Posted in journalism

NABJ VP-Broadcast Candidates Answer Your Question

The NABJ Elections Committee held a webinar on July 10 for the board candidates for VP-Broadcast and Student Representative. You can listen to the recording here. The hour went quickly, but there were still questions being asked.  The candidates — Region III Director Gayle Hurd and incumbent VP-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker — took time to answer them, below.

ghurd_86x95pxGAYLE HURD

QUESTION: diversity seems to be falling by the wayside in broadcast newsrooms. What can you do to keep it on the front burner?

It seems Diversity isn’t the buzzword it once was, which is unfortunate because the need for it remains. In order to keep the conversation and the actions associated with bringing about diversity in the newsroom or any room, going, we have to increase our advocacy with news directors and managers. Something that has not been a priority recently.  We must Inform those who are in hiring positions that NABJ has a wealth of candidates for these jobs and how making these hires will benefit their company.  More importantly we need to secure ways to bring more journalists of color into positions of power – management, news directors, editors, owners  – so that the playing field will be made more even.  And by the same token, we must motivate and encourage our members to seek out management positions. NABJ can do that by continuing to prepare our members for roles beyond their current jobs and continuing to provide professional development and information on job openings.  And on that note, The NABJ Jobline could stand some improvements to make it more user-friendly, We need to increase the number of jobs by including in the convention sponsor package an opportunity for our corporate partners list their jobs on the Jobline on a regular basis, not just during convention time.  Knowing where we stand is part of the solution.  Perhaps another media diversity census is due.

And last, but not least, our talent as journalists should be used in telling the story of the lack of diversity in newsrooms and boardrooms, every chance we get.

QUESTION: We see veteran broadcast journalists being laid off or asked to take big pay cuts. How will you work to help these people who may not have the same options as younger broadcasters?
This is one of the issues I have made a priority, since we have a wealth of mid-level career journalists, and job opportunities that are shrinking and changing, or being given to younger colleagues who can work for lower salaries.  NABJ needs to provide training and help identify opportunities for these seasoned journalists who want to stay in their chosen career field but may need help navigating the digital landscape.  I propose a Mid-Career Mentoring Initiative where journalists who are thriving in their careers help train and mentor those who are struggling or facing changes brought on by increasing technology and changing newsroom procedures. This could even be a partnership with the Digital Taskforce and other organizations such as IRE, with which I have a close partnership. They have provided their Watchdog Workshop for Region III’s conferences for a few years for free and have pledged to return in 2018.
QUESTION: NABJ released its strategic plan this spring. What do you think are the most important recommendations that are most relevant to broadcast journalists?
I am proud to have served on the Taskforce that created this important document. I feel the entire plan is relevant, and The guiding portions the Vision and Mission which I worked on set the tone for our movement as an organization going forward. All of the recommendations are necessary.  Having said that the ones that stand out at this time for NABJ have to include Financial sustainability for the organization, which also needs to be maintained; providing jobs and opportunities for our members; and Advocacy within the media that helps create more diversity and re-establishes NABJ as the voice of  Black Journalists.
QUESTION: As members lose jobs, more and more are going onto the entrepreneurial track. What will you do at VP-Broadcast to help these members who want to produce news but not in a traditional newsroom?
I have a number of colleagues who have taken the entrepreneurial road after leaving the newsroom. Many are photographers and producers. I would first communicate with these entrepreneurs and ascertain what areas they need assistance.  Finding contracts, funding for business needs, marketing, networking, etc.  Then propose NABJ create an initiative that would bring these journalists together to help them with professional development, and serve as a clearing house for finding contracts.  One of the sponsors I partnered with in Region III, FedEx is very committed to entrepreneurship and would make an excellent sponsor for this project.
QUESTION: If you lose this election, how will you still help NABJ?
Of course!  I love NABJ and I have a heart to serve, so I will continue to work on the committees and task forces I am a member of on a local, regional and national level.  I am on the Strategic Planning Taskforce, the Founder’s Taskforce and the Arts and Entertainment Taskforce. I’m head the Region III Conference Committee but will continue to serve on it when I step down as Regional Director. And I chair the Media Access Workshop for my local chapter, the Triangle ABJ.   I have a number of ideas for NABJ.  I think one of the most important things we need to do is change the perception that NABJ is not inclusive.  I will work to engage new members in or out of office as I have done in my present capacity.   And for a long time, I have thought NABJ needs to be more creative in our fundraising efforts and not rely on the convention alone as our big funder.  I have had great success in this area in my region and have a few ideas for NABJ. 
QUESTION: Do you support Los Angeles for a convention in 2019?
I would love to see a convention in Los Angeles. It’s an exciting city which would allow NABJ access to some amazing venues, speakers and activities for your members.  I have talked with some chapter leaders from LA in the past about the possibility of holding a convention in LA because they were very interested in bringing NABJ to their city.
The issue for this city is the cost of living. It’s an expensive town to live in and visit.  If we can get a hotel rate comparable to those we have had in other convention cities, secure strong sponsors and partners and have the support of the members then we can make it happen in Hollywood!

Dorothy_Tucker_115x150DOROTHY TUCKER

QUESTION: diversity seems to be falling by the wayside in broadcast newsrooms. What can you do to keep it on the front burner?
Diversity in our newsrooms is critical. Along with our diversity committee, I have already met with representatives from NBC, CBS, CNN, NBC Boston, Tribune Media and a number of other local stations.  When we meet with executives and newsroom managers our discussions center on hiring, promotion, retention and diversity initiatives like our producer database.   We are not just thinking about what needs to be done. We are already doing it and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members.
QUESTION: We see veteran broadcast journalists being laid off or asked to take big pay cuts. How will you work to help these people who may not have the same options as younger broadcasters? 
This is a great opportunity for us to utilize our conventions, regional and media institutes to create programming that help our veterans acquire the technical skills to compliment their exceptional journalistic skills. Veterans armed with social media skills, photography and editing skills will help level the playing field for employers looking for candidates with those critical skills.
QUESTION: NABJ released its strategic plan this spring. What do you think are the most important recommendations that are most relevant to broadcast journalists? 
Many of recommendations in the strategic plan focus on increasing job opportunities. The NABJ Producer Database I created will help. It’s a directory where producers working at broadcast, print or digital companies can upload their reels and resumes and be connected to news managers looking to fill positions.  As the plan recommends, we must also continue to stabilize our finances. A strong NABJ allows us to fund programming to help our broadcasts journalists acquire and sharpen their skills and puts us in a better position to advocate for our members.
QUESTION: As members lose jobs, more and more are going onto the entrepreneurial track. What will you do at VP-Broadcast to help these members who want to produce news but not in a traditional newsroom? 
You will notice that we are doing more programming around entrepreneurship. Our journalists have lots of untapped skills and current workshops focus on how to start, grow, fund and market your business. It is important we continue to develop programming that encourages, educates and supports our budding broadcast entrepreneurs.
QUESTION: If you lose this election, how will you still help NABJ?
I’ve devoted nearly 40 years to this organization and win or lose I won’t stop.
The NABJ Producer Database is just my latest project. It will not only provide jobs for members but it has the potential to provide revenue for our organization. My goal is to make it one of the most sought-after directories in the country.  In addition to the database, I will continue mentoring young journalists, remain active in my local Chicago chapter, help raise money and produce programming for our next regional conference and host more webinars that focus on jobs and training for our members.
QUESTION: Do you support Los Angeles for a convention in 2019?
I believe LA is a viable option. To be fair, all competing chapters must meet the criteria that will produce a successful convention. However, I think that because of all that LA has to offer culturally and professionally it will be a strong contender. And I know the local support and enthusiasm is strong, which is a huge factor in the competitive process.
Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism

Good Eats In New Orleans: Clover Grill

tumblr_lsx72bvTnh1r15wahPhoto by Benét J. Wilson

My mother’s family is from New Orleans and my grandmother’s family is from the Gulfport/Biloxi region, so I have a natural love for the food of my people.   And I’ve had the pleasure of spending many good times in the Crescent City, so I plan on passing along some of my favorite places to eat.

I discovered Clover Grill after a great night of partying in the French Quarter, back in my younger days.  When you’ve played that hard, you need good food to restore you, and Clover Grill fits the bill.  I had a delicious chicken-fried steak breakfast, but the star attraction is the hamburgers.  The hamburgers are cooked under a hubcap (yes, rims), and they are NOT to be missed.  And enjoy the “show” put on by the waitstaff.  Make this a late-night eating spot during the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in the Big Easy! Preregistration ends on June 30, so register TODAY!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism

10 Things to Do NOW to Prepare for #NABJ17

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There’s only 63 more days until the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans. That seems like a long time, but it flies by quickly. You need to start working now to get yourself ready. Below are 10 ideas that will help.

10.  BUY your airline ticket. Fares are cheaper when you book at least 21 days in advance. After that, prices only get higher. And because New Orleans is a popular destination, fares will be higher, so use an app like Hopper to find out the best time to buy.

9. BOOK your hotel room. What are you waiting for? The room block is almost sold out, so you’ll either have to pay a higher price in the Hilton Riverside or pay more for nearby hotels.

8. CHECK your wardrobe. Now is the time to start mulling what you’ll wear. Look for rips, stains or alterations. Or start shopping for key pieces you may need. Also, do those shoe repairs you’ve been putting off.

7. LOOK at the exhibitor list. While you’re looking at that list, start making appointments with 3-4 companies you definitely want to see in New Orleans.

6.  Buy your ticket for the Sports Task Force JamThis is the not-to-be-missed event at every NABJ convention. This year’s party will be at the House of Blues. Early bird regular and VIP tickets are still available but tend to sell out. And the best part? The proceeds fund scholarships.

5. Check out the NOLA.com Dining Guide so you can scope out all the city’s great restaurants.

4. Order new business cards. Vistaprint has hundreds of designs or you can create your own. Click here for discount coupons. Or check out Moo cards, which uses based on your Facebook timeline.

3. Review and update your resume. Make sure you’ve updated all your jobs and skills. Keep a copy in the cloud and on a thumb drive so it’s easily accessible. And check out my DJTF webinar (registration is free) and my website on crafting a good one or if you need further help.

2. Create a portfolio website. You need to send potential employers to one place that shows to house your work and your resume. Don’t know how to get started? NABJ member Marissa Evans did a webinar on that!

1. Read VP-Broadcast Bob Butler’s “Tips for Young Journalists/Students at the NABJ Convention.” It targets the younger folks, but there are plenty of tips that apply to all of us.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism, Uncategorized

3 DJTF Webinars To Prepare You For #NABJ17

NABJ17 Convention logo

It’s amazing, but the 42nd Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans is now only 65 days away!  So while the clock is ticking, NOW is the time to get ready for our convention.

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

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

You need to submit an email address, but the webinars are free to view. Register for the convention here.  I hope they help, and I look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism

Time Is Running Out for #NABJ17 Pre-Registration

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If you participated in or read the Storify of the NABJ Students’ recent TweetChat about preparing for the upcoming Annual Convention and Career Fair, you know you don’t want to miss it.

Time is running out for you to pre-register for our convention Aug. 8-13, 2017, in New Orleans. After June 30, rates jump from $380 to $550.  You know you want to be there. You know there’s a strong chance of having FOMO (fear of missing out). You also know you’ll be MAD if you wait and have to pay an extra $170 for registration, so what are you waiting for?

I know, I know – you think you still have plenty of time to register, book a flight and get that hotel reservation at the Hilton Riverside. But you really don’t have that much time.  The truth is, the convention will be before you know it!!  So run — do not walk — to the NABJ website and get yourself registered TODAY!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism

Get Your Eat on in New Orleans!

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I’m not going to lie-I’m a girl who likes a good meal. And in New Orleans, you always eat well, even if you’re broke. My mother’s family is from Lousiana, so I grew up eating food like crawfish etouffee (see above), red beans and rice, muffuletta and po boy sandwiches.

Below are five places I try not to miss when I visit the Crescent City.

1. Compere Lapin. The brainchild of former “Top Chef” contestant (one of my show favorites) Nina Compton, this restaurant blends Caribbean and New Orleans cuisine that’s delicious.

2. Clover Grill. This is down home diner cooking at its best. They cook the burgers under a hubcab, and they are among the best I’ve ever had. And the amusing attitudinal waitstaff is a bonus!

3. Deanie’s Seafood. I took Dr. Syb Brown during the last NABJ convention here in 2012. The seafood is fresh and the portions are massive. A large catfish/shrimp platter is more than enough for two!

4. HiVolt Coffee and BakeryI’m a big fan of this eatery, which has great coffee and is famous for its breakfast sandwiches and breakfast bowls.

5.  Daisy Dukes.  Just on the edge of the French Quarter, it’s open 24/7 and has great breakfast options. But it’s also known for its $8 bottomless Cajun Bloody Marys.

Pre-registration for the convention ends on June 1, so register here. I’ll see you in New Orleans!!