Monthly Archives: July 2011

BLOGGING & BEYOND: How To Go From Media To Multimedia

Markette Smith

By Markette Smith, co-founder and executive producer at www.dconheels.com

As a multimedia journalist and the cofounder of a popular Washington area blog, DConHeels.com, I get asked all the time, “How do I get started creating a blog?”
My answer is always the same: “Just do it.”  Getting started is the easy part. All you need is your own eloquent words and a platform on one of the many free blog host websites, like WordPress or Blogger.
Once you have a great idea for a content focus, such as “Food” or “Fashion” laid out into a blog format, the big question then becomes: “How do I make it pop?”
The answer? Photos, video, widgets, RSS feeds and more… they all certainly help. But it’s easier said than done.
So to help new bloggers and veterans alike, NABJ has pulled together a multimedia blogging Q & A panel discussion that I am helping to produce entitled, “Blogging & Beyond.” The panelists are superstars in their field and, at the 2011 convention in Philly, they will share with you their pearls of wisdom that will no doubt help any print or broadcast writer go from media… to multimedia.
The speakers include:

Where you can find us:

  • Date: Friday, Aug. 5
  • Time: 2:15-3:45pm
  • Where: Room 115A

You can get a head start on the panel discussion by asking your questions to our speaker in advance on Twitter. Just use the hashtag: #bloggingandbeyond

P.S. — Check out this spotlight on one of our “Blogging & Beyond” panelists:
Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer and an alum of Rutgers University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in English and African-American Studies. He has contributed to numerous publications such as The Root, AOL, theGrio and The Advocate.
He has interviewed various celebrities, including Beyoncé Knowles, Nicki Minaj and Jodie Foster. Clay has provided commentary for WVON (the largest black talk radio station in Chicago), BET, TV One and several online outlets. Clay is a member of New York Film Critics Online and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Currently, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com.  http://www.claycane.net

Clay’s BET Blogs include:
http://blogs.bet.com/celebrities/entertainment-spotlight/
http://blogs.bet.com/celebrities/what-the-flick/

He’s also on Twitter: @claycane

 

NABJDigital Profiles Latoya Peterson, Owner And Editor Of Racialicious Blog

By Jeannine Hunter, News Producer, Washington Post

LaToya Peterson

NABJ Digital profiles freelance writer/blogger Latoya Peterson, the owner and editor of Racialicious , a collaborative blog about the intersection of race and pop culture.  This media junkie is a Poynter Institute Sensemaking Fellow and a Public Media Corps fellow. She has contributed to numerous publications and websites including: the Guardian Jezebel.com; Clutch, an online magazine; as well as TheRoot.com and Slate’s Double X. She has also contributed to books such as Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape () and Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the academic industrial complex of feminism. She will also participate in the NABJ convention workshop “GOT GAME? A NEW DESIGN FOR INNOVATIVE JOURNALISM” on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10:30 am to noon.

Peterson discussed the vision behind Racialicious and the challenges of maintaining and promoting it.

NABJDigital: Are you a Washingtonian or someone who relocated to this area and fell in love with it? 

LaToya Peterson: I grew up here.  My mom lived in Maryland and my Dad lived in D.C.  So I’m a local.  I don’t call myself a Washingtonian though – Washington is a different kind of place from D.C., and I learned that as I got older.

ND: What inspired the blog? How often is it updated and what are peak days/times when you and your colleague(s) encounter more traffic and news?

LP: Carmen Van Kerckhove (now Carmen Sognonvi) started this blog as Mixed Media Watch as a way to monitor representations of mixed race people and interracial couples in the media.  Her then-partner, Jen Chau, wanted to be more involved with her mixed race advocacy organization Swirl. Carmen had also wanted to bridge the gulf between larger conversations on race and mixed race issues, so she rolled them all into Racialicious.  I came on around the transition as a special correspondent and went from there.

I was attracted to the blog because it was a pan-racial take on events – it wasn’t just about black issues or Asian issues, but was welcoming to all.  As we’ve grown, it’s been a struggle to keep up as well and to learn about all the different communities we serve.  We’ve also been on a heavy learning curve since we have an international audience, and race issues change depending on how that society has constructed different groups.

We update daily, the goal is to do three posts a day, though that doesn’t always happen.  Heavy traffic days are mid-week, lightest on the weekend.  But our posts tend to have a long tail – so something we post Monday will still receive comments and debate on Friday.

ND: What sets Racialicious apart from other sites that addresses the complexities of all things racial (sexual/political and any other -ism warranting closer attention)?

LP: Three things – 1. We’re a multiracial space, which makes things infinitely more complicated.  Traditionally, race work has been silo-ed with most folks sticking to their own background group, and occasionally reaching out to white audiences.  Our goal is to get people talking to each other across racial, ethnic, and national boundaries.

2. We base everything in pop culture.  Most people (and most of us on staff) didn’t have the ability or luxury to spend a lot of time with critical race or oppression studies in school.  So pop culture becomes an easy way in to open up broader conversations.  I’m currently working on a piece about two shows – Single Ladies and Love Bites – to talk about the differences between how the shows present interracial relationships.  Love Bites, which is a show revolving around a handful of white characters, takes the colorblind approach, where race is never mentioned and is never an issue.  Single Ladies, which revolves around two black women and one white one (who dates black men) bring up race, but not in the heavy-handed way it’s often dealt with on other shows.  Pop culture helps people grasp onto these larger issues of theory in a way that makes sense to them.

3. We deal with structures.  We’re interested in the root cause of a lot of these problems and we want to discuss that with a wider audience that normally doesn’t get that kind of analysis from mainstream media sources.

ND: W hat are some challenges you face in gathering information and maintaining the blog?

LP: Time is the largest one.  Racialicious is a volunteer effort, so we are always out of time.  Information and such flows through to us at this point, far more than we can handle.  So our biggest challenges are increasing capacity and figuring out how some of us can transition into doing this full time.

ND: How does maintaining this effort differ from your other writing/journalism experience(s)?

LP: I started digitally, so to me digital writing is a lot more free than other types.  I’m not worrying about word counts or page limits, I don’t have an editor, I don’t have to worry about timeliness or arguing why something is relevant – we write what we like and what interests us.  I love the collective that we built – our commenter base is whip smart and informed and just as snarky as we are.

I like the people who helped make this happen – Carmen, Wendi, Arturo, Thea, Fatemeh, Nadra, Jessica and Andrea all came into this project knowing it was this weird kind of collaborative experiment, and yet stayed around anyway.  That’s what I love it about it.  Other writing is fun too.  It just never feels like home the way Racialicious does.

NABJDigital: My Top 5 iPhone Travel Apps

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

Those who know me know that I’m not only an aviation journalist, but I’m also an aviation/travel geek (you can see my personal writing on this over at AviationQueen.com). As we all prepare to travel to Philadelphia next week for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Annual Convention and Career Fair, I thought I’d share the top five travel apps on my iPhone that can help you organize your travel to and from Philly.  All are free, unless otherwise noted.

  1. Gate Guru.  This app was featured in an Apple iPhone TV commercial. It gives locations and user reviews (including mine as Aviation Queen) of retail, restaurants and services at airports across the country.  I was in Atlanta last week and needed a drug store at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Gate Guru told me that Drugs & More was there, pre-security, in the atrium. Nice!!  And when you have a tight connection and want to make sure you get something to eat for the plane ride, this app is a godsend.
  2. Currency Converter, by Oanda. This app converts currencies from the Afghan Afghani to the Zimbabwe Dollar, quickly and easily — so I don’t have to!
  3. I HEART Travel Packing ($1.99). Kids, my mind isn’t what it used to be, so I need all the help I can get. Believe me, it is NOT fun to realize you’ve reached your destination and forgotten to pack underwear (yes, this has happened to me). This app has sample lists for men and women; it also allows you to create your own list and create a master catalog where you can drag items for new lists.
  4. Next Flight ($2.99). Let’s say you’re at JFK Airport and your flight to San Francisco is delayed or canceled. What do you do? Go to this app, type in the city-pair and it will tell you what airlines have the next flights going there. Call your airline (using the Flight Sites app for the phone number), give them the options and voila-you’re on your way, while the rest of the crowd is standing around the gate agent desk praying they get on a flight.
  5. FareCompare. This app gives you real-time air fare alerts from the city of your choice.  As of this morning at 10:08, I can go to Boston for $107.  It will let you post the fare you found on your favorite social media outlet.  It will even take you right to Orbitz to book the flight.

So what apps am I missing? What travel apps are on your smartphone?

NABJ Elections Committee Offers Replay of Presidential Online Forum

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

Earlier this evening, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Elections Committee held an online forum for the candidates — VP Print Deirdre Childress, Treasurer Greg Lee, and Region II Director Charles Robinson — running for the NABJ presidency.

Nearly 110 NABJ members registered for the event.  The coordinator of the webinar was Melanie Eversley, a member of the Elections Committee, treasurer of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and  a reporter on the Breaking News Desk at USA Today.  The moderator was Lewis Diuguid of The Kansas City Star.

The candidates answered questions on issues including boosting NABJ membership, conflicts of interest among board members, member training and regional conferences and publishing of the NABJ Journal.  You can listen to the 1 hour, 30 minute session here.

The final Elections Committee online candidates forum will be held Sunday, July 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT.  The session, moderated by Lewis Diuguid of The Kansas City Star, will feature candidates in contested races: Vice president/Print, Denise Clay of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun and Errin Haines of the Associated Press; Parliamentarian candidates Cindy George of The Houston Chronicle and Ken Knight of The Tampa Tribune, and student representative candidates Marissa Evans of Marquette University and Wesley Lowery of Ohio University.  Click here to register.

And online voting is open; click here for more information or to vote.

Friday Fast Five + Five: The NABJ Convention Edition

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

The National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair is only 12 days away, and I’m in full preparation mode.  First, I hope you’ll attend my workshop — BRAND YOU: CREATING YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY — on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Room 119B.  My goal is that by the end of this interactive workshop, you will be well on your way to creating your own brand.

Today’s Fast Five + Five is all about the iPhone apps I’ll be using to help me keep up and document everything going on at the show.  For you Android users, I’m sure you can find similar apps. And for Blackberry users? I’m really sorry (don’t hate – my work phone is a Blackberry).

  1. Concur: My company uses this program to track travel and work expenses.  I’m blessed that my company pays for me to attend NABJ, and this app will allow me to keep track of expenses on the run.  And after the convention, there’s no huge pile of receipts to track. Nice!
  2. WordPress: I write two blogs — AviationQueen.com and this one — on this blogging platform. The app allows me to review, approve and write comments and even churn out a quick post on the run.
  3. CamCard ($6.99): every year I collect a huge stack of business cards and 0nly input a fraction of them on Microsoft Outlook. I hate paying for apps, but this one was worth the money.  I can take a picture of a card and the information is automatically updated in my NABJ contacts group. Plus it’s environmentally friendly.
  4. Ustream: this app allows me to shoot live video from my iPhone. I can also upload the video to my YouTube channel.
  5. Instagram: anyone who knows me knows I’m always carrying my camera.  I love the pictures I can take with my iPhone, which makes this app a joy. I can do all kinds of photo tricks and upload directly to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
  6. Tweet Deck: not only can I keep track of my five Twitter accounts, I can also create columns to follow the #NABJ11 and #NABJ hashtags.
  7. Dragon Dictation: Let’s say I’m in a workshop or plenary and I want to dash off a quick message about what I’m hearing.  I can use this voice recognition app to record and upload the message to Twitter, Facebook, email or a text message.  The translation isn’t perfect, but it’s still quicker than typing.
  8. BlueFiRe: the audio recorder that comes with the iPhone is adequate. The FREE Blue FiRe audio recorder app ROCKS!!  It has markers, different sound recording levels and an FTP site that automatically allows you to upload up to 2 GB of recordings.
  9. QR Reader: more and more convention exhibitors and attendees are using QR codes to provide information on goods, services and data.  This reader allows me to snap a picture with my iPhone and download information.
  10. Around Me: when you’re in an unfamiliar city, you need to know where certain things are, like banks/ATMs, parking, pharmacies, restaurants, stores and even hospitals.  This app will use the GPS function on your iPhone to tell you where the nearest outposts are.

So did I miss any? What are your must-have iPhone apps for the convention?

NABJDigital Profiles Markette Smith, Co-founder, DC on Heels Blog

By Jeannine Hunter, News Producer, Washington Post

Markette Smith is co-founder and half of a dynamic duo exploring the nation’s capital with enthusiasm and style – in stilettos, no less. Combining a background in interactive journalism and interest in lifestyle and entertainment, she helped develop television segments then a blog, which has been featured in the local television market, one of the nation’s most competitive. But remaining inside the Beltway isn’t the only place she and her colleague want to reach.  Smith discussed the vision behind DC on Heels and the challenges of maintaining and promoting it with NABJDigital. She will moderate a panel at next month’s NABJ convention, Blogging And Beyond, on Friday, Aug. 5, from 2:15 to 3:45 in Room 115A.

NABJDigital: Are you a Washingtonian or someone who relocated to this area and fell in love with it?

Markette Smith: I am originally from Los Angeles, Calif., and I moved to Washington after finishing undergrad. I really like the diversity of the city, so I decided to stay for grad school and I’ve been here ever since. I do miss my hometown and Southern California, and I hope to return one day.

ND: How old is the blog? Gauging from your entertainment program’s Web site it appears that the blog started after you began providing segments on DCTV.

MS: We started the blog in July of 2009 – almost two years ago! It started as just video because the co-founder, Vanessa Camozzi and I both really wanted to do entertainment news, but we were stuck in Washington — the epicenter of politics. We were both pursuing TV careers, but with the economy and tight job market, there were no viable job offers coming in from L.A. or New York, so we decided to collaborate and produce a show for cable access and stay in DC.

The first few shows were only 10 minutes in length and were well received by our audience. We won the 2010 Viewer’s Choice Award for Short Form programming, voted on by more than 14,000 members and viewers of DCTV. I was ecstatic. WAMU-FM’s Kojo Nnamdi presented us with the award. That was when I felt like we were onto something good.

ND: What inspired it?

MS: The blog came about out of us wanting to partner with a local TV station to distribute our show. We had a meeting with the executives at The CW (DC 50) in Washington and they said they would only put us on air if we blogged. So we started blogging. The blog was an instant hit. We would cover local music and entertainment events and acted as entertainment correspondents for The CW and they would air promos on the station promoting online videos to viewers.

About a year into our partnership with The CW, we went out on our own — we started designing our own blog Web site (which is the one that exists now) and we started going after sponsorship. As fate would have it, less than two weeks after our split from The CW, we were invited to be weekly guests on the feature news program “TBD News: Trends” with Morris Jones [until the show’s cancellation this past winter]. Around this time we also secured a partnership deal with the Los Angeles-based accessory and footwear company ShoeDazzle.com, for which Kim Kardashian is a spokesperson [information posted on its Web site indicates Kardashian established the company and is its chief fashion stylist]. This proved to me that we could make it on our own and get compensated for what we were doing — I felt validated and motivated to keep working harder.  We had built up quite a following. We had paying sponsors and several partnerships with business who agreed to donate their services or goods in exchange for us placing their logo on our site.

ND: What are goals or future projects for the blog?

MS: We are hoping to expand our blog into a multimedia TV program that will be like no other in terms of the seamless convergence of television and Web content – a lofty goal I know.

ND: Tell us more about its name and the significance.

MS: The name “DC on Heels” represents our experience of covering entertainment and lifestyle events in Washington. We are almost always in stilettos or some sort of wedge heels when covering events, so the name just seemed like a natural fit.  We also feel like the name is very representative of who were are — two girls on the loose in Washington, D.C. — who are looking for fun things to do and interesting people to talk to, in one of the most diverse cities in the country — our nation’s capital.

ND: Sites dedicated to entertainment, restaurants, etc. abound. What do you think sets DC on Heels apart from the rest?

MS: There are thousands of entertainment and foodie blogs out there, but what I think what sets us apart is that we are multicultural and truly multimedia — not only do I write articles, but many times I am the one who is taking photos at events, shooting the video, Tweeting, Facebooking and blogging live for “DC on Heels” from venues.

Vanessa does this as well so I guess you can say we really put the “multi” in multimedia blogs. Vanessa and I are multicultural not only in our ethnic backgrounds, but also in the events we cover. This past year, I covered Shamrock Fest, but I also covered NABJ’s Hall of Fame awardshosted by NBC’s Tamron Hall  and the National Italian American Foundation’s annual gala hosted by Giuliana Rancic of E! News.

I know that my audience can appreciate diversity and that I don’t have to segment my coverage of events. I also think that our video interviews allow our personalities to shine through to our audience. When people think of “DC on Heels,” they can’t help but think of “Markette and Vanessa” as a result. So I think our blog also stands out because it is attached to real people and real personalities.

ND: How long have you and Vanessa Camozzi worked together? Who does what in terms of coming up with ideas, shooting video, uploading content to the blog and producing video segments, etc.

MS: We met in 2007 in grad school at American University while we were both pursuing master’s degrees in Interactive Journalism. But we didn’t actually start working together until the summer of 2009 when we both answered Craigslist ads to co-host a talk show in Reston, Va. The show was short-lived, but we liked the idea of working together, so that’s when we decided to approach DCTV. I started out doing most of the shooting and video editing because I had the equipment and Vanessa didn’t know how to edit.

However, Vanessa is very good at spotting potential opportunities and she was the one who suggested we partner with The CW. When we partnered with the station, they were able to take a lot of the pressure off because they provided camera people and the editing services. As far as the blog, we each upload our own articles, photos and related content. Both of us also contribute to our social media efforts by posting to Facebook, tweeting and going after potential social media and business partnerships.

ND: What are some challenges you face in gathering information and producing segments for television and on the Web?

MS: Professionally, I’m a multimedia journalist, so the blogging and Web stuff came easy for me. I have worked as Web producer, editor and broadcaster before “DC on Heels,” so covering people and events, and producing the Web site and social media campaigns was not new. The hardest part has always been finding financing to fuel this project. When I am looking for a photographer, Web developer, graphic designer, intern, etc., it always comes down to who and what can I afford. It’s hard to find good people who are willing to work for little to nothing.

That’s why this year, Vanessa and I started to aggressively pursue sponsors and business partnerships. I want to be able to afford to work with the best in the business, and I know that means putting in the time and concentrating on the business model a bit more, while also trying to maintain a content-rich Web site. For TV, the hardest part is getting your foot in the door. … Sooner or later I hope to find the right TV executive who believes in our multimedia dream as much as Vanessa and I do, and I know that he or she is out there.

ND: How does maintaining this project differ from your other experience(s) in journalism?

MS: Maintaining this project has been an excellent exercise in management and entrepreneurship. In previous journalism positions I have held, I was always a part of a Web initiative led by someone at the company who either didn’t really get the Web or were threatened by young, talented journalists with big ideas so a lot of my job entailed just managing up. I was managing personalities and trying to build trust just as much as I was producing content. With “DC on Heels,” Vanessa and I are in charge, and we “get it.” I believe that we really get how to talk to audiences online in an entertaining, engaging and informative way. I also understand that things have to move quickly — content from events has to be posted online fast, if not immediately. I also know that change is necessary to evolve and as a team we are also very quick to adapt whereas in some large media companies (not all) it can take years to absorb something new and then act in order to take a course of action.

If something doesn’t work, we throw it out. If something does work, we do more of it. We do make mistakes, but we just try to learn from them and keep going. I understand that the Web is the “Wild Wild West” of journalism and in this entrepreneurial venture, unlike a corporate gig, I am allowed to be an explorer and take risks without the fear of losing my job. It’s a nice feeling and I hope that it continues.

Smith noted that a few memorable occasions while maintaining the blog have included: Being contacted by producers of “Good Morning America” and HBO Sports who were looking to use our video footage of our past event coverage of the “Real Housewives of D.C.” and the Salahis [socialites accused of crashing a White House state dinner] in their broadcasts. This past April, several of our blog posts about the royal wedding received worldwide attention.  Since then, we have partnered with a few local experts who contribute to our site as guest bloggers, but it is still mainly Vanessa and I rolling up our sleeves and doing the bulk of the work. I blog Tuesdays and Fridays. Vanessa blogs Mondays and Wednesdays and sometimes we blog on weekends for special events. Most recently, we have been working on getting back to our roots and we are currently producing a TV pilot about food, fashion and fun for a national women’s audience.

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

JULY

  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism is partnering with the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force on 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 Society of Professional Journalists NorCal will hold a panel discussion, Life After Journalism,” July 20, 2011. 6-8 p.m. The event will be held at Mechanic’s Institute, 57 Post St., 4th Floor, in San Francisco. Former journalists now working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors talk about their experiences transitioning to new fields. The fee to attend is $5 for Society of Professional Journalist members, $10 for nonmembers.
  • SheSays has teamed up Elizabeth Kiehner from Thornberg & Forester for a digital production course July 22 at TheLAB, 8th floor, 637 West 27th Street
    New York, NY. The course teaches how to get things done as opposed to talking about the internets. You already know that brands are on Facebook, we’ll actually show you how to make a Facebook brand application. The cost is $549.
  • The Society of American Business Editors and Writers will hold a free webinar, The Best Ideas for Page-Turning, Screen-Scrolling Investigative Pieces, on July 25, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern. The event is free for SABEW members.

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 Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a free week-long webinar, “Sales Strategies for Freelance Business Journalists,” Aug. 16-19.  Taught by Maya Paine Smart, participants will learn simple things they can immediately incorporate into their daily work to help them identify great writing clients, win more assignments and earn a healthy living. You can attend a daily, hourlong, interactive session at either noon or 4 p.m. EDT on Aug. 16-18 and noon EDT on Aug. 19.
  • The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) will host its annual LGBT Media Summit & Convention Aug. 25-28 in Philadelphia. Keynote speakers at the event include Ann Curry and Don Lemon.

 

SEPTEMBER

  •  The Scripps Howard Foundation and American Press Institute will hold a workshop, “Building Your Journalistic Brand,” Sept. 16 in Reston, Va.  Taught by Joe Grimm, Visiting Professor, Michigan State University School of Journalism, attendees will complete a workbook that will become a customized branding blueprint. The cost is $15, and includes lunch and a workbook. You must register by Sept. 13.
  • The International Center for Journalists is offering a Multimedia Training Course in English and Spanish aimed at journalists covering information for minority and immigrant communities. Preference will be given to journalists who cover financial issues for those communities. The course runs from September 2, 2011 to September 30, 2011. The course will allow participants to have a hands-on training on a variety of topics geared towards capacitating them on the use of multimedia tools.  Among other things, it will outline the basics of multimedia storytelling, how to use graphics in data visualization and help teach participants how to produce their projects. The deadline to apply is August 12, 2011.
  • The Online News Association will hold its annual Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet Sept. 22-24, 2011 in Boston.
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a morning workshop Sept. 25 during the SPJ/RTDNA Excellence in Journalism Conference Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans. In the session, you’ll learn where to find key company financial information and how to dissect essential financial statements and Securities and Exchange Commission documents. Gain the skills that will enable you to follow the money and stay on top of the biggest story around – the economy.
  • The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) are holding a joint conference, Excellence in Journalism 2011, Sept. 25-27 in New Orleans.

OCTOBER

  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a free, one-day Business Journalism Boot Camp in Minneapolis, Oct. 4. In this free, daylong workshop, you’ll learn the basics of business for public companies, private companies and nonprofits. Award-winning professors and journalists will have you analyzing financial statements to find stories about public companies, as well as tracking public information on private companies and nonprofits. Learn how to dissect the new IRS Form 990 line-by-line to find stories about local nonprofits. Examples will be tailored to the Minnesota market.
  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a free one-day workshop, “Digital Efficiency for Business Journalists — 36 Tips to Tame Info Overload,” in New York City Oct. 13.  It will include 36+ specific sites, tools and techniques for those who face a growing mass of digital information. The half-day session is not about theory or about how big the problem is, but instead about how to make each working day more efficient by using specific tools, techniques and best practices.
  • The Society of Environmental Journalists will hold its 21st annual conference in Miami Oct. 19-23.  Meet journalists from throughout the hemisphere — Chile, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and more — and learn what issues they face reporting on the environment.
  • 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 benet AT aviationqueen DOT com.  Thanks!

Make Sure There’s No Shame In Your Social Media Game

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

I went to college during a time when there was no Internet. I wasn’t a wild child, but I did have some fun during a trip to Fort Lauderdale during spring break my senior year in college. I didn’t have to worry about folks carrying smartphones ready to photograph and video the festivities.

But times have changed — drastically. This topic came up after I read a recent article in Gizmodo: “I Flunked My Social Media Background Check. Will You?” It serves as a precautionary — and frankly, scary — tale of how your social media past can be held against you by potential employers.

I do resume reviews for NABJ members (my offer to review yours — for free — still stands). As matter of course, I do a Google search of every name. I also look at Facebook and Twitter accounts. And trust me, employers are doing the same. You would not believe the materials that are floating out there.

As we all prepare to go to this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Philadelphia Aug. 3-7, many attendees will be there looking for jobs. So now — not when you hand that resume over to a prospective employer — is the time to do a social media check.

Start by Googling your name. See what comes up, especially on the first page. When I did this, everything was professional — the top link was my company-linked Twitter account. The rest were links to blog posts about the aviation industry. There’s nothing in there that could cause any problems for employers.

Next, go to Facebook. Do a check of all your friends. Are they really friends or someone you met years ago and don’t really know? Start purging. I did this and managed to dump “252″ people.

Also create separate Facebook friend lists to control who sees what. I have Friends, Professional Benet and Limited Profile lists, and everyone is in their proper place. Check out this great post on Strategies, Tips & Tools For A Wired Life on how to do it.

Go through your photo albums and pictures where you’re tagged. You may have had a really good time at that frat party, but a potential employer will not look kindly on you drunkenly “backing it up” on the dance floor. This Tutorial Bite post shows you how to protect your photo albums. And check your friends’ albums to make sure there are no embarassing photos of you.

I take lots of pictures at the NABJ conventions, and I ask people to go to my Facebook and Flickr albums to tag them. I have had some requests to remove some of my pictures, and I always comply. But what about others taking photos who don’t announce their intentions?

Next, go to Twitter. Make sure you have separate accounts for personal and professional. And don’t assume that just because you have a locked account, your Tweets won’t go out. Folks can easily retweet your comments for the world to see. So either create a personal account that covers your identity (like @FlyGirlBWI) rather that @benetwilson, or just resolve not to Tweet anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times.

Check your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it’s close to 100% completed as possible. Many employers are going to this site to find potential employees. And resist the temptation to link your personal Twitter feed or personal blog to your account unless you feel it’s relevant — and not damaging.

If you have a Flickr account, take the time to check the privacy settings. I have more than 1000 pictures of my daughter in my account, but no one but me can see them. You remember all those pictures you posted fron this year’s Urban Beach Week in Miami? Your potential employer doesn’t need to see them.

In the end, the absolute best way to protect your online identity is to make sure you don’t do anything that could cause a red flag. But should you find yourself in that position, be prepared to shell out some money for the services of a company like Reputation.com, which helps monitor and remove negative information about you. And I’ll see you in Philly!

Friday Fast Five + Five

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

  1. 10000 WordsFive ways to visualize your personal data
  2. Journalists’ ToolkitFlash Journalism Updates
  3. Mashable11 Excellent iPad Apps for Meetings & Presentations
  4. Ragan’s PR Daily5 writing tips from newspaper editors
  5. MakeUseOfThe Top 5 Best Search Engines To Search Photos On Flickr
  6. Innovative Interactivity IIFive tips for emerging video journalists
  7. Web Design Ledger10 Blogs to Help You Become a Photography Expert
  8. Gizmo’s Freeware9 Superb Free Apps that you Simply Must Install on Your Android Phone
  9. Social Media Examiner17 Ways to Grow Your Blog From Top Bloggers
  10. Dumb Little ManTop 12 iPhone Apps That’ll Increase Your Productivity

Sheila Brooks Preaches The Entrepreneurship Gospel

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

Last week, I received an assignment for the summer edition of the NABJ Journal: interview long-time member Sheila Brooks, owner of SRB Communications and winner of the first Pat Tobin Media Professional Award.  I met Brooks in 2008 at NABJ’s Watergate Conference on Political and Congressional Reporting.  We also both served on the selection committee for the inaugural Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

As I was interviewing Brooks for the Journal story, I asked her a question about how she has been a leader and role model for journalists wanting to go the entrepreneur route.  The conversation was so good, I decided to use it here on the blog.

For the third year, Brooks is leading an all-day Learning Lab workshop — Creating Wealth in an Innovation Economy — on Aug. 3 at this year’s NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair.

Look at what’s happening in the media industry, says Brooks, a 33-year veteran of television, building a career as a news director, reporter, anchor, and documentary producer at television stations across the country.  “So many journalists are losing their jobs or taking buyouts, whether they are in television or print,” she observes.  “We’ve all seen the changes because of the digital revolution.”

Brooks thinks that journalists with solid writing, producing and editing skills need to look at other career opportunities.  “That doesn’t end with public affairs or public relations jobs, but expands to entrepreneurship.  That’s when we’re in control of our destiny,” she states.  “Journalists can no longer rely on long careers in the media.”

No one likes to take that first step toward entrepreneurship, says Brooks.  “With my Learning Lab, journalists considering a move to entrepreneurship can meet those who have already done it, so they can see if this is something they want to pursue,” she explains.  “We look at things like what opportunities are out there, can I get contracts with organizations like the federal government and major corporations. We teach them how to leverage relationships.”

When I left the newsroom, the first thing I did was leverage relationships, says Brooks.   “I knew how management awarded contracts to production companies.  I also knew that if I could run a newsroom, I could run my own company,” she states.  “My facility looks like a television station and I own it.  We can give journalists the same opportunity to learn how to grow a prosperous business.

Small businesses are what drives this economy, says Brooks.  “But we have become so complacent about being in our jobs, because we have great jobs.  Back in the day, we worked in newsrooms run by managers who were committed to diversity goals and gave us opportunities, but many of those people are gone,” she notes.

Declining ad revenues and the growing digital platform have changed the traditional news mode, says Brooks.  “Journalists need to see all the opportunities out there.  Not everyone will want to do what I did – take big bank loans to buy equipment,” she warns.  “But there are others who can still grow a business and it doesn’t have to be that intense or have a large overhead.  Entrepreneurship can be addictive.”