Monthly Archives: August 2010

Creating A “Hinge” Between Newsroom, Classroom

By Bliss Davis, Multimedia Journalist

I recently read an article about Allbritton Communications’ TBD.com news website and their partnership with American University’s School of Communication for interns, and another between NYU, which will run The Local East Village, a hyperlocal news site for the New York Times.
While the concept of gaining professional experience or familiarizing yourself with a profession isn’t news, it is welcoming to hear news of programs like this gaining ground.  Even NABJ recently broadened its converged student media newsroom to include a bootcamp-like for high school students as well as those in higher education.   All of these programs have something in common — namely having digital media as either a forefront or major component of their partnerships.
Even with these progressive programs, there is a huge gap in how much journalism students (especially those still in high school) are exposed to professional media.  Besides journalism, one of my passions is moving forward with a steady gaze on what’s behind me–for the second half of my college experience I taught journalism at an inner city high school.  The school needed journalism teachers and through a special grant project I was brought in along with a few others.  My primary reason for doing so was being from the inner city myself, and remembering how my high school’s journalism program was canceled from funding issues.
The joint grant initiative was a meager project and I am barely in the professional journalism realm myself, but our efforts paid off.  With the help of professionals and professors, several in the class graduated with a working knowledge of multimedia and a desire to become journalists themselves.
It is much too premature to rave about joint programs of course, but hopefully they take off in other forms.  Besides helping raise general interest in the world, there is a growing interest in using non-traditional platforms.  After getting their newspaper down the class in the grant program wanted to publish a digital version as well.  While still in the works, it will be interesting to see what they come up with in the coming school year.
Taking the focus away from the students, the only way for these hinge programs to continue to be successful depends on professionals who already know the ropes.  None if these programs  function without the help of someone already familiar with the industry and can only work with pros willing to get their hands dirty.

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.)
  • Hacks/Hackers is holding a MeetUp in New York City Aug. 18. at the NYC Google offices, where they will discuss the concept of “Living Stories.” The presentation starts at 7 p.m., but come early and socialize (and gawk) at 6 p.m.!
  • Media Bistro will hold the online course Brand Yourself: How to Market Yourself and Your Project for Maximum Results for four Wednesdays Aug. 18 through Sept. 22. The course will help you develop a complete brand portfolio that includes everything from your email signature to your presence on Twitter and Facebook.  The cost is $350.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University will hold the webinar Reporting the Oil Disaster: Beyond the Surface & Spill Aug. 24 at 2:00 p.m.  Learn how to investigate over-looked issues caused from oil contamination in the Gulf. Find story ideas, no matter what area you cover, that go beyond the obvious. The cost is $19.95.
  • Media Bistro will hold the online course Boot Camp for Journalists for eight Thursdays Sept. 9 through Nov. 4. The course will help you create a new portfolio of work and a new set of skills. Assignments include a service/how-to piece, an arts and culture review, a profile, a metro section piece, an editorial, a business/news article, a personal essay, and two pitch letters.   The cost is $499.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University will hold the webinar Becoming a More Effective Reporter: Telling Untold Stories Sept. 13-Oct. 4.  This course will help you improve your ability to find and tell stories off the beaten path.  The cost is $399, and applications are due Aug. 16.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute is offering a free workshop — Engage Your Community to Power Your Business Coverage – in San Francisco Sept. 1.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute is offering a Webinar – Develop Business Angles on Any Beat – Sept 14.  Chad Graham, social media editor at The Arizona Republic, and Robin J. Phillips, Reynolds Center Web managing editor, will co-present this one-hour Webinar that will be of interest to all journalists and editors who understand the importance of exploring the business angle of every story.
  • 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.
  • Think like Google — what you need to know about SEO is a Webinar being offered by the Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute on Oct. 19.  The hour-long session will help reporters and editors understand the Web and how search engines find online content, explain some fundamentals of SEO and why journalists should care and give journalists tips and tools for writing good headline and ledes for the Web.
  • 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.
  • Registration is now open for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28-30.
  • The Poynter Institute’s News University will hold the webinar Becoming a More Effective Editor: Strategies for Editing Yourself, Others Nov. 1-19.  The cost is $399, and the application deadline is Oct. 4.
  • The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute is offering a Multimedia Boot Camps for Journalism Professionals and Educators.  The boot camp is scheduled for Nov. 17-21 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.  The cost is $850.
  • The 2011 Kiplinger Fellowship will award 15 grants to journalists to help them hone their social media skills and learn about SEO, strategic tweeting, and other information about the Internet.  The deadline to apply is Nov. 30.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute is offering the Webinar Writing Business News for the Web Dec. 1-2.  This Webinar will help writers and editors write with clarity, efficiency, brevity and transparency.

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!

Friday Fast Five + Five

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

This week’s Fast Five + Five is just a mishmash of items that have been piling up in my folder. Enjoy!

  1. 10000 Words – Why I switched from Blogger to WordPress and how I did it
  2. Mashable – Turn Your Facebook Profile into a Mini Blog
  3. GigaOm – Think: Free Mind Maps for Newbies
  4. Teaching Online Journalism – Tips for HTML5, part 1
  5. Teaching Online Journalism – Tips for HTML5, part 2
  6. Networked – Are you ready to use CoveritLive?
  7. Dumb Little Man – DIY: 6 Simple Steps To Start Podcasting
  8. Media Shift – 5 Great Services for Self-Publishing Your Book
  9. Techipedia – How To Create the Perfect Facebook Fan Page
  10. Innovative Interactivity – 20 educational (and free!) multimedia resources

NABJDigital Interviews Holly Edgell of Patch.com

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

Patch.com's Holly Edgell Photo by Benet J. Wilson

AOL-owned Patch.com was one of many employers represented at the recent National Association of Black Journalists annual convention in San Diego.  Patch is a network of websites created to fill the gap in local and community news, says Holly Edgell, a regional editor for the company who is based in St. Louis.

The good news for NABJ members is that Patch.com is growing, which means they’re hiring.  According to Edgell, Patch.com already has 85 sites and is looking for local editors in areas including California, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Connecticut.  For a complete list of jobs, click here.

NABJDigital did a quick Interview with Edgell, where she spoke about what Patch.com is looking for in regional editors, where Patch.com is growing and why she attended NABJ to look for talent.  Enjoy!

University of Maryland Offers Multimedia Journalism Graduate Program

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

I am one of those old-school journalists who have been working hard and fast to get up to speed on the latest in multimedia tools, technologies and tips.  I release a Calendar of Events on this blog every Monday with dates and times for all the latest training opportunities.

I suspect that many, like me, have obtained their training from a mix that includes journalism conference workshops, weekend seminars, media institute trainings, webinars and on-your-own floundering.  So it was with great interest that I read about a new program being offered by the University of Maryland-College Park’s Merrill School of Journalism.

The school will launch the new Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Multimedia Journalism this fall.  The two-semester, weekend program will focus on the skills most in demand today for communication workers in news organizations, nonprofits, and business by offering what the school calls “practical training in video, audio, photography, blogging, and interactive Web publishing with the critical application of editorial, ethical and legal principles in digital media contexts.”

The program was created, essentially because there was a demand for it, says Steven Crane, assistant dean for the school.  “Some of us are where you know how to report, but you don’t necessarily know the things that are being required of reporters these days,” he observes.  “Do you want to go back to school for a master’s degree?  Probably not.  Webinars and newsroom seminars only go so far.  This is a really thorough platform for skills that journalists need as we go forward.”

The courses will help journalists learn the skills needed for digital storytelling across media platforms, particularly the Internet and mobile devices. Topics include Multimedia Journalism, Online Journalism, Mobile Journalism, and New Media Entrepreneurship, according to the school.

The school developed the courses based on what it heard from journalists, along with a gut feeling, says Crane. “The first semester is all about tool, including understanding how to build web pages, doing content management, using cameras and audio recorders and editing software,” he says.  “The great thing is that software is becoming so simple that it affords us the opportunity to teach more concepts.

It’s not about how to use the equipment to make a pretty package, because it’s all so simple now, Crane states.  “But it’s more about how do you use the concept of audio/visual storytelling, and for a lot of people, that’s a scary thing,” he observes.  “I taught a class a few years ago, and once students got their hands on things, it was fun.”

Journalists are not just talent or a shooter anymore, says Case.  “More and more places now expect you to shoot your own stuff, edit in the field and Skype it back to the office,” he notes.  “Everyone asking us to do it faster and more hands on, people need it.

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.)
  • Media Bistro will hold the online course Writing Scripts for Online Video for four Tuesdays Aug. 10 through Sept. 7.  The course discusses how to think in terms of short attention spans, target markets that span all demographics, and find the right topics to explore to create a perfect online video.  The cost is $350.
  • DJTF member Tiffany Black is teaching two courses for Media Bistro.  Writing and Editing for the Web, Aug. 10 through Sept. 7 on Tuesdays, will show you how to write, edit, and publish online content. The cost is $350.  She’s also teaching Advanced Social Media, Aug. 11 through Sept. 15 on Wednesdays, where she’ll cover how to make the most of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Buzz.
  • 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 Freedom Forum Diversity Institute is offering three Multimedia Boot Camps for Journalism Professionals and Educators.  They are scheduled for Aug. 11-15 and Nov. 17-21 at the Freedom Forum’s John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn.  The cost is $850.
  • 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.
  • Looking for financing for your journalism business? FundingPost.com is hosting an angel and venture capitalist event Aug. 24 in New York City.  A panel of investors will focus on Early-Stage Venture Investing, discussing
    how to meet investors, pitch them, and what it  takes to get that check.  The event costs $75.  There will also be an Optional Pitching Workshop Lunch from 11am-1pm for $350. The  Lunch Workshop includes the $75 ticket to the event, and a 1/4 page listing in the Venture Guide Magazine. Most importantly, it includes a 2-minute Pitching Spot to the Investors during the event!
  • 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 is offering a Webinar – Develop Business Angles on Any Beat – Sept 14.  Chad Graham, social media editor at The Arizona Republic, and Robin J. Phillips, Reynolds Center Web managing editor, will co-present this one-hour Webinar that will be of interest to all journalists and editors who understand the importance of exploring the business angle of every story.
  • 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.
  • Think like Google — what you need to know about SEO is a Webinar being offered by the Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute on Oct. 19.  The hour-long session will help reporters and editors understand the Web and how search engines find online content, explain some fundamentals of SEO and why journalists should care and  give journalists tips and tools for writing good headline and ledes for the Web.
  • Registration is now open for the Online News Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 28-30.
  • The Donald J. Reynolds Journalism Institute is offering the Webinar Writing Business News for the Web Dec. 1-2.  This Webinar will help writers and editors write with clarity, efficiency, brevity and transparency.

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!

Friday Fast Five – The Google Edition

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

On Wednesday, Google announced that it was ending its development of the much-hyped, but less understood Google Wave.  I had several of my journalist friends rave about the Wave, but none of them could really explain to me how it works.  There was a great YouTube video (warning! profanity!) that came out using clips from “Pulp Fiction” to explain it, but it was more amusing that informative.

So that leads to today’s Friday Fast Five-plus five.  I’m going over all the tools in the Google arsenal that are useful for journalists.  If I’m missing anything, please drop me a line and let me know.   Enjoy!

  1. 10000 Words — 5 Cool and unexpected uses of Google Street View
  2. Google Tools for Journalists Australia — Google Trends: Compare what’s hot with what’s not
  3. MakeUseOf — 3 Google Tricks When You Don’t Know What to Search For
  4. Mashable — 5 Essential Tools for the Mobile Journalist (one tool they highlight is Google Voice)
  5. All Things Digital — Another Google Gift to Publishers: Slideshow-Ready Stats!
  6. MakeUseOf — 6 Reasons GTalk is The Best Free Instant Messaging Service
  7. Web Worker Daily — Creative Ways to Use Google Voice
  8. Lifehacker — Top 10 Clever Google Voice Tricks
  9. IJNet — Google tools for journalists: Part 1
  10. IJNet — Google tools for journalists: Part 2

Getting Into the Entrepreneurial Spirit

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

One of the best things about this year’s National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair was all the workshops, panels and training on how to be a journalist and an entrepreneur.

Sheila Brooks, founder and CEO of SRB Communications, LLC taught the Entrepreneur LEARNING LAB: “It’s All About Business: Strategies to Leverage Your Talents and Relationships.”  NABJ Media Institute Chairman Doug Mitchell was among those teaching the two-day New U: News Entrepreneurs Working through UNITY seminar.  Valerie Coleman Morris taught the workshop Mind Over Money Matters: Tips from an INTRApreneur.  And there was the Funding Innovative Ideas panel moderated by Mike Green, a former journalist and CEO of Vizitnow3D.

If you didn’t get to attend NABJ 2010, the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University is holding a FREE online Webinar Aug. 9-13 — How to be an entrepreneur as a business journalist.  The course will be taught by NABJ member and freelance journalist Maya Payne Smart of Writing Coach, along with the Poynter Institute’s “Ask-the Recruiter” blogger Joe Grimm.

Topics during the week-long Webinar include: the nuts and bolts of setting up a journalism-based business; how to maintain your social and mental health; marketing yourself; and branding yourself.  The Webinar will end with Joe Grimm moderating a live chat with five successful journalist entrepreneurs.

Too many times we have complained that our members don’t hear about training opportunities like this, so here’s the information.  Did I mention that this training is free?  I encourage you to click on this link to sign up for this free Webinar.

Please-Vote for Finalists in the Black Weblog Awards

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

The list of finalists from the Black Weblog Awards have been released.  I’m happy to note that one of the blogs I recommended and NABJDigital has profiled — Haute Travels –  made it as a finalist in the Travel category.

I really hope that everyone will participate by voting.  There are some really great blogs about and for people of color, and they deserve the recognition that this award brings.  Some of the finalists I’ve discovered because of this blog includes: Afrobella; Bossip; Very Smart Brothas; The Black Snob; and Kiratiana Travels.  And NABJDigital has also profiled nominees Haute Travels and Black Girl With Long Hair.

Voting ends on Aug. 31, and the winners will be announced on Sept. 1.

NABJ 2010 San Diego – A Big Success!

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

I’m going to say what many members of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) were thinking about this year’s conference in San Diego – it wouldn’t be a success.  They’ll never make that room block. The hotel  was too expensive.  Our mostly East Coast membership would not spend the money to come to the West Coast.  We all heard this, and admit it – you agreed with some or all of the statements.

NABJ Flag over USS Midway Photo by Benet J. Wilson

I made the commitment to attend this year’s conference early on.  And considering the wealth of information that was available to attendees, it was well worth it to attend.  Now, I do admit that it’s easier for me, since my employer pays for me to go.  But I would have attended regardless. Why? I  need the knowledge passed along  by our members and experts in the field to keep current.  But I also need the fellowship, the family and the love I get at the annual conference.

I write about an industry – aviation/aerospace – where there aren’t a whole lot of people who look like me.   It applies to the players in the industry and it applies to the journalists that cover it.  As a Rubenesque Black woman with braids, glasses to match every outfit and a propensity to wear clothing that stands out in a sea of black, blue and grey suits, going to NABJ allows me to see others who look like me doing the important business of journalism.

NABJ PR/Journalism Workshop Photo by Benet J. Wilson

I got to pass along my skills, via participating on panels, to members who are in transition, who are looking for new ways to do their jobs and who are trying to become the next big thing in journalism.  I got to meet with students and young people and talk with them about their careers and what they want to do.  I got to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

And most importantly, I had the chance to sit in on the NABJ Board Meeting to check on the status of our organization and what the board is doing to ensure our survival during these trying times.  Using social media tools including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, I was able to keep members who weren’t able to attend informed about all the activities in my own way.

Philly Chapter Party Photo by Benet J Wilson

And even though my party days are long over, I had a fantastic time at the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists’ kick-off party.  It was the perfect mix of old school and nu skool music that kept the dance floor crowded from beginning to end.  And as I prepared to go home, I already have ideas on what I want to do to make the Philly conference the best it can be.

The Digital Journalism Task Force will play a much bigger role in the lives of NABJ members leading up to the conference.  We will be holding monthly webinars that will showcase the latest in tools, tricks and technology so we can all stay in the game. We’ll be working much more closely with the Visual Task Force and the NABJ Media Institute for relevant training.  And we will be partnering with more organizations and universities to ensure a steady pipeline of information that our members want.