By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
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The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ) is partnering with the Online News Association (ONA) to offer its Parachute Training Initiative, a full day of free, intensive hands-on multimedia training, on Saturday, June 5, in Birmingham, Ala.
The effort is supported by a $25,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation and will offer sessions tailored specifically to the needs of independent, community, non-profit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and students in the Alabama area.
BABJ wanted to put on a workshop like this, said Yenu Wodajo, the association’s secretary and a reporter at ABC 33/40. “We saw a need for people out of work and for those who are not up on new media, including tools like Facebook and Twitter,” she said.
ONA was very receptive, said Wodajo. “We had the on-ground feet and knowledge of the Birmingham market, and they had the tools we needed for the workshops and training. It was a perfect partnership,” she noted.
With journalism becoming more digital, workers need to think outside the box, said Wodajo. “There are tools out there including using Flip cameras and editing on iMovie, harnessing the power of social media with things like Facebook, Twitter and Skype,” she said. “We want to help people use these tools and more to become better reporters.”
The workshop will help teach those who want to jump from print to multimedia, said Wodajo. “We want to show them how to make that transition when everything they’ve ever learned has been print based,” she explained. “We also want to help journalists make themselves more marketable to potential employers. It’s important to give those still in the business or those laid off the tools they need to stay in journalism and remain competitive.”
The workshop, which costs $10, can take up to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis. “But we have the ability to expand to accommodate 30 more people,” said Wodajo. For more information or to register, click here.