Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Social Media

Alabama Journalists Get Intensive Online Media Training

By Marie Sutton, freelance journalist and member, Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

Many veteran journalists can write a news story in their sleep, but are baffled by how to use social media. “I have colleagues who have no clue what Twitter is or how to use it as a tool of journalism,” said Shaun Chavis, diet editor for Health magazine.

All photos courtesy of Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

But as journalists across the country fall victim to downsizing and budget, cuts many are having to figure out how to use those Internet tools as they reinvent themselves as bloggers and online reporters. For that reason, the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ) recently partnered with the Online News Association (ONA) to present a day of free intensive social media training.

The Parachute Training Initiative was offered on June 5 as part of a $25,000 grant presented by the Gannett Foundation. About 70 journalists from across Alabama participated in the conference that was held in the Hill Alumni Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The sessions were tailored specifically to the needs of independent, community, non-profit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and students in the Alabama area.

Workshops included everything from “Free Tools to Kick Your Site Up a Notch” to “Harnessing the Power of Social Media,” and “What You Need to Know about Internet Law” to “Jumping from Print to Multimedia Journalism.” Speakers included social media all-stars like Danny Sanchez, Digital Platform Manager of Tribune Interactive; Josh Hatch, Director of Interactive for and Robert Hernandez of the University of Southern California, Annenberg.

“It was a great session that opened my eyes to possibilities I didn’t know existed,” said Willie Chriesman, BABJ member and freelance journalist.

“I think so many professional journalists don’t know how to use the emerging technology, don’t often get opportunities to learn about it, and feel uneasy about continuing to do their jobs without knowing how to use these tools,” Chavis said. “This ONA Parachute Training was a huge help.”

Steve Crocker, president of BABJ, said this conference was right in line with what his organization wants to do for the area media professionals. “One of our priorities for BABJ  has been to provide opportunities for professional development wherever possible, especially that training is getting harder to come by in many newsrooms.”

This event was the third of its kind presented by ONA. Others were held in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Boca Raton, Fla. The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists.

“For ONA to bring so much value with them by doing the heavy lifting in terms of logistics and putting the schedule together makes it a no-brainer to bring them back to Birmingham as soon as they want to come,” Crocker said.

He said BABJ hopes to bring the organization back for another training session within the next 6 to 9 months.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

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

  • Webbmedia Group has a great calendar of events that catches things not covered below.  If you want to subscribe to the calendar, click here. You can also subscribe to this calendar so the information appears on your personal Google Calendar. Just go to the Webbmedia Google calendar, click the “+Google Calendar” icon at the bottom right, and then click “Yes, add this calendar” in the dialog box.)
  • The Interactive Innovative blog posts about a series of multimedia training with Maine Media Training from now 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.
  • Mediabistro New York will hold a workshop on Advanced Social Networking for Media Professionals Wednesday, June 30 from 6:45-9:45 pm at the Chinatown YMCA. Columbia University professor and social media guru Sree Sreenivasan will host the event. His guest will be Twitter star @SorayaDarabi, who has 400,000+ followers and helped devise the initial NYT Twitter and Facebook strategies.  USE THIS DISCOUNT CODE, SREE25 and save 25% on the class price.
  • The Bulldog Reporter is holding its Media Relations Summit June 29 in New York City. Attendees will discuss the future of PR, Media, Journalism and Social Network marketing.
  • 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.
  • July 12 is the deadline to apply for the Associated Press Managing Editors’ 2010 APME Journalism Excellence Awards. The awards honor superior journalism and innovation among newspapers and online news sites across the United States and Canada. The awards seek to promote excellence by recognizing work that is well written and incisively reported and that effectively challenges the status quo.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding an online group seminar – Headlines That Work – July 12-Aug. 6.  Participants will learn about the different information needs and habits of these audiences and how to write headlines that will help engage readers on any platform.  The cost is $399.00.
  • The Paid Content Mobile conference will be held July 20 at Faculty House, Columbia University in New York City. The event will offer tips on how to develop a sound mobile strategy.  Registration costs $495.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – “Unpublishing” Online Content: Fairness and Credibility Guidelines – July 21 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn how to manage requests to remove past online content while considering accuracy, fairness and credibility with your readers and other audiences. The cost is $27.95.
  • The City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism is offering a workshop on 11 New Ways To Use Google on July 27 from 6:30-8:00.  Discover the most useful features of Google’s software suite in a 90-minute immersion seminar.  The cost is $40.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University is holding a webinar – Writing Headlines for the Web: 2010 Edition – July 29 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.  Learn strategies to increase traffic from search tools and keep those users on your site. You’ll also learn techniques for writing the all-important web headline. The cost is $29.95.
  • The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute is offering three Multimedia Boot Camps for Journalism Professionals and Educators.  They are scheduled for Aug. 2-6, Aug. 11-15 and Nov. 17-21 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.  The cost is $850. The deadline to apply for the Aug. 2-6 boot is July 16 and July 23 for the Aug. 11-15 boot camp.
  • The Online News Association is holding a Parachute Training Initiative at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, Calif., Aug. 4.  The cost is $10, but 60 free spots will be made available to members of the Asian American Journalists Association.
  • 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.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute will host Block by Block: Community News Summit 2010 Sept. 23-24 in Chicago.  Reynolds Fellow Michele McLellan and New York University Journalism Professor Jay Rosen will lead discussions from leading pioneers of online local news sites to discuss what’s working – and what needs work.  The event is invitation-only.
  • Registration is now open for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28-30.

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!