Posted in multimedia journalist, Social Media, Webinars

Choosing My Social Media Influencers

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

Back on Sept. 22, The Poynter Institute, as part of its 35-year anniversary celebration, asked journalists to help it choose 35 influential people in social media — both in and outside of journalism.  Mandy Jenkins, owner of the Zombie Journalism blog and social media producer at did a blog post on four people who have influenced her, so I thought I’d take a crack with my own picks.

  • Josh Hallett, Voce Communications and  I had been dabbling in social media, but didn’t take it to the next level until I heard Josh’s presentation on the possibilities of social media at a conference back in June 2007.  As a result, I completely revamped the way I approach journalism.  You still need the basic tools – writing, reporting and editing — but social media has been a boon in enhancing my work.
  • Mark Luckie, The Digital Journalist’s Handbook, Washington Post and the 10000 Words blog.  I met Mark at my very first NABJ annual conference in Indianapolis back in 2006.  His blogging panel planted the see to what became my employer’s first official blog.  His 10000 Words blog has been my multimedia sherpa and he LITERALLY wrote the book on how to become an effective digital journalist.
  • Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University journalism professor and new media guru at  I attended Sree’s social media for journalists seminar in Washington, D.C., which gave me practical tips specifically targeted to my work.  He also taught me the true power of LinkedIn.
  • Vadim Lavrusik, community manager at Mashable, digital journalism blogger and Columbia University social media adjunct professor.  His journalism-specific posts on Mashable — including 8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist and The Future of Social Media in Journalism — constantly make me rethink how I’m doing my job and whether I’m adapting to the new media realities.
  • Jessica Faye Carter, Mashable contributor,  founder and CEO of Nette Media and creator of Black Social Media Professionals.  She is a pioneer in showing companies on how to use social media and technology to reach women and multicultural communities. She is also a strong advocate for more diversity in social media.
  • Shireen Mitchell, AKA Digitalsista.  She is probably the biggest cheerleader for women to get involved in technology and new media, and many times, has been the lone minority representative at industry conferences and seminars on these topics.

I’m sure I’ll think of 10 more people once this is published.  But I’ll put the question to you: who are your social media influences?  Put them in our comments section and I’ll compile them for a future blog post!



Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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