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Friday Fast Five

I’m on my way out the door, but I wanted you to have your Friday Fast Five.  Enjoy!!

  1. 10000 Words – Spice up food journalism with multimedia and interactivity (and the streak of using a 10000 Words tip continues!)
  2. Blogging Tips – 5 Tips for Using WordPress for Non-Blog Sites
  3. Web Worker Daily – Roundup:  Social Media Monitoring Tools
  4. All Facebook – 4 Ways To Monitor Your Facebook Page Traffic
  5. Mashable – Magntize Helps You Build a Simple Social Media Business Card

And please join us Monday, May 10 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Eastern time for our first Blog Talk Radio event.  We will have an informative and enjoyable  talk with Sree Sreenivasan,  dean of student affairs & a professor at Columbia University’s journalism school.  He is also a noted expert on how journalists can use social media and other technology tools to work smarter — and harder. His seminar on Social Media for Journalists is a must-attend.  Sree will talk on this very topic and take your questions.  I hope you can join us!

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NABJDigital Interviews Jonathan Weber Of The New Bay Citizen

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

Jonathan Weber is the editor in chief of the Bay Citizen, a new San Francisco-based nonprofit public media organization. He has more than 20 years of journalism and print/online start-up experience. He was co-founder and editor in chief of The Industry Standard, the award-winning, San Francisco-based newsweekly, and spent eight years as writer and editor of the Los Angeles Times.

More recently, Weber was the founder and CEO of New West Publishing, a next-generation media company located in Missoula, Mont. The company’s flagship product, the award-winning NewWest.Net, is a local and regional online publication about the Rocky Mountain West. NABJDigital spoke to Weber on the Bay Citizen’s niche, its commitment to diversity and keeping the online venture financially viable as the May 26 launch date approaches.

NABJDigital: What will readers see when your website goes live next month?

Jonathan Weber: I have avoided being really specific about the launch, for competitive reasons and to preserve the surprise factor.  But I can say that our overall goal is to have very good enterprise journalism on civic issues, arts and culture coverage and community coverage.  We will also have a lineup of columnist and include multimedia features.

ND: What is the Citizen’s ideal type of stories?

JW: We want to do enterprise news stories that take different approaches to major issues of the day.  On one hand, we’ll be covering core civic stories, including government, education, the courts and the environment.  But our goal is to take a different approach and develop stories people don’t regularly see.  I think there is a lot of room for creative approaches to enter news stories in the Bay Area.  Sometimes those stories will be investigative or sometimes data driven, but all will have a different view and approach.

ND: Your team includes Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Steve Fainaru as a managing editor for news. Why is it important to get reporters like him?

JW: I think that in a crucial respect, our success will rise and fall on our ability to get the big stories and have exclusive, enterprise journalism. Steve has an incredible track record, with the prize he won for his Blackwater coverage, along with other stories.  He’s at the top of the heap when it comes to blowing stories out of the water.

ND: What other types of editorial staff are you looking for?

JW: We’re looking for a mix of skills across our staff.  It’s not necessary to have all skills, but I want a staff collectively that has writing talent, reporting talent, an ability to shoot video, take pictures, do advanced multimedia journalism and do visual storytelling.  I also want people who are attuned to the community on a street level and have creativity when looking at the news.  Most people we are interviewing have multiple types of experience.  But it’s not like a single person needs to have eight different skills.

ND: The Bay Area is a very diverse community. How will you ensure that Bay Citizen staff reflects that diversity?

JW:  In developing the editorial team, I’m very conscious of diversity, something that is important for many reasons. We are attuned to it in the hiring process. And we’re also attuned to it in relation to the partnerships we want to develop. For example, Sandy Close, of New American Media, a group that works with ethnic media organizations across the country, is based in Bay Area and has a news room here. She’s on our editorial advisory board and is talking about how we can collaborate with them and with other ethnic media organizations. One of the challenges with the diversity in the Bay Area is if you look at numerical measures of racial groups, it’s quite a diverse place, but unfortunately, the journalism here doesn’t reflect that.

ND: Back in January, you signed a deal with the New York Times to contribute branded articles for its San Francisco edition.  Why is this deal so important for the Citizen?

JW: The New York Times is interested in building on its investment in regional coverage and they see the Bay Area as an important market. They want to enhance local coverage and have a special offering for San Francisco subscribers. We will contribute two pages on Fridays and Sundays.  The Times felt that a good strategy was to work with a local partner and we were forming when they decided to do that. They felt we would be a high-quality operation. It gives us a print distribution that we otherwise would not have. On top of that, the affiliation with the Times brings us a tremendous amount of credibility right out of the gate.

ND: You’ve received funding from Hellman Family Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and donors. How long can this funding keep you going?

JW: The plan for the organization is very focused on reaching sustainability. Our business plan includes four revenue streams: large foundation gifts, memberships, sponsorships/underwriting and syndication.  The composition of the revenue will evolve over time.  The goal is to build a sustainable operation.  We have $5 million in seed funding from Warren Hellman to get the operation off the ground.

ND: With your past experiences, what advice would you give to journalists looking at becoming entrepreneurs?

JW: I think there are tremendous opportunities out there. It’s a tough job market for journalists, but the industry’s transformation creates lots of opportunities. Be aggressive about jumping in the pool and taking the risk. Do something entrepreneurial that’s driven by passion.  If go into these thinks driven by passion for the story and the type of journalism you want to do, you can’t really lose, even if your venture is difficult or unsuccessful.

When I look at my experience at New West, as a business it was a tremendous amount of work. It was also a great experience with not a ton of short-term financial rewards. But the experience I gained there was invaluable to my career going forward. I could not be in the chair at the Bay Citizen if I hadn’t done New West.  Take the plunge even if water looks cold, because there’s lots of benefit in the long run.  Lots of times entrepreneurial journalists are handicapped by lack of experience in business.  I’m a better editor than CEO or sales manager, so I encourage journalists to partner with someone with business skill set unless you have that yourself.

ND: How do you think the Citizen will look 10 years from now?

JW: 10 year is a very long time in this business.  I guess I would say we’ll have a killer website, robust distribution through many channels. We will be known for gritty journalism, high integrity and an aggressive, cutting-edge approach using technology to tell and deliver stories.

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Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

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

  • Arizona State University’s Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is taking applications for 20 journalists to attend an all-expenses-paid seminar on ‘Covering the Green Economy’ June 28-30. This three-day specialized reporting institute, combined with two follow-up Webinars, will arm attendees with information to help them recognize “greenwashing,” track federal stimulus dollars designed to create green jobs and answer consumers’ most frequently asked questions about leading environmentally sustainable lives.
  • The World Company is hosting the Free State Social April 29-30 at the new Oread Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. “The Free State Social will highlight the best in social media from our area and put local innovations and ideas on a national – even global – stage,” Ben Smith, World Company Social Media Manager, said.
  • April 30 is the last day to apply for 12 fellowship spots at the Maynard Institute’s Multimedia Editing Program from May 31 – June 30, 2010, at the University of Nevada, Reno. The fellowships are made possible by a three-year grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, and cover tuition, housing and some group meals during the six-week program. It also includes a travel stipend of up to $500.
  • Journalism Innovations III will be held at the SPJ Western Regional Conference April 30-May 2, 2010, at the University of San Francisco.
  • Vanderbilt University is soliciting applications for journalists to attend its 2010 media fellowship “Securing Our Future: Energy Solutions and the Environment,” May 19-21, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training May 23 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 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.
  • Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan is holding his Smarter Social Media for Journalists, Bloggers & Media Professionals April 27, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • The Toronto Star is holding a series of new media workshops May 17-19, covering Visual Reporting, Mobile and Social Media Reporting and Web Reporting.
  • NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force co-chair Andrew Humphrey and member Michelle Ferrier are among those putting together the next Journalism That Matters conference, in Detroit June 3-6.  The conference theme is Help create communities that initiate, innovate and incubate.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – The Backpack Journalist – June 7-11.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due April 26.
  • The John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors are holding a conference entitled “The Future of Freelancing: Redefining Journalism. Reinventing Yourself” June 18-19 at Stanford University.
  • 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.

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!

Posted in Uncategorized

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

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

  • The University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute is holding a workshop — Going Mobile: How Newspapers Can Meet the Cell Phone Challenge – April 18-20 in Columbia, Mo.  The workshop, overseen by Reynolds Fellow Clyde Bentley, is organizing a group of mobile newspaper editors and mobile phone industry leaders to meet and discuss strategies, concerns and opportunities for the mobile industry during this transition.
  • The Bay Area Media Training Consortium, the California Media Workers Guild and the City College of San Francisco, Journalism Department are holding a seminar — Spring Training: Reinvent your Journalism Career – April 24 at the City College of San Francisco’s  Ocean Campus.
  • Arizona State University’s Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is taking applications for 20 journalists to attend an all-expenses-paid seminar on ‘Covering the Green Economy’ June 28-30. This three-day specialized reporting institute, combined with two follow-up Webinars, will arm attendees with information to help them recognize “greenwashing,” track federal stimulus dollars designed to create green jobs and answer consumers’ most frequently asked questions about leading environmentally sustainable lives.
  • The World Company is hosting the Free State Social April 29-30 at the new Oreadhotel in Lawrence, Kan. “The Free State Social will highlight the best in social media from our area and put local innovations and ideas on a national – even global – stage,” Ben Smith, World Company Social Media Manager, said.
  • Vanderbilt University is soliciting applications for journalists to attend its 2010 media fellowship “Securing Our Future: Energy Solutions and the Environment,” May 19-21, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training May 23 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 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.
  • Columbia University journalism professor Sree Sreenivasan is holding his Smarter Social Media for Journalists, Bloggers & Media Professionals April 20 & 27; 6:30 – 9 p.m.
  • BusinessJournalism.org is holding a free Webinar, “Using Social Media to Cover Business Better” April 19-20.  The first hour-long Webinar will target those new to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The second hour will help you take your use of social media to the next level.
  • The American Society of Journalists and Authors is holding its 39th annual writers conference April 23-24 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Toronto Star is holding a series of new media workshops May 17-19, covering Visual Reporting, Mobile and Social Media Reporting and Web Reporting.
  • NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force co-chair Andrew Humphrey and member Michelle Ferrier are among those putting together the next Journalism That Matters conference, in Detroit June 3-6.  The conference theme is Help create communities that initiate, innovate and incubate.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding a seminar – The Backpack Journalist – June 7-11.  Tuition is $995, and applications are due April 26.
  • 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.

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!

Posted in Uncategorized

Friday Fast Five

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

Sorry – it’s been a busy week, so I’m going to get right to it.

  1. 10000 Words – 3 Ways journalism classes are making education more interactive (Mark’s  new book, “The Digital Journalist’s Handbook” is for sale.
  2. Networked – Free chart creation with Chartle.net
  3. Mediactive – Add Proofreading Support to Your WordPress Dashboard
  4. Digital Journalist – Live-blogging tips for journalists
  5. Alltop – 27 amazing digital photography tutorials
Posted in Uncategorized

Part 2: NABJDigital Profiles Maurice Cherry, Owner of 3eighteen Media

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

Yesterday, we interviewed Maurice Cherry about his creation of the Black Weblog Awards.  Today, we speak with him about his day job as  founder of 3eighteen Media, a design studio based in Atlanta that specializes in web design, logo design, WordPress themes, e-mail marketing, copywriting, and a host of other services.  We speak with Cherry about his company and why journalists should consider his services.

Maurice Cherry

NABJDigital: You graduated from Morehouse.  What was your major?

Maurice Cherry: Mathematics

ND: How did your major prepare you for the work you’re doing now at 3eighteen media?

MC: Not at all, actually! I studied pure Math — advanced calculus, topology, measure-theoretic entropy… fun stuff like that. My masters degree is in network and telecommunications management, although it’s like a cross between an MBA and an MIS. The concepts I learned there about finance and project management have helped me immensely with my business.

ND: What does 3eighteen stand for?

MC: It’s the month and day of my birth (3/18). I decided to have it as 3eighteen because I thought it looked more unique. Plus, the number 3 and the letter E together sort of look like the glyph for my astrological sign, Pisces.

ND: It seems like shops like yours are springing up all over.  You have plenty of business and a great client list.  What is it that your firm offers that others don’t?

MC: I have a very broad skill set that you normally would not find in a one-man shop. I’m a web designer, logo designer, copywriter, e-mail marketing whiz and I’m very knowledgeable on the psychology behind web design. I know what works for a site’s design depending on what their business goals are, and I’m good with color theory and meaning. I’ve also worked with several different types of clients ranging from big government to small mom-and-pop businesses.

ND: With all the changes in journalism, more of us are starting to brand ourselves. What advice would you give for those who want to take this path?

MC: Don’t shy away from the Internet because you think it’s too technological. The path to entry for starting a blog, shooting a video, or recording audio is lower than ever. The tools are often either free or very affordable.

Learn from those journalists out there who have effectively branded themselves as multimedia journalists such as Amani Channel and Mark S. Luckie. Create your own stories. Talk to bloggers. The best way to amplify your voice is to help out others online. Get out there and be social with social media. There’s so much journalists can do to brand themselves online.

ND: You know journalists are all on a budget. What tools would you advise us to use in creating our own brand, if we can’t afford to use a shop like yours?

MC: Creating your brand isn’t all about creating a website. If you have a webcam and an Internet connection, you can have your own weekly show on YouTube or Kyte or Blip.tv.  Audio editing tools like Audacity are free and easy to use. And of course for blogging, WordPress is free, and there are a lot of free themes available.  If a journalist is looking to create their brand, they shouldn’t lead with their wallet.  You may be surprised how many shops will work with you (particularly if they have a low overhead).

ND: Overall why do you think it’s important for companies to work with a firm like yours for their online branding and marketing needs?

MC: Companies should definitely do their homework when it comes to shopping for a firm. Check out their client list, look at testimonials, and don’t be afraid to ask the clients how they felt the firm worked with them. And of course, look and see what the company is doing for themselves in terms of branding and marketing. Do they have other projects they are involved with in ther community? What are they doing to give back to their industry as a whole? Those sorts of things are important to establish a relationship with a great firm.

ND: Among the work you’ve done for your clients, which projects are you the most proud of, and why?

MC: I am probably the most proud of the work I did with the Borders for Atlanta mayoral campaign. It was such an intense experience during such a short amount of time, and every day presented a new set of challenges. I worked with e-mail marketing, social media, content management, finance, fundraising, volunteering, canvassing…you name it. And while my client did not win, the work we did set precedents for how social media and technology  works with non-Presidential campaigns. As a matter of fact, I will have a book out this summer on how to use these tools in a political campaign.