas that use digital technology to inform specific geographic communities.  Among the winners were NABJ member Retha Hill and her partner Cody Shotwell, who received $90,000 to fund the CitySeed application.

Hill is currently director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. When I met her back in 2006, she was vice president for content development for BET Interactive. She also worked for The Washington Post Company in a variety of capacities, including as a reporter and a founding editor of Washingtonpost.com.

CitySeed will be a mobile application that allows users to plant the “seed” of an idea and share it with others. For example, a person might come across a great spot for a community garden. At that moment, the person can use the CitySeed app to “geotag” the idea, which links it to an exact location. Others can look at the place-based ideas, debate and hopefully act on them. The project aims to increase the number of people informed about and engaged with their communities by breaking down community issues into bite-size settings.

The idea for CitySeed was a collaborative effort, said Hill.  “It started out as an idea to solve problems in the community.  You may see a pothole or a tree that has fallen down, you take a picture, and post it to a website to put pressure on local institutions to do something,” she said.  Hill cited concepts including Fix My Street out of London and U.S.-based SeeClickFix.

“After moving to Phoenix, I would see things like an abandoned lot that would be a perfect place for a community garden,” said Hill.  “I asked how can you document that, plant the seed and maybe find someone else that likes the idea and collaborate with them.”

There needed to be a news component for CitySeed, said Hill. “News outlets do stories on community needs, so here’s an opportunity to partner with news organizations to highlight ideas and add a widget to their websites,” she said. “For example, media outlets could show five great ideas, highlight them and have people continue to collaborate on the ideas.”

Hill and Shotwell sent out an RFP with a June 14 deadline to choose a technology partner to develop the CitySeed app.  “Students in the New Media Innovation Lab will also do some of the work,” said Hill.  The plan is to create a mobile and regular website, she added.

As for the future, Hill said she hopes that CitySeed will expand to cities like Seattle, Portland or Denver.  “We also hope that news partners will want to brand CitySeed for a small fee,” she said.  “Politicians running for office may want to use CitySeed to have people send me ideas on improving the community. We can charge campaigns for that.”

If a platform like CitySeed is built correctly, it can change and develop many different ways, said Hill.  “No one knew how Twitter would develop when it started.  Then developers came in and built on the platform,” she said. “I really hope it will be a free tool people can use in their community.”

Hill offered advice for those interested in applying for the next Knight News Challenge.  “Look at the grants that have won before.  Pay attention to what’s happening in innovation all over the world,” she advised. “Look at some of the other contests that offer awards, such as J-Lab, the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs grant and Pepsi Refresh.”

Hill also cited the Online News Association’s prizes on the best media collaborations.  “Look and see what’s being pitched, then look at your own community. Sit with potential users and see what applications they want.  You never know if you don’t ask,” she stated.

For a complete list of the Knight News Challenge, click HERE.  And for more on the winners, including a video, go to the Mashable blog, HERE.