Posted in Education, Equipment, journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Friday Fast Five

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

Editor’s note: the replay of today’s  NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force  BlogTalkRadio “In the Thick of My Career: Searching for the ‘New Me,’” is now posted, here.  Click here for the replay of our first show in this series — “The Young & the Restless: Keeping Hope & Journalism Alive,” which aired on April 15.  Our third and final show in the series will be “Laid Off, Bought Out & Scared: Managing My Life and Finances.”  This session with Past NABJ President Sidmel Estes of BreakThrough Inc., targets journalists who may have recently lost their jobs or fear they may lose them. We’ll discuss what you can do now to prepare for the worst, how you adjust to life without the office and offer Budgeting 101 tips.

  1. 10000 WordsTools of the day: and Connect a Sketch
  2. NetworkedInvestigative Reporting 2.0
  3. Journalists’ ToolkitSoundslides: Getting started, tips and help
  4. MakeUseOf 5 Tips To Perform A Smarter & Faster Google Map Search
  5. SmartBlog on Social MediaUsing videos to amp up your blog
Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education

NABJDigital Interviews Online News Association Co-chair Michelle Johnson

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

I joined the Online News Association about a year ago, and am a member of the organization’s Diversity Committee.  One of the people I met at last year’s annual conference was ONA11 conference co-chair Michelle Johnson. Johnson is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and an associate professor of the practice, Journalism, at Boston University.  She’s a former  editor for the Boston Globe and was part of the team that launched the Globe’s award-winning regional website,  NABJDigital interviewed Johnson about what attendees can expect ONA11 and why NABJ members should consider attending.
Michelle Johnson

NABJDigital: How did you become ONA11 conference co-chair?

Michelle Johnson: Two years ago at ONA’s conference in San Francisco, I ran into some colleagues from Boston who were chatting in the hallway and one of them collared me and said “this conference needs to be in Boston.”  I responded, “Absolutely.”  The Boston area is a serious hub of innovation across a broad spectrum of industries, including media. It will be a great showcase for what’s now and what’s next in online journalism and technology.
ND: Why should NABJ members also consider joining ONA?
MJ: As online continues to grow, it’s important for journalists of color to be on top of the trends and issues related to new media. ONA’s primary focus is online journalism, the latest trends in technology and lots of related issues such as net neutrality and the Wikileaks case. ONA’s not just for geeks. Yes, there are some geeky journalists in ONA; and there are also plenty of veteran journalists who started in traditional media, as well as folks who don’t work specifically for online.
ONA conferences are incredibly upbeat. People are practically bouncing off the walls with ideas and energy. Everyone’s excited about the growth of digital media. It’s impossible to come away from an ONA event or conference without some new ideas or knowledge.
ND: With so many journalism organizations competing for convention goers, why should NABJ members also consider attending ONA11?
MJ: Several reasons:  1) If they work for online, ONA is the place to be for networking and keeping on to top of skills and issues related directly to online.
2)  If NABJ members don’t work specifically for online but want to pick up some skills and ideas for incorporating new media tools into what they do, there’s plenty available for them, too. There’s always programming that’s meant to appeal to journalists with varying backgrounds and interests. For instance, some of the more popular sessions at last year’s convention covered the basics on how to use tools like Google and Twitter. You’d assume that everyone in ONA knows that sort of thing already. Well, guess what? Many do, but some don’t. There’s something for everyone at ONA.
3) Like a lot of the professional journalism associations, ONA has a growing segment of academic members who’ve left the industry and now teach. There’s a pretty robust academic group with a very active Facebook page.
4) We need to represent and be a part of innovating. We can continue to complain about the lack of people of color in digital media, or seek to be a part of it. We can wonder why there are no apps or sites that carry content that we care about, or we can create them.
ND: What types of programming/keynotes can attendees expect this year?
MJ: You can expect programming that’s exciting and jam-packed. We’ve gotten a ton of great proposals for sessions that will be released shortly. Some will focus on what’s hot right now. Others on what’s coming soon. Boston and nearby Cambridge are technology hubs. Cambridge is home to the MIT Media Lab, and both cities house a number of incubators working on cool media-related apps and services. We’ll be showcasing this innovation and how it’s impacting online journalism at ONA 11.
We’re also working to bring in some major names in journalism and technology, with a special emphasis on including a diverse range of voices in the sessions and the keynotes.
Attendees will also be treated to fall in New England: fantastic food, shopping, cultural and historical spots. (Don’t miss historic sites such as the African Meeting House, 54th Regiment Monument and the Black Heritage Trail.) Depending on when they arrive, attendees can also catch a Red Sox game.
ND: ONA has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity. What is being done this year to counter that criticism?
MJ: First, everyone involved in selecting programming for ONA 11 has been given the charge to keep the mix in mind. That means looking at everything from speakers to workshops and making an effort to get everyone into the conversation. There has been some buzz of late about tech-related conferences not being that inclusive. We’re going to address that issue head-on with a session this year.
And, on a personal note, I had stopped going to ONA a few years back because I didn’t really feel that comfortable. When I returned a couple of years ago, I felt like that things had changed. It wasn’t so much that there were a slew of people of color, but I felt like those who were there were making a difference. There are people of color on ONA’s board and in the membership. If I didn’t feel like the atmosphere had changed enough, I wouldn’t be a co-chair of ONA 11.
ND: What do you think will be the top 3 things attendees take away from this year’s convention?
MJ: 1) Something new. And that could be anything from ideas and knowledge about tools and techniques to help you do your job better, to a new perspective about a timely issue. It could also be new skills. Particularly if they sign up for the pre-conference day-long workshop which will offer hands on training.
2)  Food for thought. It’s hard to walk away from ONA without having been challenged by some new idea, some thought-provoking discussion, or something that makes you say, “hmmmm.”
3) Energy and contacts. (OK, that’s two things!) Seriously, though, networking at ONA is energizing. You meet so many people doing cool stuff, it’s really uplifting.
ND: What can ONA members do to help make ONA11 successful?
MJ: Show up! We’re working hard to make this a great conference. It’s sold out for the last couple of years, so we have high expectations that will happen again.  I’m a little biased, but I think this is going to be a stellar conference. In large part ONA is great because the members are so into it. So, you’ve got a great, historic, convention city that’s a hub of innovation, and jazzed, innovative journalists. How could ONA 11 not be fantastic?
Editor’s note: registration for ONA11 is now open.  The cost is $399 for members through May 31.  The cost is $499 through July 31 and $599 through September 13.  The show sells out every year, so I encourage you to register sooner rather than later.  And AirTran and Southwest Airlines are offering some great fares to Boston around convention time!
Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Social Media Correspondent, TwitterNewsChat, Uncategorized

The Social Media Correspondents

Social Media Correspondents

Houston Journalists Carve a Niche

By Ameena Rasheed, Texas Southern University Journalism Major

Texas Southern University’s young journalists have been carving a niche for themselves in the world of journalism coupling their reporting skills with social media. They call themselves “Social Media Correspondents.”

As Social Media Correspondents, the students use various social media platforms to report on a myriad of topics ranging from entertainment to politics. They post news leads every day via Twitter using the “#TwitterNewsChat” hashtag.

Journalist and TSU Journalism Professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker developed the Social Media Correspondents team and edits all content they produce.

Walker has equipped her students with the ability to proficiently use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Podbean, and several blog platforms.  Armed with laptops, digital cameras, digital voice recorders, video cameras and  smartphones, she sends her students out to cover multiple stories and events.

Chief Social Media Correspondent Kenneth Ware Jr. uses this experience as a means to be a more well-rounded  journalist.

 “I have concocted innovative ways to tell stories on a wide variety of platforms which has elevated my journalism skills,” says Ware.

Social Media Correspondent and Radio, Television and Film major, Samantha Vallejo agrees, noting that being part of the Social Media Correspondents team keeps her on her toes.

“The lessons I am learning are invaluable. Being an effective reporter requires journalists to always be ready for a breaking story. As a Social Media Correspondent, I am able to immediately turn the events around me into an interesting news story,” says Vallejo.

In this new age of digital journalism, the students realize that strong reporting and writing skills are no longer enough. Being multidimensional in the newsroom is no longer an option, but now a must.

Social Media Correspondent Alex Green explains.

 “Learning and being familiar with social media is so important because social media is influencing all aspects of journalism,” says Green.

To keep up with the Texas Southern University Social Media Correspondents, follow them on Twitter @smcorrespondents, “Like” them on Facebook (search: Social Media Correspondents) and check out their blog

Posted in Entrepreneur, Social Media

Interview with Ananda Leeke of The Digital Sisterhood Project

By Kiratiana Freelon, DJTF, Author, Kiratiana’s Travel Guide to Black Paris 
The digital footprint of Ananda Leeke touches everything—video, talkshows, blogs, twitter chats—and she touches everything with a purpose. She doesn’t use these tools just to promote herself. She uses them to help people and to create strong digital communities. In the last year, she has launched multiple online projects related to The Digital Sisterhood Network, and the Feminism Online Network. She also uses her influence to help non-profit organizations in Washington, D.C. and abroad.  In the interview below, Ananda, a woman with six titles, talks about how she manages to do everything and what she’s doing the rest of the year.

ND: What do you do?

AL: I like to call myself woman with six titles. It has been a challenge to wrap my head around everything I do – author, artist, coach, yoga teacher and innerpreneur (someone who has the will to do what is within himself and treats it as a business).

As a yoga teacher, I practice and I teach it online and offline. As a coach, I am a creativity coach. I work with entrepreneurs and creative professionals in helping them develop what is the game plan in what they want to do with their business. In that coaching process a lot of my clients have not developed a liking for social media. I also help them incorporate social media tools that will help them.

ND: What do you consider your biggest success digitally?

AL: Right now The Digital Sisterhood Network is my biggest success. It is coming from a place deeper than me. This is not about me and my promotion of a novel or book. This is about “Digital Sisterhood.” Digital Sisterhood is the feminine currency women use to create relationship wealth through the connections they make, conversations they have, communities they build, causes they support, collaborative partnerships they establish, and commerce they engage in with women they meet online and offline.

This is morphing into a digital movement. This thing called digital sisterhood is now a movement of self-care, self-discovery and social justice for women in social media.

The Digital Sisterhood Network includes ten projects and initiatives that serve women in social media. See below:

1) Digital Sisterhood Wednesdays give women in social media a weekly opportunity to build and strengthen their communities. Each week women are encouraged to celebrate and promote their digital sisters by using the #FF (Friday Follow) format. They are also encouraged to tweet about their digital sisters’ businesses, wisdom, creativity, blogs, Facebook pages, causes, videos, and web sites. In addition, monthly tweetchats are held.

2) Digital Sisterhood Monthly Tweetchats give women in social media an opportunity to chat about issues, interests, and causes they support.

3) Digital Sisterhood Month, an annual month-long celebration held in December, gives women in social media an opportunity to celebrate their connections, conversations, communities, collaborative partnerships, and commerce.

4) Digital Sisterhood Network is a web site that houses Digital Sisterhood’s projects and initiatives.

5) Digital Sisterhood Blogger-in-Residence Program serves a woman living with health opportunities (transformed the word challenges into opportunities) in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.The Blogger-in-Residence for 2011-2012 is lifestyle bloggerKamaria T. Richmond.

6) Digital Sisterhood Radio features interviews with women in social media and people who self-identify as feminists and womanists. The Stroke Diva Fabulous Show hosted by Blogger-in-Residence Kamaria T. Richmond also airs on Digital Sisterhood Radio.

7) Digital Sisterhood Legacy Campaign invites women in social media and technology to help one woman or girl in their life or community who needs assistance in understanding, accessing, and using social media, the Internet, and/or technology.   By sharing what they know, women in social media and technology will create an individual and collective digital sisterhood legacy that increases the number of social media, Internet, and technology savvy women and girls.

8) Digital Sisterhood Unplugged! is a self-care initiative that encourages women in social media to step away from their technology and social media tools and unplug for an hour, half-day, full day, weekend, week, month or longer so they can take a break and recharge themselves. This year the Digital Sisterhood Network is observing Digital Sisterhood Unplugged Sundays on the third Sunday of each month beginning in April.

9) Feminism Online Project celebrates the rainbow chorus of feminist voices in the digital world through the Digital Sisterhood Network web site, Talkshoe radio show, Twitter page, and Tweetchats.  Through these efforts, a diverse group of feminist voices are profiled and a range of feminist issues are discussed.  The Project runs from March to May.

10) Digital Sisterhood@DC She Writers Meet Up is a community building initiative that sponsors quarterly meet ups for Washington, DC area women writers at Teaism (Penn Quarter location), a woman-owned cafe. is an online community for women writers with more than 35 She Writers Meet Up communities in the USA and beyond.

ND: So tell us about thethe Blogger in Residence program. Why did you start this?

AL: Since March, Kamaria Richmond has used her Cinchcast audio blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page to share her lifestyleblogging adventures.

I was inspired by Kamaria Richmond’s desire to learn about social media and the many conversations we had about her health challenges.  I developed the program to serve Kamaria.

Kamaria has also hosted her Stroke Diva Fabulous show on Digital Sisterhood Radio each month.  Her next show airs on May 1 from 7:30 pm ET to 8:15 pm ET. These social media tools are helping her explore whatever is on her mind. She was a former buyer at Nordstrom and in 2004 she had a stroke. She had to learn how to read, write, walk and talk.  Click on the link to learn more about Kamaria:

Her web sites are below.

Talkshoe radio show:

ND: Social justice is also a very important part of your mission. What organizations do you support and how do you support them?

AL: As the Heart of Haiti blogger ambassador, I traveled with a team of bloggers to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in February.  During that trip, we visited KOFAVIV, an organization that supports women and girls who have been victims of violence.  I am currently exploring ways to support KOFAVIV later this year. Click on the link to read about my visit to KOFAVIV:

Prior to my Haiti trip, I made a financial commitment to support FONKOZE, the largest microfinance organization that helps women in Haiti.  So far they have served more than 45,000 borrowers. I set up a Crowdrise fundraising page. Later this year I will actively seek funding for this organization.

ND: And you do yoga to help support this?

AL: When I do the online yoga, I am asking them to donate to FONKOZE. I don’t charge anything for the live streaming show so I am asking them to support my Crowdrise page.

The other organization I decided to support is The WOMEN’s COLLECTIVE, staffed by women living with HIV/AIDS. I have been connected with them since 2002. I also set up a Crowdrise page for the agency and will actively seek funding for this organization later this year.

ND: You also focus on Feminism. Tell us about it.

In March, I launched a project called The Feminism Online Projectwhich celebrates the rainbow chorus of feminist voices in the digital world through the Digital Sisterhood Network web site, radio show, Twitter page, and Tweetchats.  These efforts will take place through May.  Through these efforts, a diverse group of feminist voices are profiled and a range of feminist issues are discussed.  They will be included as research for my book Digital Sisterhood, a memoir (December 2011).

ND: Two years ago, when I first joined twitter and other digital platforms, I noticed that you were everywhere! How do you decide when you want to tackle a new digital platform?

AL: I LOVE the Internet. I loved it when I logged on for the first time in 1995. I am fascinated by the tools that have come out I try them out. I try to find things that are easy for me. The audio and video are easy for me.

ND: How do you manage all of it?

I try to find things that are easy to use. So with the Kickstarter fundraiser, I decided to try it. That was something I saw other people using. They are big risk takers. You just try it once. If it doesn’t work, then you keep moving.

ND: Were you ever afraid of any the tools you are using now?

AL: I was afraid of the smart phone. I just got a smart phone in 2009. I was afraid of the touch screen with the iPhone because I like to type and feel things. But I got an iPad for Christmas. I am really starting to enjoy that touch piece of it. I don’t tweet out in public because I am afraid I am going to miss what is happening. I am a live blogger if I can do an audio blog. I want to focus. I still don’t know how to use to get the photos from my phone on to the web. I’m still kind of old school because I don’t use all of my phone the way that I should.

ND: If there a person who was afraid of trying new things like video blogging or audio blogging, what one piece of advice you would give them?

AL: Pick one tool and use it. If they have a great voice, try audio blogging. A lot of people do NOT read. Most journalists that I have met have great voices. Many of them are great on video. Again, people don’t read. They could also host an Ustream TV show. They can have a conversation online. If you take photos, it’s just a live version of you. When they do that, they can add a link to their article. People want to know who you are. That makes a big difference.

ND: The NABJ Community would love to support you. What can we do?

AL: 1)  They can tweet #DigitalSisterhood every Wednesday. Every Wednesday, we tweet our favorite digital sister and/or organizations that correspond to campaigns, causes, and national events. That follows the FOLLOW Friday format. #digitalsisterhood

2)   They can participate in the upcoming tweetchats by checking the event schedule for May, June or later this summer:

3)   They can listen to the digital sisterhood radio show. Click on the link:

4)   If they have digital sisterhood stories, click on the link to share them:


Posted in Awards, Conferences & Conventions, Education, Entrepreneur, journalism, Social Media, Webinar

Calendar of Multimedia Training, Events & Fellowships

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 hereYou 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 Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University has updated its calendar of free workshops and webinars from now through May 2011.  And Media Bistro has its current course list available through the end of June.


  • The NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force will host a BlogTalkRadio show, In the Thick of My Career: Searching for the ‘New Me, April 29 at noon EDT. Neil Foote of Foote Communications and the University of North Texas, will show mid-career professionals how to revamp their skills and become more tech savvy. Panelists will discuss what a journalist in the digital age must do to improve their skills, offer advice on creating a blog or website, outline how to use the most popular digital media tools and use the power of your network and personal relationships. He’ll also offer tips on how to create a personal business plan as part of launching a start-up company.
  • Social Media Club’s Social Media Camp: San Diego will be held April 30.  Social Media Camp is a one day education and networking event for the local community of social media professionals and those seeking to learn social media in a high energy, collaborative environment. The main focus of Social Media Camp is to provide a low cost opportunity for the unemployed and underemployed to learn core social media job skills that will help them find a new job, or get ahead in the job they have.
  • The third annual BarCamp NewsInnovation unconference will be held April 30 in Philadelphia at Temple University’s Alter Hall.  This free event is an annual, one-day national unconference on journalism innovation and the future of news as explored by practitioners and friends. In 2011, BCNI will run concurrently with an Open Gov Hackathon presented by Tropo.


  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is holding a free Webinar, “15 tips on time management for business journalists,” May 3.  Participants will learn simple things they can immediately incorporate into their daily work and personal lives that will allow them to juggle more efficiently. You can attend the hour-long, interactive session at either noon or 4 p.m. EDT on May 3.
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is holding a free Webinar, “Beyond Google: Mining the Web for company intelligence: Online,” May 17-18 at noon or 4:00 p.m. EST.  Here’s a chance to learn the tools and techniques that competitive intelligence experts use every day — and that you can use to keep tabs on the companies on your beat.
  • The NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force will host a BlogTalkRadio show, “Laid Off, Bought Out & Scared: Managing My Life and Finances,” at noon on Friday, May 20, with Past NABJ President Sidmel Estes of BreakThrough Inc.. This session targets journalists who may have recently lost their jobs or fear they may lose them. We’ll discuss what you can do now to prepare for the worst, how you adjust to life without the office and offer Budgeting 101 tips. An attorney also will discuss what you need to know before you sign any exit paperwork.
  • Webb Media Group is holding an online Tech Trends Micro-Conference May 21.  You’ll get a thorough look into the web, mobile and tablet technologies that are changing our media landscape. We’ll also preview the new products and tools that are set to debut later in the year.  The cost is $59.95.
  • The Online News Association has opened applications for its new MJ Bear Fellowships, which identify and celebrate young digital journalists, working independently or for a company or organization, who have demonstrated — through professional experimentation, research or other projects — that they deserve support for their efforts and/or vision. Three fellows will be selected, two in the United States or Canada and one internationally. Fellows will earn: assignment of a personal ONA mentor for six months; registration, travel and accommodations for the 2011 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet (ONA11) in Boston, Sept. 22-24; recognition at the ONA11 conference; and membership in ONA, with one year’s dues paid in full.  Any working, digital journalist age 23-30 (as of Sept. 22, 2011), fluent in English, excluding full-time students, is eligible to apply.  The application and all materials must be received by Monday, May 30, 2011, 11:59 p.m. ET.


  • The International Press Institute (IPI) contest is offering grants to advancing the future of news by funding new ways to digitally inform communities in Europe, Middle East and Africa. IPI is supporting projects from profit or non-profit organizations and individuals that revolve around online news that advances press freedom, the development of more sustainable business models and the training of journalists.  The application deadline is June 1.
  • Internet Week New York City is being held June 6-13.  Internet Week is a week-long festival of events celebrating New York’s thriving internet industry and community.
  • Applications for this year’s Knight-Batten Awards is now open.  The contest is open to all news efforts originating between May 1, 2010, and June 6, 2011.  Entries need not be specific stories, but rather demonstrative of innovation and could consist of networked journalism projects, new social networking ideas, innovative citizen media initiatives, news games, creative use of mobile devices, data mining ideas, new online applications, augmented reality experiences, or other advances in interactive and participatory journalism or out-of-the-box thinking. Entries may also employ simple efforts that notably connect in new ways with a community.  Applications cost $50, and are due June 6.
  • The National Press Foundation’s 7th Retirement Issues Program, June 12-15 in Washington, D.C., will help journalists keep up with the changes. Fellows will have on-the-record access to leading retirement experts from the federal government, think tanks and interest groups. Fifteen fellowships will be awarded to qualified print, broadcast and online journalists. To apply, fill out our new, simplified online application form. Applications must be received by 5:00 PM EST April 18, 2011. Selected journalists will be notified 2 to 4 weeks after the application deadline.
  • The Knight Digital Media Center at UC Berkeley has opened applications for its Web 2.0 workshop June 13-17.  This training takes participants through the progression of reporting news for multiple digital platforms, starting with quick text posts and moving through photos and video and finally ending with a full multimedia presentation. The workshop provides hands-on training using Twitter and Facebook for reporting and driving web traffic, creating data-driven map mashups, dynamically updating a blog for breaking news, publishing photo galleries and audio slideshows, producing videos and editing videos using Final Cut Pro.  The deadline to apply is April 25.
  • The #140conf: NYC – Exploring “The State of NOW” will be held June 15-16 at the 92nd Street Y.
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is holding a free Webinar, “10 Tips for Turning National Stories into Great Local Ones,” June 21 at noon or 4:00 p.m. EDT.  Listeners will learn how to localize hot national stories.


  • Media Bistro is holding an online Entrepreneurial Journalism Boot Camp July 12-Aug. 30.  The camp features online entrepreneurs Rafat Ali (paidContent), Michelle Madhok (SheFinds Media), Laurel Touby (, and many more. Learn what to consider when launching your start-up. Draft your business plan over eight weeks with the help of your peers. Participants will vote on the most viable business plans in the group and the winner will have the chance to hear feedback from entrepreneur and venture capitalist Larry Kramer (Polaris Ventures), who will also answer questions from the group. The cost is $399 if you register by June 14; after that, it’s $499.
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is holding a free Webinar, “Unlocking Financial Statements,” July 18-22.  The weeklong online seminar covers income statements, balance sheets, cash flows and writing about numbers.
  • The University of Southern California’s Reporting on Health is taking applications for its National Health Journalism Fellowship, being held July 24-29.  This Fellowship is open to professional journalists from print, broadcast, and online media around the country, including freelancers. Applicants need not be fulltime health reporters, but they need to have a passion for health news (broadly defined). Applications from ethnic media journalists are strongly encouraged, as are applications proposing collaborative projects between mainstream and ethnic news outlets.  Applications are due May 2.


  • The National Association of Black Journalists is holding its annual convention and career fair Aug. 3-7, 2011, in Philadelphia.  Professional journalists, students and educators will take part in full- and half-day seminars designed to strengthen and enhance their skills. Workshops throughout the five-day convention will highlight journalism ethics, entrepreneurship, specialized journalism and transitioning journalism skills to book publishing, screen writing and media relations.
  • The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) will host a Student Mentorship and Training Program at its annual LGBT Media Summit & Convention Aug. 25 to 28 in Philadelphia. Each year, NLGJA chooses students from across the country to participate in its student project — providing real-world experience to undergraduate and graduate students who are considering a career in journalism. To apply, students simply fill out an application, attaching the requested items found on the NLGJA website, and return them to NLGJA by June 10.  If chosen, NLGJA will pay for the selected student’s convention attendance, airfare, food and hotel at the convention site.


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 Education, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Friday Fast Five + Five – The Mashable Edition

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

Editor’s note: please join the NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force for a BlogTalkRadio show, “In the Thick of My Career: Searching for the ‘New Me,'” April 29 at noon EDT. Neil Foote of Foote Communications and the University of North Texas, will show mid-career professionals how to revamp their skills and become more tech savvy.   And click here for the replay of our first show in this series — “The Young & the Restless: Keeping Hope & Journalism Alive,” which aired on April 15.  Our third and final show in the series will be “Laid Off, Bought Out & Scared: Managing My Life and Finances.”  This session with Past NABJ President Sidmel Estes of BreakThrough Inc., targets journalists who may have recently lost their jobs or fear they may lose them. We’ll discuss what you can do now to prepare for the worst, how you adjust to life without the office and offer Budgeting 101 tips.

As you know, I keep a Mashable bookmark folder on my laptop for these Fast Five tips.  This particular folder is bursting at the seams, so I deleted some items and decided to throw out the rest as a five plus five bonus edition.  Enjoy!

  1. HOW TO: Turn Your Facebook Profile Photo Into a Video
  2. 10 Online Tools and Tips for the Budding Entrepreneur
  3. HOW TO: Jump-Start Your Career by Becoming an Online Influencer
  4. Lanyrd Keeps Your Conference Life On Track, Via Twitter
  5. Bring Your Tumblr Content to WordPress With Ease
  6. Is Developing a Mobile App Worth the Cost?
  7. 44 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed
  8. 8 Simple Ways to Improve Your YouTube Channel
  9. HOW TO: Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Website
  10. HOW TO: Hire a Great Web Designer, With Y Combinator’s Garry Tan
Posted in Awards, Conferences & Conventions, Social Media

Nominations Open For The Black Weblog Awards

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

About a year ago, I had the chance to do a two-part interview with Maurice Cherry.  Part one covered how he created the Black Weblog Awards, which showcases the best and brightest in the Black blogosphere in more than 30 categories.  Since creating the awards back in 2005, Cherry has watched it grow.  This year, he has shifted the nominations and awards dates so that winners can be presented live at the Blogging While Brown conference, scheduled for July 8-10 in Los Angeles.

“When I spoke at the 2010 Blogging While Brown Conference, it was a rare opportunity to not just be recognized for the Black Weblog Awards, but to speak directly with voters, nominees, and winners,” says Cherry. “Since I had supported the Blogging While Brown Conference since day one, the thought of collaborating for the 2011 Black Weblog Awards was a no-brainer.”

But in order to accommodate the schedule for Blogging While Brown, as well as the location, there are some significant changes to the overall schedule for the Black Weblog Awards, says Cherry.  “In the past, the Black Weblog Awards was a full summer event which transpired from June to September,” he explains. “Now, our nomination period has been shortened to two weeks, and our finalist voting period has been shortened to a month.” Nominations begin today, he adds.

And this year, even more categories are being added.  “Even though we have more than 35 categories, there are still corners of the blogosphere that deserve recognition. So in order to expand our offerings to reach as much of the Black blogosphere as possible, we are currently accepting categories,” says Cherry.  Some that have already been submitted include Inspirational Blog, Best Fiction Blog and Best Lifestyle Blog.

In 2010, the award program received more than 27,000 ballots for its finalists, says Cherry. “I think with the live show, we should definitely exceed those numbers!”

Cherry is using the usual social media channels, including Twitter (@blkweblogawards) and Facebook, as well as via his huge email list, to get the word out about the awards.

Cherry began efforts last year to find sponsors for the awards.  “Last year was a real lesson for us when it came to actively seeking sponsorship. It’s the first year we really actively sought out sponsors, and it was a good learning experience,” he says. “Now that we are collaborating with the Blogging While Brown Conference, that doesn’t mean that we’re not looking for sponsors, because putting on a live show is still quite an undertaking! So if you’re a business or company that supports our mission and wants to help us, we want to hear from you!”

Cherry urges people who have just found out about the awards to enter.  “We get people every year who find out about the Awards and then say `oh, I’ll enter next year.’ Why wait? Why not throw your hat in the ring and get your readers involved?” he asks. “It’s all about knowing your blog’s worth and knowing your unique voice in the blogosphere. That’s why you should enter your blog.”

Journalists, especially National Association of Black Journalists members, should participate in the awards, says Cherry.  “There may be a few journalists who get it, but being able to embrace the new media as well as those are successfully navigating it is still a challenge to overcome,” he observes.

You can see the complete list of winners in 2010 here.