Posted in Equipment, journalism, multimedia journalist, News, Social Media

NABJDigital Profiles The Washington Post’s Hamil Harris

By Jeannine Hunter, News Producer, Washington Post

Hamil Harris

Long before sunrise Easter morning, Washington Post reporter Hamil Harris was hard at work. His Twitter followers received updates about the atmosphere inside the historic Shiloh Baptist Church in D.C. where President Obama and his family worshipped. Harris tweeted and took pictures before and after the worship service the Obamas attended, filed an update for one of the newspaper’s blogs and contributed to the paper’s Easter coverage. Later, he created and uploaded a video clip.

These actions are steps many writers deploy nowadays as part of their newsgathering and storytelling, and the award-winning journalist took time to discuss incorporating them into his work. Harris, author of “Career Diary of a Newspaper Reporter: Gardner ‘s Guide Series,” covers individuals and issues in communities around the greater Washington , D.C. , area as well as religion and race relations.

NABJDigital: I attended a sunrise service so I was awake early Sunday morning and noticed your tweets before 6 a.m. Is this common for you on big news days?

Hamil Harris: I have never missed reporting and writing about President Obama going to church since he was elected. I guess it is like a self-appointed beat. It all started on the eve of the inauguration when the President attended 19th Baptist Church. I knew that the church would be packed, because our people just can’t keep secrets.

The key is getting there early because the fire marshal will stop people from going in at a certain point. Usually the President goes to church at least twice a year, the Sunday before MLK Day and Easter. In January, he worshipped at the Metropolitan AME Church and last Easter he worshipped at Allen AME in Southeast [both in Washington , D.C. ]. In both cases, I got to the church before 7 a.m. because some people arrive as early as 4 a.m.

ND: How long have you worked at the Post?

HH: I have been working for the Washington Post since January of 1992. My first big story was the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. I was part of a group of reporters who reported that day. My anecdote about a man in wheelchair who came to the inauguration, Marshall Hull, was the top of the story [that appeared on the front page].

ND: What devices do you regularly carry with you, i.e., a Flip Cam, a digital camera, BlackBerry, etc.?

HH: I normally travel with a Cannon G-12, a flip camera, an iPhone and a Blackberry. I also carry a digital tape recorder and in my car I have a larger camera and a laptop. I often feel like somebody in Special Forces. You have to be prepared for any scenario. On Easter Sunday, I had a G-12, a Flip [camera] and the two cells. The photo pool was not allowed in the church. In fact, only once has the White House allowed photographers to witness the President at church and that was at Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in January 2010.

ND: How has incorporating video into your newsgathering change how you interact with interviewees?

HH: It can be complicated. You have to have strong relations with people. God has blessed me to have good contacts. You have to prepare people for video. Sometimes people will talk but they don’t want to be on camera. I always try to use the camera as a tool but I don’t let the camera control me. I am still the storyteller. The camera is just the seasoning of the story.

ND: How have creating video clips, filing content for Washington Post’s blogs and using other social tools impacted you professionally? I’ve noticed that you use different techniques to cover a variety of stories such as fires that swept through the D.C. region earlier this year or your recent feature on female boxers.  Watch video of Ladies Night at Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing Center in Landover, Md.

HH: My cell phone camera has become my best tool. It can put me on the scene immediately. I love to tweet photographs and to place them on Facebook. This is helpful during a big story. But you still want to save the good stuff for the paper. So many times I am miles away from the newsroom or the bureau. But because of the smart phones I can roll.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism, Webinars

Calendar of Multimedia Training, Events & Fellowships

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

Wednesday, June 15 is the LAST day to pre-register for this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Philadelphia Aug. 3-7, 2011.  The current rate is $380, but that jumps to $800 on June 16.  Click HERE to register, and I hope to see you there!

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 through September.  And Media Bistro has its current course list available through December.

 

JUNE

 

JULY

  • The Blogging While Brown conference will be held July 8-10 in Los Angeles.  The conference provides continuing technology education and networking opportunities to an audience primarily comprised of African American digital media content creators.
  • 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 (mediabistro.com), 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.

 

AUGUST

  • 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.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

OCTOBER

  • Blogalicious will he held Oct. 21-23 in Washington, D.C.  Founded in 2009, the Blogalicious Weekend conferences are aimed at celebrating the diversity of women of all ethnicities in social media.

 

NOVEMBER

  • BlogWorld & New Media will be held Nov. 3-5 in Los Angeles.  The conference is the first and only industry-wide conference, tradeshow and media event dedicated to blogging, podcasting, social media, social networking, online video, music, Internet TV and radio. The New Media Expo provides the only industry-wide new media marketplace for networking, online business and marketing resources, while the Social Media Business Summit is the world’s largest social media business conference where business owners, marketing executives and global brands learn strategies, tools and technologies to grow their businesses with social media. Register at blogworldexpo.com with the promo code MASH20 to save 20% off the ticket price!

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 Conferences & Conventions, journalism

Still Not Registered For NABJ 2011? Let Members Convince You

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

Today, June 10, marks only five more days before pre-registration ends for the 2011 NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair.  After June 15, the rate jumps from a reasonable $380 to $800.   So maybe it would help to hear from other NABJ member who plan on attending this year’s activities in Philadelphia.

Marcus Osborne, Your Straight Male Friend, San Francisco – I’ll be there to re-charge! NOTHING compares to the energy boost of an NABJ convention! It’s better than Gatorade!

Jummy Olabanji, ABC-7 Reporter, Washington, D.C. –  This year, for the first time ever, I’m simply attending to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Kirstin Garriss, Class of 2011, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill – I’m going NABJ because I know what it can and WILL do for my career! I’ve met so many influential people at NABJ and I’m grateful for their connections.

Rachel Huggins, Assistant Online Editor, USATODAY.com – As a digital journalist of color, I firmly believe in the power of forging strong relationships with media professionals in our ever-evolving industry. NABJ’s 2011 convention will be my first year in attendance, but I’m eager to celebrate the achievements of my colleagues, toast to the future of journalism and enhance my future.

Tahero, Creative Strategist and Creative Director at StapleCrops.com  – I’m attending because I’ll be speaking on a panel: Enterprise Journalism: Data Visualization and Mining for Stories.

Christopher Nelson, Assignment Editor, NBC News – I’ll be at NABJ in order to get insight & foresight into industry changes from our view. I also can’t wait to reconnect with my NABJ family.

Vanessa Deggins, multimedia reporter – I’m going NABJ to network and improve my multimedia skills in some of the workshops. And I can’t wait to see my NABJ family.

Marissa Evans, president of Marquette University NABJ Chapter – “I’m attending convention because it’s a great way to learn how you stack up with the competition and how you can be better. Also my chapter NABJ-Marquette will be there with me this year, I’m so excited for them to experience a convention!”

So run — do not walk — and click here to register before the June 15 deadline.  And don’t forget that NABJ has travel discounts on Continental Airlines, Amtrak and Hertz to get you there.

And check out this video from the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists on why you need to be there.  I hope to see you in Philly!

Posted in journalism, Webinar

DJTF Offers Replay of VP-Print Candidates Forum

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

Last night, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force held an online webinar for VP-Print candidates Denise Clay and Errin Haines.  Our questioners were Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times, Natalie McNeal of Frugalista and DJTF Treasurer Melanie Eversley of USA Today.

We discussed general NABJ topics including the UNITY split, an alleged disconnect between NABJ national and local chapters and the association’s current guidelines for membership.  We also discussed digital journalism issues. You can hear the hour-long session here.  DJTF held a similar forum for the presidential candidates, and you can listen to that session here.

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists held their presidential candidates forum June 4, and you can view it below:

In May, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists held a candidates forum, which you can view here.

Voting for the 2011 elections is now open.  I urge you all to review these materials from the candidates, which will allow you to make the best choice of the leadership that will move NABJ forward.

Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Carnival of Journalism: What Tools Do You Use To Work Smarter?

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

I am one of those people who love the latest in tech tools, toys, apps and programs that help me do the business of journalism.  Every Friday on this blog, I share some of my favorites as part of the Fast Five series.

Which is why I began to drool when I saw the topic for this month’s Carnival of Journalism: “What are your life hacks, workflows, tips, tools, apps, websites, skills and techniques that allow you to work smarter and more effectively?“

That being said, I’ll narrow my list down to my top five:

  1. Twitter: this program (and its accompanying tools and apps) has become my number one tool to getting the job done.  I use it to post stories, find sources, get story ideas and crowdsource for information.  I use Echofone on my iPhone, UberSocial on my Blackberry and split between TweetDeck and HootSuite on my desktop.  And a bonus for me is both TweetDeck and HootSuite give me access to Facebook, which I don’t use as much as a professional tool.
  2. 10000 Words: this website is at the top of my Google Reader.  Ever since Mark Luckie started it up, it has been my go-to site to keep up with all the latest  in tips, tools, apps, websites specifically targeting journalism.
  3. iPhone 4: my dad bought me the 32 GB version for my birthday last year, and I thank him for it every time we speak.  I can update my WordPress blogs, shoot live video with Ustream, edit video with iMovie, access all my contacts using LinkedIn and Plaxo, take and send pretty good photos, record interviews/podcasts and post them on AudioBoo, I can check the AP Stylebook and upload to my YouTube channel. Oh – I can also make phone calls!
  4. A tie – The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark Luckie and the No-Fear Guide to Multimedia, by Prof. Mindy McAdams: when I started on my road to multimedia nirvana, these two guides were extremely helpful.  Even today, I still look at them as inspirations.
  5. A pad and ink pen: amazingly enough, this is still a very effective tool for getting your stories.  I always have at least one pad and three ink pens on me at all times.

I love all the stuff that has helped this old-school journalist make the transition and keep up (somewhat) with the kids.  But I always emphasize that while you can have all the tools in the world, they aren’t worth a pitcher of warm spit (hat tip to former FDR VP John Nance Garner) if you don’t have the basic writing/reporting/editing skills down pat.  So have fun with the toys, but don’t forget the skills that actually make you a journalist.

Posted in Education, journalism

A Good Question From Teaching Online Journalism: Is It Stupid To Major In Journalism?

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

As I was going for my daily spin on the Google Reader, my eye caught an article from Mindy McAdams on her excellent Teaching Online Journalism blog asking the title question.  It was a question that I struggle with regularly as I speak with students trying to decide a career path.

I would never say it was stupid to major in journalism, but if I could go back again, I wouldn’t.   I would still be a journalist, but I would major in something like business or computer science, take journalism classes and participate in campus media, including the school newspaper and radio/TV stations (which I did in college).

I firmly believe that you can be a great journalist without having the Journalism tag on your college diploma, having hired some great writers who majored in everything from philosophy to history to business marketing.

So what do you think? Is it stupid to major in journalism?

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism

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 through September.  And Media Bistro has its current course list available through July.

 

JUNE

  • 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 are 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 Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a workshop June 8, the afternoon before the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ Conference June 9-12 in Orlando, Fla., entitled Investigating Private Companies and Nonprofits.  Find public documents on private companies and the basics of what you’ll find in those documents, including the pitfalls and understand the new Form 990 and the basics of nonprofits’ finances.
  • The #140conf: NYC – Exploring “The State of NOW” will be held June 15-16 at the 92nd Street Y.
  • The (AR) Augmented Reality Summit conference will be held in London on June 16.  The event is designed to explore this new dynamic reality and provide delegates with the perfect opportunity to uncover Augmented Reality in full and explore the opportunity’s AR brings any brand or company.
  • 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.

 

JULY

  • The Blogging While Brown conference will be held July 8-10 in Los Angeles.  The conference provides continuing technology education and networking opportunities to an audience primarily comprised of African American digital media content creators.
  • 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 (mediabistro.com), 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.

 

AUGUST

  • 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.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

NOVEMBER

  • BlogWorld & New Media will be held Nov. 3-5 in Los Angeles.  The conference is the first and only industry-wide conference, tradeshow and media event dedicated to blogging, podcasting, social media, social networking, online video, music, Internet TV and radio. The New Media Expo provides the only industry-wide new media marketplace for networking, online business and marketing resources, while the Social Media Business Summit is the world’s largest social media business conference where business owners, marketing executives and global brands learn strategies, tools and technologies to grow their businesses with social media. Register at blogworldexpo.com with the promo code MASH20 to save 20% off the ticket price!

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!