Posted in Conferences & Conventions

DJTF at the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair

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

The Digital Journalism Task Force will be front at center at this year’s convention in San Diego. Our annual task force meeting will feature Thomas Reed,  Director of the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities, and he will talk about digital journalism and opportunities for entrepreneurship and professional advancement.  The meeting will be held Saturday, July 31 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm PT in room Molly B at the Grand Hyatt Manchester in San Diego.

The Visual Task Force has graciously allowed DJTF to auction off 2  pairs of airline tickets — a pair of business class from AirTran Airways and a pair of coach from Southwest Airlines — at its very popular annual photo auction, which will be held Saturday, July 31 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm PT in room Ford A/B.   We’re also raffling 24 pairs of Gogo Inflight Wifi passes good for free Internet access on eight airlines.  If you’ll be in San Diego, we’d appreciate your support.

For a complete list of all the events in San Diego, check out the conference program book here.  And for the latest news from the conference, follow us on Twitter — @NABJDigital — as we live blog from as many events as possible.

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.
  • The Digital Journalist has released its workshops — The New Platypus DSLR Video Journalism, Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshops for 2010. Workshops will be held in Rockport, Maine, July 25-August 3 at the Maine Media Workshops.
  • 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 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.
  • Knowledgewebb is holding a free webinar, 10 Steps to a Tech-Savvy You, Aug. 5.  The webinar will outline the 10 steps — and critical websites, social networks and gear — to help you become more tech savvy.
  • 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 Poynter Institute is holding an online group seminar – Becoming a More Effective Reporter: Telling Untold Stories – Sept. 13-Oct. 4.  Tuition is $399, 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.
  • The Poynter Institute is holding the Video Storytelling Workshop: 2010 Edition Sept. 25.  The event, held with the National Photographers Press Foundation team, will present a day-long event that will help you be a better video journalist. Tuition is $65.
  • The BlogWorld New Media Expo will be held at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas Oct. 15-16.
  • 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!

Posted in Social Media

Deadline Approaching For Black Weblog Awards Nominations

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

July 25 at midnight is the deadline to submit your nominations for the 2010 Black Weblog Awards. The awards were created by Maurice Cherry, owner of Atlanta-based firm 3eighteen Media.   He created the awards program in 2005  after seeing other Internet award vehicles not recognizing Black bloggers that he knew were doing phenomenal work and had a presence in the blogosphere.

So far, Cherry says, he’s received more than 10,000 nominations, and is experiencing its highestt web traffic ever (it usually triples or quadruples every year).  “I think the new website design and increased presence on social media networks has helped out with that a lot,” he says.  “This year, we also brought on a sponsorship director and an intern to help us do more with the tools we currently have, as well as seek out sponsorship dollars that we desperately need to keep the awards going and growing.”

Finalists will be announced on August 1, says Cherry.  “Winners are announced now on September 1. We have also kicked off a pledge campaign via Kickstarter to raise money for the 2011 Black Weblog Awards to finally have a live ceremony,” he says.  “We’re fortunate that the strategic partnerships we’ve made have helped us get one step closer to making this a reality.”

Below are my choices for blogs worthy to be nominated:

Posted in multimedia journalist, Social Media

Friday Fast Five: The Social Media Edition

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

With the National Association of Black Journalists annual conference coming up next week, I thought it would be  a great idea to offer up a list of social media tips that fits in with this year’s theme: The Power of Change.  So below are five tips — and a bonus five — that will prepare you for San Diego and beyond.

Note — I’ll be live-tweeting the conference starting at the board meeting on Tuesday.  You can follow me at @NABJDigital.  And if you see me around, please say hello.  I’ll also be moderating the panel “Brand Yourself, Secure Your Survival” on Thursday, July 29 from 1:30 to 3:00.

  1. 10000 Words — 5 Free alternatives to Ning for creating a social network.  Ning went to a pay model back in April, forcing established networks to pay. I’m  a big fan of Posterous.
  2. SPJ’s Networked — Top 10 social media best practices.
  3. Mashable — HOW TO: Spring Clean Your Twitter Account.  The UnTweeps service really helped me weed out the lurkers and spam bots.
  4. Quick Online Tips — 5 Ways to Use Blogs, Social Media to Become a Recognized Expert.
  5. CyberJournalist — 10 things your grandmother can teach you about social media.
  6. Think Traffic — How to use Personality to Build a Loyal Audience and Create Raving Fans.
  7. Inspiration Feed — Leave Facebook For These 11 Alternatives.
  8. Inflexion Advisors — How To Live Tweet A Conference.
  9. Social Media Examiner — 9 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Fan Page.
  10. Mashable — 7 Ways Journalists Can Use Foursquare.
Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Tips For Attending Your 1st NABJ Convention (But We Can ALL Use Them!)

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

Today marks exactly one week until the start of the 35th annual National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention & Career Fair, this year in San Diego.  The feed from the #NABJ Twitter hashtag is buzzing with excitement over this year’s show, with the theme “The Power of Change.”

It seems like only yesterday that I attended my first NABJ convention, back in 2006 in Indianapolis.  I wish I had access to guide that would have allowed me to work the convention more effectively that first time.  The NABJ Forum listserve has released the annual NABJ Convention Tips for 1st timers, below.  it was compiled by Dr. Louise Ritchie.


1. Have a positive attitude. You never know if the person to whom you’re complaining about the lousy food is not only the NABJ member who spent hours of free time helping to plan the convention, but also is a recruiter on the lookout for an entry-level hire or intern.

2. Be gregarious. Some good conversation openers include saying things such as “Have you been to other NABJ conventions? (A good follow-up to a “yes” could be to ask the person’s advice about how you can get the most out of this one.)

3. Dress in a way that you stand out in a positive way. Wearing a bright color as a colorful scarf, tie or blouse can help people remember meeting you. Just don’t carry it to extremes such as deciding to wear a red and orange checkered suit!

4.    Understand that the type of attention you want to attract is attention based on your looking professional.  Deep cleavage, mini and micro skirts, T-shirts celebrating booze, sex or drugs etc., definitely will attract attention, but unless you’re at the convention looking for quick sex or a reputation as a pushover or sleaze, leave that attire at home. Don’t even wear such attire to the convention parties. Also remember that even parties at conventions are professional situations. Have fun, but have fun without telling the intimate secrets of your life or without becoming an intimate secret in someone else’s life! Especially on Saturday night!

5. Talk to everyone. This includes talking to attendees who may be several decades older than you. Instead of clustering with your classmates at meals, make a point of sitting with people whom you don’t know. Your schoolmates can’t hire you. When you select the table, after getting a seat, walk around the table, shake everyone’s hand, and introduce yourself to them.

6. Also know that many people — including veteran journalists — are shy (It’s amazing how many journalists are tigers when they’re pursuing stories, but in their personal lives they are quiet and shy!), so are very happy when you take time to reach out to them. Some people who especially may be appreciative are families of attendees and recruiters who are not black and who may not have had previous experience attending a gathering in which they are the racial minority. You also can get some valuable tips and information from such people, including members’ families, who often have lots of inside knowledge about the field and may even have journalism experience, too.

7. Attend the workshops and when you go, sit up front and ask some questions. When you ask questions, stand up and say your name and your school. Students have been known to get job offers and internship offers by asking questions or making thoughtful comments at workshops.

8. Seek out opportunities to get feedback, and then listen when you get the feedback. Ask recruiters and veterans to critique your work. When they do so, don’t argue with them. If you don’t agree with their assessment, then you don’t have to follow their advice. But if you start arguing with them, you will get a reputation as a person who is not interested in learning, and that can prevent your obtaining an entry-level job or internship. People who are hired as entry-level employees and interns are expected to grow and learn as part of the job. For that reason, many employers will choose a student who is eager to learn over a more experienced student who is a know-it-all.

9. In interviews, make sure that you highlight the excellent things you’ve done in journalism. Explain how you got the reticent source to talk. Describe how you did a tough story on a tight deadline while you also were editing copy. Don’t wait for the interviewer to directly ask you about these things. The recruiter cannot read your mind. In addition, an interview is not a modesty test. You easily can highlight your strengths by, when you are showing your clips, also telling the story behind your clips. “When my editor assign me this story, he said that he chose me because I handled deadlines better than did the other interns. I got the story at 7 and by 9, my editor had this story. ”

10. Prepare packets of your resume, cover letter and clips. Put them in separate envelopes to give to recruiters. That way, when the recruiter packs the stacks of resumes and clips s/he has received and piles them into a suitcase, yours won’t become wrinkled.

11. Be prepared for a current events quiz. With technology bringing new to your cell phone there is no excuse for not knowing the news of the day.


1. DON’T Huddle with your classmates like a sheep. Among the no-nos are sitting only with other students or your friends from school or waiting for your roommate to get up the morning so that you can go to the convention together. You classmates may be your BFF’s but they can’t hire you.

2. DON’T Get up and leave if you realize that you’ve sat at a table with veterans or recruiters. Often such people are very happy to meet aspiring young journalists, and are really insulted if you jump up and abandon them. This particularly may be true with recruiters who literally are there to connect with potential hires such as yourself.

3. DON’T be on the prowl for a date.

4. DON’T  avoid the workshops.

5. DON’T sit in the back of the room at workshops. The days of back of the bus are long over.

6. DON’T go on the prowl for free drinks and free meals. Well… I’d amend this to say don’t go on the prowl by yourself. I have not met a journalist yet who will turn down a free drink or meal when they’re not working. 🙂

7. DON’T spend your time telling recruiters what you DON’T want to do. Spend your time telling and showing recruiters what you can do for them.

8. DON’T tell a recruiter that you have no clips because the people in your student media were mean or cliquish. Recruiters know that if you couldn’t make it at your campus media, you definitely aren’t ready for the outside world. While the recruiter may nod his or head sympathetically, that person is mentally crossing you off their list of good candidates.

9. DON’T decide that the job fair is a waste of time because recruiters say they have no open jobs now or they have no internships available for this summer. Typically, summers are when there is turnover on jobs, so recruiters now are taking applications for openings that are expected later. If you blow off the interview or stop interviewing, what can happen is that when the jobs open up, your name isn’t in the pool. Even if you’re looking for an internship this summer, it can be important to interview because while most internships already have been filled, often there are last-minute openings, and the students whom the recruiters know are available are the ones contacted.

10. DON’T run around loudly telling your friends and associates how “mean” certain recruiters were. This is a small business. The new friend whom you’re sharing this information with may end up being the recruiter’s spouse or best friend.


–Load you resume reel on YouTube. Type the url on your resume and bring 50 copies to the convention.

–REPORTERS: Make 13 DVD’s of your reel. Buy a dozen 8 ½ x 11 envelopes. Put a DVD and resume in each envelope. Write your name, address, phone number and email address on the front.  Use DVD #13 to show at the job fair. If a recruiters ask if they can keep it, pull out an envelope and give that to them. If you give away all of your envelopes you can still show #13 and you can tell the recruiters that your work is on YouTube and the link is on your resume.

–PRODUCERS: Same Thing.

–Collect business cards. After each encounter take minute and write some notes on the back of the card. Example: “Tall brother with a blue suit, red tie and nice teeth” or “white lady with really pretty earrings. She said they had an opening in Beaumont” or “He liked my tape but said I need to slow my delivery.” When you get home send an email thanking them for talking to you, maybe comment on the earrings. And attach your resume. They’ll probably see a hundred people. It’s not uncommon for resumes to be misplaced. You’re ahead of the game because the link to your work is already there.

–Don’t rule out working as a producer. As one news director told me, “I can shake a tree and 12 reporters and anchors will fall out. But a good producer is hard to find.” These jobs lead you into newsroom management, where the real power and control lie. And don’t be surprised if, while you’re waiting in line, producer candidates go to the front. There is a shortage of people of color who want to be producers.

— Bring PLENTY of resumes and business cards, if you have them. Make sure your resume is ONE PAGE. The employer doesn’t need to know all the details of every job you’ve had. If it’s not related to Journalism just put down what it was. Example: Taco Bell, June 2002 to September 2003. Oh, and make sure your name is in LARGE TYPE AND BOLD FACE.  When I’m trying to find your resume, I may not look too hard. So make it easy for me to find you.

Posted in Social Media

NABJDigital Profiles The Blog

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

Tesia Love

Tesia Love is the creator of, a blog that reaches out to African-American women who appreciate and enjoy cooking. Love’s goal is to inspire more African-American women to reclaim the culinary talent and skills held by previous generations of Black women, and promote well-being through food.

Love has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication and a Masters in media and public affairs.  She works in marketing and communications in the non-profit sector.  We spoke about creating the blog, reaching out to a target audience, the importance of social media in promoting the blog, and advice for those who want to do something similar.

NABJDigital: How did you come up with the idea for

Tesia Love: I came up with the idea when I was taking a web design class.  Also, about seven years ago, I began to get back into cooking.  I had stepped away from it, but always enjoyed it.  So I studied and re-taught myself how to cook and took classes.  During the web design class I was taking, we had a project to design a website, so I decided to design a food blog since food was the topic that was most on my mind at the time.

ND: How long has it been running?

TL: It will be two years in August 2010.  It has really been fun.  I enjoy writing it on several levels.  It has allowed me to meet people online and at conferences like Blogalicious.  It also makes me practice what I preach: to cook more often.

ND: Why did you think that a site like yours was needed for African-American women?

TL: One thing is it was definitely needed.  Across the board, Americans are not cooking their own food as much as in the past.  I chose to target black women to get a niche audience for my blog because there are thousands of food blogs out there. A blog that targeted African-American women did not exist at the time, but my blog can really speak to everyone.  I also encourage men to cook more often, however, the reality is it’s still women who make most of the decisions around food in most households, so that’s who I target.

ND: How often do you post on the blog?

TL: I post about once a week; that’s my goal.  Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. To keep blogs consistent, it’s advised to post three times a week, but once a week works better with my schedule.  I’ve learned not to spread myself too thin when it comes to blogging.

ND: What do you see as your ideal blog post?

TL: My ideal post not only gives a recipe that readers can make, but also inspires readers in regards to food or their connection to food.  Food is about more than just taste. It’s about our health and our relationships with people as well. Food touches our everyday lives, and that connects with readers.

ND: How do you attract the advertisers for your blog?

TL: Currently, I haven’t pursued advertising for, mainly because I’ve been focused on creating good content and building my readership. When I do start to proactively solicit advertisers, I want to try to be selective and work with marketers whose products or services don’t conflict with the values of my blog, which is fresh, homemade cooking with minimal use of processed foods. One means of attracting advertisers that I have been keeping my eye on is The B-Link, a marketing network for women of color bloggers. The B-Link was started by the MamaLaw Media Group who hosts the Blogalicious conference that I attended last year.

ND: How important has social media been in promoting your blog?

TL: Social media has been extremely important in promoting my blog.  I wouldn’t have as many readers as I do if I did not use social media.  After I post on my blog, I then tweet about it and post a link to it on my Facebook page and on

ND: You won a Black Weblog Award last year.  How did you feel about that win, and how has winning brought exposure to your blog?

TL: I appreciated wining because I won the judges’ and the popular vote for Best Food Blog.  Each person nominated had to push their blog to promote it and social media helped with that.  There were five blogs nominated in my category, and I won during the first year of publishing, so I’m proud of that. The win definitely brought me more exposure by increasing the number of referral links receives from other bloggers.

ND: Who did you work with to design

TL: I designed it myself using WordPress.  This is a blog, where I buy my own server space through a hosting company.  I used a WordPress theme (template), but then, because of my web design experience, I was able to change and customize the theme to make it my own. I also designed my own logo.

ND: What advice would you give to NABJDigital members who want to do something similar to what you’ve done?

TL: Do your research.  There’s so much free information on social media and blogging online regarding how to set up a blog, including questions like whether or not to use a hosted site or set up your own self-hosted site.  There’s a really great book for women called “The It Girl’s Guide to Blogging With Moxy.”  It was the main book I used as a guide to when creating my blog. It has information on things like choosing a name, developing a brand and searching for advertisers. It’s a very helpful resource.

Posted in multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five — The Blogging Edition

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

As I go through the angst of setting up my new blog (which I hope to unveil by the end of the month), I thought this week’s Fast Five would lend itself well to a list of tips, tricks and tools that can help if you want to create your own blog.  And the bonus five tips will continue through the end of the month.  Enjoy!

  1. 10000 Words — Why I switched from Blogger to WordPress and how I did it
  2. Outspoken Media — The 5 Old Blogging Rules Killing Your Readership.
  3. Google News — Bringing Live Stories to WordPress.
  4. Social Media Examiner — 6 Ways to Constantly Produce Quality Blog Content.
  5. Copyblogger — 14 Foolproof Proofreading Tips for Bloggers.
  6. Lifehacker — Five Best Personal Web Hosts.
  7. Blogging Tips — How to Find the Right Topic for Your New Blog.
  8. Nieman Journalism Lab — Launching a site? Five tips to get you off on the right foot.
  9. Ink Rebels — Learn How To Blog Like A Pro.
  10. Bit Rebels — How to Promote Your Blog.