Tag Archives: Benet Wilson

Take Your Journalism Career To The Next Level: Sign Up For The Executive Suite

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Every year at the National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention & Career Fair, members looking to move up the career ladder have access to a unique program: The Executive Suite, July 30-31, 2014.

The Executive Suite is an exclusive series of workshops led by news and corporate executives designed to help middle managers who aspire to more senior roles to gain a better sense of what it takes o be an executive editor, a publisher, a news director or a general manager.  Attendees of the two-day program walk away with a better understanding of the skills and relationships it takes to land and keep those jobs. From hiring and managing to building the skills and connections you’ll need to move up, the Executive Suite will help you prepare for advancement.

The speakers read like a who’s who of media executives, including:

  • David Boardman, President, American Society of News Editors;
  • Jill Geisler, Senior Faculty, Leadership and Management Programs, The Poynter Institute;
  • Deborah Adams Simmons, Vice President, News Development, Advance Local;
  • Alfredo Carbajal, Managing Editor, The Dallas Morning News/Al Dia;
  • Mizell Stewart, Senior Vice President, News, E. W. Scripps Newspapers; and
  • Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews, Vice President, News, CBS News.

And there will be a special event on Thursday, July 31 when Keith Woods, Vice President of Diversity for NPR leads a conversation with Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Publisher of the New York Times, and Dean Baquet, Executive Editor, of the Times.

The good news is that they are still taking applications — but only until Friday, July 25. So if you think you have what it takes — or know someone else who does — send an email coordinator Duschene Drew, Managing Editor for Operations, Newsroom at the Star-Tribune at  ddrew@startribune.com. And please put  Executive Suite in the subject line. In the email, tell him why you think you deserve to be in the Executive Suite. It wouldn’t hurt to include a resume or a link to your portfolio website. And please — pass this along to anyone you think may benefit from this great programming in Boston!

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.

NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force Holds #NABJ14 TweetChat

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NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force held its annual convention TweetChat July 15  to help attendees get ready for Boston. Check out tips given by veteran NABJ convention attendees Kelly Carter, Kathy Chaney, Kirstin Garriss and Justin Madden. We hope tips provided in this Storify  to prepare for Boston will be helpful!

Journalists of Color Missing from Wired UK’s Future of Online Journalism Post

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Wired UK recently rolled out a piece entitled “The Big Question: What is the future of online journalism?” I was not surprised, but I was disappointed to see that not one journalist of color was included in the discussion.

The points made by folks including Melissa Bell of Vox and Micah Cohen of FiveThirtyEight.com (two outlets with their own diversity issues) were interesting, along with the rest of the group.  But did Wired UK really have that much trouble finding journalists of color in the digital space? I can come up with at least a dozen names off the top of my head. Folks Wired UK could have called for comment include:

  • DeWayne Wickham, one of the original founders of the National Association of Black Journalists, USA Today columnist, a digital pioneer and dean of Morgan State University’s Global School of Journalism and Communications;
  • Michelle Johnson, a professor at Boston University and a former editor at the Boston Globe who was in the forefront of the digital journalism revolution;
  • Retha Hill, a pioneer at washingtonpost.com and BET.com, and executive director of the digital innovation and entrepreneurship lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University; and
  • Carlos Watson,  former digital journalist and anchor at MSNBC and CNN and founder of Ozy.com, an online news site whose investors include Laurene Powell Jobs and Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

I could go on, but I think I made my point.  And my good friends at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association would also be willing and able to give you names from their ranks.  So next time, I urge you to cast a wider net of digital journalist sources in the name of true media diversity.

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.

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.

10 Things to Do NOW to Prepare for #NABJ14

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The 2014 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is coming up fast. In order to have a successful convention, you need to be prepared. Below are 10 things you need to do now to be on your game in Boston.

  1. Buy your plane ticket. The closer you get to the convention date, the more expensive that air fare will be. I bought my Baltimore-Boston ticket in March on Southwest Airlines for $124 round trip (and if you we’re following @NABJDigital or @AvQueenBenet, you would have known I shared the deal). They are now running a shade under $200. Search Airfarewatchdog.com for lowest fares and fare alerts.
  2. Business cards. Get them now. Vistaprint has a great selection and you can get 500 for as little as $10. You can even get free cards (minus shipping costs) that sport an ad on the back.
  3. Resume/online portfolio. Now is the time to tighten up that resume and freshen up or create an online portfolio to impress recruiters at the convention. Need help? Check our the DJTF webinars covering online portfolios and resumes that we did in January. They’re free to watch, but you must register.
  4. Find ways to save money. Going to convention is not cheap, but you can do it and not break the bank. Find folks to share a hotel room at the NABJ Convention Roommate Bureau. If you’re checking a bag, tuck some non-perishable snacks and water. Reach out on our listserves and social media channels for ride shares to and from the airport.  Check out sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon to find nearby places to eat that are less expensive than the hotel. And search Hotwire and Priceline for nearby hotel deals.
  5. Look at the convention schedule. Work out a plan on what workshops you want to attend and create a schedule.
  6. Check out the exhibitors and recruiters (not posted yet, but the site says coming soon). See who will be in Boston and start prioritizing who are the must-see employers on your list.
  7. Start making appointments. The schedules of those attending the conference are very tight. Call folks now to set up interview/chat times. And consider breakfast meetings, since schedules tend to slip as the day goes by.
  8. Check your wardrobe. See what clothes fit and what don’t. See what needs to be cleaned or altered. And if you need to buy things, do it  now.
  9. Check your social media profile. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check your Facebook profile and make sure there are no embarrassing photos or posts, because potential employers will be checking.
  10. Hang out with your friends now. The convention is the time to meet new people and grow your network. It is not the time to hang with the same group of people you do at home, because as much as you love them, they are not going to get you a job.

Digital Programming At The NABJ Boston Convention

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The 2014 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is coming up quickly.  The full convention schedule has been released, and there’s a nice representation of digital programming that will allow attendees to up their skills. Below are some of the highlighted workshops you may want to consider in Boston.

  • Google for Media Bootcamp NABJ 2014
  • BrandingExchange (InvitationOnly)
  • Writing,Editing,Design,Computing: An Introduction to Computational Journalism
  • Multimedia Gadgets and Lighting
  • DigitalJournalism101:Write,Click,Tweet
  • JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company
  • How to be a WordPress VIP
  • Social Media Reporting Tools: Using Social Media to Leverage Your Journalism Brand: Apps, Tech and Tools for Journalists (this is how it appeared on the website)
  • Robot Reporters
  • Bloggers,Tweeters, and Journalists-What is the Difference?

Pre-registration ends on June 15, so register — and book your hotel and flight — today.  See you in Boston!

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.

Friday Fast Five + Five: Your Guide To New Media

It’s the end of the month, and I need to clean out the Fast Five folder.  So today you get links to 10 great digital resources. Enjoy!

  1. The Next WebWhy we need infographics and how to make them great
  2. Blogging TipsBoo! How to Make a Ghost Blogger Work for You 
  3. Nieman Lab — How ProPublica uses Google Docs to help in reader-backed reporting
  4. ReadWrite — Wix Says You Don’t Need To Learn To Code To Build A Website
  5. Mashable — 5 Virtual Assistants That Are More Productive Than Siri
  6. LifehackerTop 10 Clever Google Search Tricks 
  7. MediaBistro — How Your Google+ Profile Can Help Your Articles Links Stand Out
  8. Petapixel — Shutterfly’s New Interactive Guide Teaches the Basics of Capturing Better Images
  9. GigaOm — More than 250 million global events are now in the cloud for anyone to analyze
  10. Lifehacker — Be an Informer, Not a “Meformer”, To Get More Followers On Social Media

 

Thoughts On The Proposed Changes In The NABJ Constitution

As NABJ reaches its 40th year, now is an ideal time to look at what our founders created back in 1975 and make adjustments to reflect the drastic changes in the journalism industry. As wise as our founders were, none of them could have predicted back then in Washington, D.C., all the changes we’ve seen in the journalism industry in the past four decades.

I applaud the NABJ Constitutional Commission for engaging with members and taking a hard look at the document that has governed the association since 1975. Every one of the members, led by Founder Allison Davis and former President Herbert Lowe, have busy lives, so I appreciate all the time and effort that went into crafting these changes. I would like to weigh in with my thoughts on these changes.

Chapter II, Article 1, Section 1 adds a Vice President of Digital to the NABJ board. As someone who has worked in the digital space since 2006, it is good to see the recognition of its importance in journalism recognized. That being said, I feel that as newsrooms continue to converge, we will all be digital journalists. I would have preferred to see a single vice president covering all media platforms, but am happy to see this position added.

Other board changes include a reduction from six to four regional directors, the elimination of the associate member category and the addition of a media-related representative and an academic representative. The student representative would remain. While I applaud the additions of the media and academic representative, I wish the decision had been made to keep the current six regions and instead eliminate the vice presidents of print and broadcast and have a single vice president on the 14-member board.

Under Article II. Eligibility for Office and Term of Office, I was pleased to see that the NABJ board would be moving to staggered terms. Although board members (except for president) are allowed to run for two terms, there was still board turnover, which affected the decision making process. This change will ensure a smoother transition when the membership elects a board. I also agree with the provision to allow the NABJ President to run for a second term. I have always felt that by the time a president had hit her or his stride, their term was over.

Section 4 calls for the board to meet twice a year in person, including a meeting at the annual convention. Between monthly calls and two in-person meetings, the board should be able to conduct the business it needs. As a member of the board at the Online News Association, we have two meetings a year (but not one at our convention) and monthly calls, and this has been more than sufficient to handle our duties.

But I would have liked to see a provision that required board members take on some of the expense of attending in-person meetings and pay for their attendance at our national convention. ONA board members pay all their board meeting travel expenses, and pay to attend the annual conference.

I was concerned that the current NABJ Constitution did not recognize the massive change in newsrooms that have occurred in the past 10 years. Those changes include mergers, layoffs, the growth of online-only publications, the explosion of the blogosphere, an emphasis on social media and community management and massive changes in the skills journalists now need to be effective storytellers.

Chapter 4, Article I. Composition of the National Membership and Membership Eligibility addresses my concern by “The organization shall be composed of journalists, journalism educators, students interested in pursuing a career in journalism and people or entities that support the organization’s vision and goals.”

The commission revamped the membership categories to the following:

  • Lifetime
  • Professional
  • Emerging Professional
  • Academic
  • Alumni
  • Media-Related Professional
  • Student
  • Honorary or Corporate

I am pleased to see changes to membership eligibility that better reflect jobs in the current workplace. It is also good to see broader representation on the board that reflects the changes in the industry. And finally, I applaud the commission for adding the professional member grandfather clause to protect those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and made the hard decision to seek other employment.

So after looking at the commission’s recommendations, I fully endorse them and plan on voting yes to this slate. Click here for a list of FAQs on the recommendations.

According to the NABJ website, “voting on the constitution amendment will occur between 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 14 and 5 p.m. (EST), Friday, August 1. If the amendment is affirmed by at least 66.66 percent of those who vote, the new constitution shall take effect on Sunday, August 3 – the last day of the convention.”

This is a rare opportunity for members to vote on a proposal that was created to take NABJ into the next 40 years, and I hope you’ll join me in voting yes on these changes to the NABJ Constitution.

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.

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media

  1. Journalism.co.uk5 tips for how journalists can more effectively use Reddit
  2. Lifehacker — Top 10 Apps and Services That Are More Than Meets the Eye
  3. Beyond Search — Mining of Massive Datasets (free book)
  4. Blogging Tips — What Type of Blogger Are You?
  5. Social Media Examiner 6 Simple Photo Tools for Creating Social Media Visuals

3 DJTF Webinars To Prepare You For The 2014 NABJ Convention

It’s amazing, but the 39th Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair, this year in Boston, is a little more than two months away.  This gives you plenty of time to start getting ready now.

You need to have a resume that’s on point, and you need to have an online portfolio to point potential employers to.  Also, it wouldn’t hurt to start either working on or sharpening up your personal journalism brand.

Lucky for you, the Digital Journalism Task Force did two great hour-long webinars in January on these very topics.  So now is the time to review these webinars so that you’re ready to shine in Boston.

You need to submit an email address, but the webinars are free.  I hope they help, and I look forward to seeing you in Boston!

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.