Category Archives: Entrepreneur

DJTF Partners With Knight Foundation On JournoPreneur Panel In Boston

 

nabj_djtf_200x200logo wordsThe Digital Journalism Task Force will be out front at the NABJ convention in Boston next month. We are very proud to have a special workshop, “JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company,” that is being sponsored by the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Tracie Powell

DJTF Co-char Tracie Powell, owner of the All Digitocracy blog, said that with all the upheaval in the industry,more and more journalists of color are choosing to produce and distribute their own content instead of begging for jobs. “Whether we are doing it intentionally or not, we’re creating and launching our own media ventures or trying to, but we’re doing so on a prayer and a string,” she said. “We haven’t the faintest clue about business plans, market studies or venture capitalism. We are already entrepreneurial, but do we know how to take that next step and truly become entrepreneurs?”

Powell feels that journalists need to know how to apply their unique skills to being an entrepreneur. “As journalists the skills we have are necessary in the startup world. We are articulate and determined. Our ability to clearly communicate ideas to others, especially those unfamiliar with a given issue, can translate into success explaining and generating excitement from venture capitalists. Finally, we have the tenacity to pursue a challenging story; that same tenacity can be used to aggressively seek funding and gain users.”

“What we need is to better understand the difference between building a personal brand versus building a media company, and we need to know how to take an idea from concept to launch. That’s what this workshop is all about,” she said.

The workshop will start by helping attendees figure out if they really want to start their own businesses, said Powell. “If the answer is yes, then we will have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with media entrepreneurs who are already doing this,” she said. “Those of us who are really ready to make the leap will not only learn from the panelists’ expertise at the convention, we will leave with the workings of a business plan in hand and a possible mentor.”

So many journalists of color have been laid off and downsized, people with real talent, knowledge and skills that are of benefit to the industry and to their communities, said Powell. “That should not and cannot go to waste. We have journalism skills that we can apply to being entrepreneurs, heck, many of us are already doing it and don’t even know it. So why not?” she asked. “What else are you doing besides begging for a limited number of newsroom jobs, working for somebody else when you really want to work for yourself?”

There are whole communities that are consistently ignored by mainstream newsrooms, Powell observed. “Launching our own media companies — whether it be developing mobile news apps, websites or innovative tools that connect communities with the information they need to strengthen our democracy — is one way we get to do the important work that we crave and that our communities need,” she said. “This is especially true as many of us find ourselves displaced and unemployed.”

Powell called the speakers for JournoPreneurs her personal dream panel. The panel consists of entrepreneurs at varying stages in the launch process, which will make this even more interesting and beneficial to those in attendance. “I thought of everybody that I would want to meet and learn from, then I invited them to Boston,” she said. “Of course, the Knight Foundation stepped in and offered to help make connections with some of the panelists and they also gave the task force some money to help turn the dream panel into a reality. That was a real plus.”

“We wouldn’t be here without them. I wouldn’t be here without them. I’m really looking forward to this being the start of something truly special in terms of nurturing our members and equipping them with the tools to become digital media entrepreneurs,” Powell said about the Knight Foundation. “I’m serious about this being a long-term project and a long-term relationship, not just some one-off chance encounter at the convention, and I believe Knight is too.”

Powell hopes that attendees will walk away from the workshop with a business plan and a mentor. “We’re looking to identify promising ventures by a handful of journalists and hope to bring those media entrepreneurs back together in the next couple of months at a entrepreneurial media institute, or at the very least, enable them to meet personally with their mentors,” she said. “That part is still a work in progress, but it will all start at the convention in Boston.”

The workshop is on Thursday, July 31 from 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company

When it comes to digital media innovation, journalists of color are largely missing from the landscape. Earlier this year, the American Society of News Editors surveyed 68 online news organizations about the percentage of journalists of color inside their newsrooms and found that 43 sites didn’t have any person of color on staff. Meanwhile, more journalists, including journalists of color, are creating their own media companies or hyperlocal sites. JournoPreneurs: How To Build Your Own Media Company will provide hands-on experience with drafting business plans, filing articles of incorporation, advice on how to access funding and build teams as well as concrete steps on how to launch a media company and what happens after the launch. #nabj

Panelists:

Michael Bolden, Knight Foundation

Ezra Klein, Co-Founder, Vox Media

Carlos Watson, Founder, Ozy.com

Kelly Virella, Founder, Dominion of New York and The Urban Thinker

Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force.  She also serves on the board of the Online News Association.  She is  the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

JUNE

  •  Since 2002, the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded $10,000 to a person, group or organization that works to preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. If you, a person or an organization you know fiercely protects these rights, submit a nomination for the 2014 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award by June 22. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SPJ’s supporting foundation) dedicates this honor to anyone who upholds this pillar of democracy, not just journalists. Visit SPJ’s website to learn more, see a list of past honorees and submit the nomination materials. Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier, awards@spj.org, can answer any questions you may have. Submit a Pulliam First Amendment Award nomination today.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.

JULY

  • The Native American Journalists Association will hold the 2014 National Native Media Conference held in Santa Clara, Calif. Join more than 300 Native journalists, media professionals and tribal community representatives from across the country at the 30th annual event commemorating three decades of enhancing Native journalism July 10-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Members of the Native American Journalists Association save $50 on conference registration – become a member to take advantage of the discount.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.

AUGUST 

  • The National Association of Hispanic Journalists will hold its Annual Multimedia Convention & Career Expo August 7-9, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. NAHJ has approximately 1,500 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators.

SEPTEMBER

  • For the past 7 years, data enthusiasts from all over the globe have come together for the Tableau Conference. They’ve discovered how to leverage their investment in data analytics, hear what’s next in business intelligence, and network with other like-minded individuals. This year you can expect the same. The conference will host more than 240 sessions, 10 super sessions, 4 engaging keynote speakers in Seattle, Washington from September 8 to 12. 
  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

How Digital Journalism Relaunched Rene Syler’s Career

By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern

The desire to build something that no one could ever take away from her is what fueled Rene Syler, former anchor of “The Early Show” on CBS, after her termination in 2006. What Syler wanted to create was a brand, and using the tools of digital media, she did just that and more.

She is now the author of “Good Enough Mother,” a book and supporting blog targeted at “imperfectly perfect” mothers, host of “Sweet Retreats,” a family travel show on the Live Well Network, and co-host of “Exhale”, a provocative talk show in its second season on Magic Johnson’s cable network, Aspire.

Courtesy Photo

Rene Syler, Courtesy Photo

What am I going to do now?

A few weeks after losing her job at CBS, Syler underwent a preventative double mastectomy, a journey that was documented on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. “What am I going to do now?” she asked herself. “I had no job and my body was taking on a different shape.”

After telling her agent of 25 years that she did not want to do television anymore, he asked a similar question, “What am I going to do with you?”

Syler knew she would have to save herself.

“I had been relying on them to get me jobs,” she said. “I could either sit here and wait for the phone to ring or I could make it ring.”

Going digital to build a ‘bonafide brand’

Syler wrote “Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting” and secured the website’s domain in 2005 while still employed at CBS. The following year, she was fired. In 2007, her book was officially published.

“The only skills I had was the ability to write and TV,” she said. “It started with a book.”

Harnessing the power of digital media, Syler began to build what she now calls a “bonafide brand.”

“Your brand needs to be in sync with yourself,” she said. “Good Enough Mother,” the blog, was born.

“I started on Facebook, then moved to Twitter. The more I did it the more I understood its power,” Syler said in regards to her overwhelming introduction to social media.

“After almost 10 years, I have built a bonafide brand,” she said. “People need to think of blogs as living breathing business cards.”

“Good Enough Mother” has partnered with both General Motors and Disney and Syler attributes her recent television success to her digital presence.

Looking back, she said “Good Enough Mother” became much more than a book. It became a movement based on what a lot of women are experiencing.


Not for the faint of heart


 

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

MAY

  • The National Press Club’s Freelance Committee and the Society of Professional Journalists will co-sponsor the NPC Spring Freelance Workshop on May 16, 2014,  which will feature two sessions. One session will cover how to write query letters. The other session, called “Building Your Own Benefits Package,” will include a representative from Affinity Group Underwriters, who will talk about health insurance. Joe Lamoglia, vice president at Potomac Financial Private Client Group LLC., will talk about retirement and other benefits. The workshop will be followed by a happy hour at the Club. For more information, contact Stephenie Overman at saoverman@gmail.com. To register, http://press.org/events/spring-freelance-workshop
  • Applications are now open for The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism, a new program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism designed to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to U.S. economy and business. The fellowships will enable experienced journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative, analytic or narrative business story. Each McGraw Fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000 a month for up to three months, along with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with established print, radio or digital outlets. Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization may apply; five years professional experience as a journalist is required. Applications, including a story proposal, work samples and references, will be accepted in the spring and fall of 2014. The deadline for spring applicants is May 15, 2014. For further information, please go to www.mcgrawcenter.org or email mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents the free webinar, “Shadow Money: Unraveling Political Nonprofits’ Funding.”  The event takes place May 14, 2014. Russ Choma, money-in-politics reporter at the Center for Responsive Politics, provides basic tips for covering political nonprofits and developing investigative stories. Attend either one-hour session at noon or 4 p.m. ET. Register at the main webinar page: http://bit.ly/shadowmoney
  • Applications are now open for The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism, a new program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism designed to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to U.S. economy and business. The fellowships will enable experienced journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative, analytic or narrative business story. Each McGraw Fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000 a month for up to three months, along with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with established print, radio or digital outlets. Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization may apply; five years professional experience as a journalist is required. Applications, including a story proposal, work samples and references, will be accepted in the spring and fall of 2014. The deadline for spring applicants is May 15, 2014. For further information, visit www.mcgrawcenter.org or email  mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.
  • Are you interested in targeting audiences through social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) but challenged to identify or engage with them? The Johns Hopkins University MA in Communication Digital Social Advocacy online, 14-day workshop will address questions like these and more! The workshop is open to communication practitioners around the globe, regardless of whether or not they ever have been admitted to the MA in Communication program. They may work in various fields that aim to stimulate change, such as politics, advocacy, lobbying, social justice, health, digital technologies, and public relations. The workshop will be held May 09, 2014 – May 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. 

  • Registration is now open for the massive open online course “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age,” which will last five weeks, starting on May 12 and ending on June 15, 2014. Please read our story about this MOOC and click here to register. The MOOC “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age” will be taught by four of the best investigative reporters in the United States: Brant Houston, former, long time executive director of IRE (Investigative Reporters and editors), currently a professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Journalism at the University of Illinois; Steve Doig, a veteran investigative journalism and data journalism pioneer, currently a professor and Knight Chair at Arizona State University; Lise Olsen, a veteran journalism trainer, currently investigative reporter at Houston Chronicle; and Michael Berens, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times.
  • A new initiative established at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism will offer fellowships of up to $15,000 to experienced business journalists starting this spring. Applications will be accepted periodically through 2014. The upcoming deadline for applications is May 15, 2014. The fellowship is open to those with at least five years professional experience in journalism, including freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization. Fellowship applicants should submit a focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form.

JUNE

  • Hosted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s instruction and guest presentations by world-class trainers, award winning multimedia journalists, storytellers and industry leaders, a intensive two-week program providing  hands-on training in essential skills for digital media production will be held June 2-6 & June 9-13, 2014 at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism near San Francisco.
  • The Global Editors Network  hosts the GEN Summit June 11 – 13 in Barcelona. Discover ‘robot journalism’, and be updated about drone journalism and data journalism. This is the event to meet with the media industry influentials and drive business.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.

JULY

  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.

SEPTEMBER

  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

Jamila Bey, Media Mogul — With Your Help

jamila

When I think of NABJ and DJTF treasurer Jamila Bey, I think two things — renaissance woman and career chameleon.  She does it all — correspondent; broadcast host; spokesperson; producer; writer; editor; trainer communications director; and consultant.

Bey was very open when she lost her jobs at NPR, and, most recently, at Voice of Russia. While at VOR, she was the creator and host of the weekly radio show “Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila.”  Her show, which regularly featured journalists of color, covered topics including gender policy and politics, race, religion and issues of separation of church and state.

But you can’t keep a good woman down. Bey is now trying to become her own media outlet by launching an Indegogo funding campaign to create a journalism forum online and as an iTunes podcast where news about the issues that are important to us can find a home. She wants to bring her show, “The Sex, Politics and Religion Hour,” or SPAR, will focus on the beating that the First Amendment seems to be taking at this point.

Bey will produce 30 half-hour long shows taking on issues including separation of state and church, First Amendment freedom, politics, and science policy. It will be a forum for discussion and insight, along with actual reporting and investigation.

The goal is to offer independent polling and on-the-ground reporting from Washington, D.C.,  and around the country with a team of correspondents and contributors.  From Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House, to local school boards and state legislatures, Bey’s site will look at news from the point of view that religion shouldn’t get a free pass from scrutiny and fair criticism when looking at its involvement in larger American life.

With the help of campaign contributors, Bey says she will produce stories that will deeply examine the news and news makers to help Americans better understand that the First Amendment can only survive if it’s allowed to stand in the sunshine. Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big supporter of funding good journalism, because if we don’t do it, who will?

Spotlight’s On: Trina Chiasson

trina.chiasson

Trina Chiasson, CEO and Co-founder of InfoActive

The future of data journalism is looking brighter than ever. InfoActive, a data visualization upstart is turning data into eye-catching visuals to be used in stories. Co-founder and Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow Trina Chiasson designed this data graphics tool to help take professional data collecting and usage to the next level.

Tell us about InfoActive.

A little over a year ago, I started a web startup that simplifies the process of creating interactive info graphics with live data. We’re building a software in the form of a web application that is a self-serve platform that people will be able to use to import data and help them tell visual data-driven stories. We’re also working with the Reynolds Journalism Institute to do some research on how newsrooms use data visualizations.

What made you start your company?

I started InfoActive because I was having a hard time making data driven stories myself. Most data tools weren’t built for design and most design tools weren’t built for data. There was a gap in functionality; it required going through lots of different steps, and it was really difficult. At the same time, I’ve spent a lot of my life and my work on the web. I thought there should be an easier, simpler solution that takes advantage of the interactivity of the web. So I thought it would be fun to build it! I started playing with some code and talking to people to about it. Then, it started gaining attention, traction and interest.

Who are you targeting?

We’re definitely working with a lot of data journalists. They have a huge need for data visualization and it’s a difficult thing for small newsrooms to invest the time in creating the best graphics. There’s also a big need in nonprofits and academics institutions. Students need this as well. There’s also a big need amongst marketers, advertisers and companies that are trying to present information to their clients about campaigns they’ve been running. So, there’s a pretty wide variety of people who see value in this tool.

How is data collected?

Data is collected in so many different formats. It’s being collected automatically through analytics, online surveys and different social networks. We’re finding that a lot of organizations have data that they’re collecting [through] these different formats, and often data journalists are collecting it through governments that are getting much better about collecting data about their populations. There are also different data sets to work with, and it can be very daunting [to sort through]. For someone using the application [InfoActive], they would start with an existing data set that they have from any one of these sources—and sometimes they’ve collected data too using survey tools to collect information about their audience. Then they would import these data sets into InfoActive’s platform. Our platform programmatically looks at the data and then draws visualizations that make sense. You work with text blocks, interactive filters and different charts to organize the visualization story.

What are your future plans for InfoActive?

We’re expecting to launch a public beta in March. People will be able to login, try it out and create an infographic. For more advanced usage, there will be a monthly subscription cost. After we launch in March, we have a few stretch goals that we’ve hit through our Kickstarter campaign. Those include new visualization charts, an icon library, and analytics on how people interact with infographics. We plan to launch an API so people can connect their custom data streams to different infographics and build new ways to use our platform. The API is a way to enable developers to hook into our platform in more robust ways and create their own connections to our platform. For example, if they have their own custom data stream and they want to fuse that into infographic templates, the API would be a place to do that.

On December 18th, InfoActive’s Kickstarter campaign generated nearly 5 times its pledge goal of $12,000. Chiasson talks about her excitement about the campaign and launch, “I really appreciate all the support we’ve gotten so far. It’s been really amazing to watch customers get involved in the process and see the product evolve because of that. I’m really excited for all of the new supporters that we have through the Kickstarter campaign and to launch our public beta in March.”

To learn more about InfoActive, visit : infoactive.co 

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and producer and editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

There’s an App for That: Mobile Technology is Growing in Newsrooms and Classrooms

app-4-that

As news continues to be delivered at an ever-increasing pace, it’s only natural for multimedia journalists to put down those heavy, complicated DSLRs and pick up their mobile phones to shoot, edit and deliver breaking news.

“I’ve seen people use their phones more and more for parts of a report and to relay news quickly to a station for publication  to a website.” said Sharon Stevens, a freelance journalist who has noticed the trend in her reporting travels. “While the resolution is not a good as using a video camera, I don’t see it stopping anytime in the near future. The news directors and general managers who choose to [use mobile footage] will just have to look for those phones that will give you that better resolution and supply them to their [employees].”

Journalism graduate Raven Ambers has used footage shot on her iPhone for web reports. “The iPhone was quick and easy,” she states, “For a tease, which we did with one continuous 10-15 second shot, it was easier and much simpler to upload to web.”

Reporter LaDyrian Cole of KTAB in Abiliene, TX, agrees, “I’ve used my phone for a tease that [was] uploaded to the web.” She continues, “It’s simple to shoot and easier to upload to the web and on air systems.”

Journalist Rajneesh Bhandari feels the same. In an article for IJNet, “Top apps for journalists shooting video on mobile”, he states, “[Mobile phones] are handy and you don’t have to carry a lot  of things…just a mobile, a light tripod and maybe a pin [lavalier] mic.” The article goes on to list some popular mobile apps for the journalist “on the go”.

Among the things leading this charge is the advent of the mobile app. From CNN to your local newspaper, more and more people are getting the information they need by accessing their favorite apps.

If you’re a young journalist who believes that you have an idea for the next generation of mobile apps, Dr. Michelle Ferrier of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University is looking for you.

Dr. Ferrier is part of a group that is beta-testing a two-week mobile innovation module. The module will teach students about mobile app development in course curricula. Through a broad overview of the mobile market, students will learn mobile app development, audience research, user interface design, and using prototyping among other topics.

The module will also benefit professors by coaching them on how to teach mobile development to their students.

“My philosophy is that if schools are going to offer the “just in time” learning that students need, we need some flexibility in our curriculum in order to be able to do that,” Dr. Ferrier says.

The module will demonstrate some of the things that students need to know about mobile development in two weeks in hopes of becoming a fixture in full semester courses later on. The module also supports the Scripps College of Communication Innovation Challenge, a student pitch competition around media industry issues. Students will have the basic knowledge to develop a mobile app as a potential solution to the challenges with the chance to win prize money or a grade in a class.

Dr. Ferrier finds the appeal in mobile apps in their inclusiveness of all communities. “They basically have bridged the digital divide. For underserved and underrepresented communities [and] people who have limited income, their phones most likely are their devices of choice not just for making phone calls but also for reaching the internet and getting information off of the internet. They can still get and participate in things that are necessary without having to have a laptop for the most part.”

Currently, Scripps College of Communication is looking for external reviewers for the module to get more feedback and eventually offer the module in multiple schools.

Source: http://ijnet.org/stories/top-apps-journalists-shooting-video-mobile Photo Source:http://www.successfulworkplace.org/2012/11/07/theres-an-app-for-that-is-not-a-mobile-strategy/

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and producer and editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).