Posted in Awards, Entrepreneur, Innovation, journalism, News

Unity 2011 Video Pitches

By Jamerika Haynes, Multimedia Journalist, follow me on Twitter @JamerikaHaynes

The Unity Journalists of Color are giving media entrepreneurs the chance to win big. The group is hosting the ‘New U’ News Entrepreneurs Working Through Unity Program. Fourteen selected fellows created video pitches for a chance to win one of three $10,000 Ford Foundation sponsored seed grants. Co-Project Director, Doug Mitchell says the contest gives entrepreneurs of color the opportunity to be discovered.

“We feel like people of color are being left out of start-up of media companies,” Mitchell said.  “This project is meant to give these fellows a community of support.”

This is the second year for the contest. Voting will remain open until January 3, 2012. Winners will be in announced February 2012.

NABJ members who are up for consideration are:

  • An educator, writer, and self-proclaimed “internationalista,” Roxanne L. Scott has lived in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia. She currently lives in Beijing, China and will take her first trip to Africa in January 2012.
  • Jason Frazer is currently a TV Reporter for the CBS affiliate in Columbus. Prior to TV, Jason was a banking manager for four years.
  • Kathryn Buford is a journalist and PhD student in sociology whose research focuses on social entrepreneurship, art and the women and history of the African Diaspora. She is co-founder of Live Unchained ( which, she is developing with a team of women artists, entrepreneurs and tech experts from around the world.
  • Sherbeam Wright is a blogger and communications, brand and social media consultant. She has extensive experience working with journalists, authors and writers in using social media, PR and online marketing to develop and grow their brands. Sherbeam has a history of developing and driving strategic initiatives supporting the sales efforts of public enterprises and private tech organizations.
  • Kelly Virella is a web technologist, an experienced, award winning journalist and entrepreneur with a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s from the University of California at Berkeley. In July, she founded and began working full time-time on Dominion of New York, the online magazine for black people who love interesting ideas.

Vote for NABJ members here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Storify: HABJ Mentor Breakfast

The Houston Association of Black Journalists recently hosted a mentor breakfast where  local college students engaged with media professionals and discussed the evolving world of journalism. Social Media Correspondent Ameena Rasheed reported live from the event using Storify.

  1. @HoustonABJ will be hosting a Student Mentor Breakfast this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the @HoustonChron. #TwitterNewsChat
    November 10, 2011 5:34:54 PM EST
  2. We will be reporting live from the event through various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, UStream and more.
    November 11, 2011 6:44:40 PM EST
  3. The Social Media Correspondents (@smcorrespondent) use multiple social media platforms to report on pertinent issues. We tell stories dynamically using a myriad of social and multimedia platforms. We are especially interested in telling under told stories in under-served communities.
  4. @smcorrespondent will cover @HoustonABJ’s Mentor Breakfast at the @HoustonChron tomorrow. #TwitterNewsChat
    November 11, 2011 10:47:49 AM EST
  5. The SMC team (l-r) Sara Phipps-Carr, Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Erik Granados and Ameena Rasheed.
  6. November 12, 2011 6:42:48 AM EST
  7. Cindy George, NABJ Parliamentarian and health reporter for the Houston Chronicle, mentions some of the prominent Houston media professionals that will be in attendance.
  8. HABJ Student Mentorship Breakfast speakers include @cindylgeorge @gnormanKHOU @isiahcarey1 @JeromeSolomon @georgehaj
    November 11, 2011 10:19:26 PM EST
  9. HABJ Student Mentorship Breakfast speakers include @NewsWitAttitude @gnormanKHOU @scottbraddock @gilmorecourtney
    November 11, 2011 10:27:30 PM EST
  10. Coming to HABJ Student Mentorship Breakfast: @NewsWitAttitude @gnormanKHOU @scottbraddock @gilmorecourtney @sswalker
    November 11, 2011 10:31:51 PM EST
  11. Students from Texas Southern, Prairie View, University of Houston and HCC were in attendance.
  12. Great place to be this morning at @HoustonABJ @HoustonChron with professional journalists and aspiring journalists!
    November 12, 2011 11:16:48 AM EST
  13. Packed house at the @HoustonABJ Student Mentor Breakfast
    November 12, 2011 11:26:11 AM EST
  14. Great turn out for the HABJ Breakfast!!!
    November 30, 2011 8:51:05 PM EST
  15. There were three panel sessions at the breakfast. Students were told pertinent information about the journalism industry. The SMC team captured all of the footage on video.

  16. I’m live on Ustream! Check out my show: 10:20 AM CST
    November 12, 2011 11:20:59 AM EST
  17. Happening now! Tune in!RT @erikmichaelg: HABJ Student Mentorship Breakfast | Houston Chroni – smcorrespondents… #SMCLIVE
    November 12, 2011 10:37:13 AM EST
  18. First session: “Opportunities for Journalists In A Newspaper Newsroom”
    November 12, 2011 10:38:22 AM EST
  19. #HABJ Student mentorship breakfast with @HoustonChron @JeromeSolomon @GeorgeHaj @cindylgeorge & Nicki Britton
    November 12, 2011 10:40:10 AM EST
  20. November 12, 2011 12:12:33 PM EST
  21. The forum started out with addressing what goes on in a “print newsroom,” but with the emergence of new media all forms journalism are mixing together. Print journalism is evolving with technology.
  22. There is no such thing as a print newsroom these days. – @georgehaj #habj
    November 12, 2011 10:40:06 AM EST
  23. As a student journalist, you need to be enterprising. It shows your passion for the industry and that you know how to do your job well.
  24. “Learn how to write” – Jerome Solomon Houston Chronicle
    November 12, 2011 10:49:26 AM EST
  25. “If you don’t have clips or a blog, I’m not going to hire you,” said @HoustonChron’s George Haj, local news editor. #HABJ #TwitterNewsChat
    November 12, 2011 10:46:12 AM EST
  26. You need to be able to show that you can write. This is a craft you need to show that you know how to work on deadline. – @georgehaj #habj
    November 12, 2011 10:43:04 AM EST
  27. Make urself useful to the media! -#GeorgeHaj
    November 12, 2011 11:16:49 AM EST
  28. “We’re looking for dedication. You’ve gotta want it.” -@NickiBritton on how journalism students can get jobs #habj
    November 12, 2011 10:48:39 AM EST
  29. The road to being a journalist is not an easy one. Many of the panelists discussed some of the sacrifices that will have to be made in order to be successful.
  30. You have to be willing to travel. Your first job won’t be in your hometown. #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:03:57 AM EST
  31. It’s not about the money, it’s about doing what you love. Journalism is a sacrifice. -Crystal Issac #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:30:02 AM EST
  32. One panelist said he earned $16,500 in his first TV job. However, don’t be discouraged. #HABJ #NABJ
    November 12, 2011 11:51:03 AM EST
  33. “You need thick skin if you want to be a journalist,” said Crystal Issac, KTRK-TV associate producer. #HABJ #NABJ #TwitterNewsChat
    November 12, 2011 11:45:36 AM EST
  34. Nicki Britton of the Houston Chronicle gave tips for pitching story ideas to journalists.
  35. @NickiBritton says send a strong story idea, pitch your ideas. Don’t ask, be enterprising, find a great story. #HABJ #NABJ #TwitterNewsChat
    November 12, 2011 11:16:42 AM EST
  36. November 12, 2011 6:59:24 PM EST
  37. Mary Benton (left) and Sherea Cary (right). Picture courtesy of
  38. November 12, 2011 6:59:41 PM EST
  39. Todd Smith (left) and Bridgett Joe (right). Picture courtesy of
  40. November 2, 2011 12:18:00 AM EDT
  41. Next panel: “The Changing Landscape of Broadcast Media”
    November 12, 2011 11:19:55 AM EST
  42. Sharing knowledge with the journalists of the future. @isiahcarey1 @scottbraddock Gene Norman/11 & Crystal Issac/13
    November 12, 2011 11:26:03 AM EST
  43. November 12, 2011 6:42:41 AM EST
  44. The panelists gave tips on becoming better reporters.
  45. “You are always a Journalist. You are always working and find stories even when you aren’t looking ” @JeromeSolomon #StudentMentorship
    November 12, 2011 10:56:19 AM EST
  46. Be a sponge. Learn everything. Don’t have a chip on your soldier. – @gnormanKHOU #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:24:53 AM EST
  47. Become indispensable. Learn to adapt quickly to change. – @gnormanKHOU #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:34:05 AM EST
  48. “Focus on the content of what you’re reporting on and not so much on the platform,” says Scott Braddock. #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:38:08 AM EST
  49. You aren’t working for company that issues your check, you work for you. Great advice! @amahouston @scottbraddock
    November 12, 2011 11:53:33 AM EST
  50. Truly believe in yourself and what you’re doing. Follow your heart and continue to push on. #habj
    November 12, 2011 11:55:10 AM EST
  51. @KHOU’s Gene Norman said the late Marvin Zindler told him he was “going to be alright.” Surround yourself with positive people. #HABJ
    November 12, 2011 11:36:19 AM EST
  52. “You are always a Journalist. You are always working and find stories even when you aren’t looking ” @JeromeSolomon #StudentMentorship
    November 12, 2011 10:56:19 AM EST
  53. “It’s the willingness to say yes to everything,” said Jerome Solomon. He’s speaking on how to make your mark as a journalist. #HABJ
    November 12, 2011 10:58:40 AM EST
  54. Award-winning investigative reporter Demond Fernandez who joined KTRK in May 2011 gave valuable advice to young journalists.
  55. The SMC team used a myriad of tools to cover the event.
  56. Loving what the @smcorrespondent (s) are doing at #HABJ Student Mentorship Breakfast…sharing the news as it happens!
    November 12, 2011 11:08:32 AM EST
  57. “@sswalker: @AmeenaRasheed is covering #HABJ mentor session live. She’s using her mobile and iPad. #HABJ #NABJ
    November 12, 2011 11:43:47 AM EST
  58. November 12, 2011 4:57:30 AM EST
  59. Social media correspondent @erikmichaelg uses mobile to cover #HABJ mentor session @HoustonChron. #TwitterNewschat
    November 12, 2011 10:58:02 AM EST
  60. November 10, 2011 2:42:59 PM EST
  61. New panel: “The Important Role of Social Media for Journalists” with @joysewing, @sswalker and @NewsWitAttitude #habj
    November 12, 2011 12:09:40 PM EST
  62. KHOU Digital Media Producer, Nakia Cooper, told students to watch what they post online and build up a marketable brand.
  63. “Control your image,” says @NewsWitAttitude.
    November 12, 2011 12:17:31 PM EST
  64. Social media is about branding yourself! #HABJ
    November 12, 2011 12:13:42 PM EST
  65. Some traditional journalists have a hard time with social networking plans.
  66. “Social media goes against everything you’re taught at a journalist. It puts you in the story.” – @joysewing Fashion Editor at @HoustonChron
    November 12, 2011 12:11:25 PM EST
  67. “We realized people were not coming to our website, they were relying on our Facebook page for news.” – Nakia Cooper from @KHOU
    November 12, 2011 12:04:50 PM EST
  68. You have to come to the public. Go viral and share your information on multiple social media networks. #habj
    November 12, 2011 12:04:34 PM EST
  69. November 12, 2011 12:12:33 PM EST
  70. – @joysewing is now sharing her story about how social media leveraged her interview with Miss Tina and Beyonce’s appearance #habj
    November 12, 2011 12:13:14 PM EST
  71. Joy Sewing spoke on how her story on Beyonce’s surprise trip to Houston went viral. It was shared on Facebook 936 times and on Twitter 96 times. The media blitz was all started by one tweet she said. As a journalist for the Houston Chronicle she notes that her job is to get people reading the Chronicle and using social media helps connect with potential readers.
  72. November 13, 2011 7:25:00 PM EST
  73. Houston Chronicle reporters Joy Sewing and Jerome Solomon. Picture courtesy of
  74. Students were urged to get a mentor to help you guide your way through the industry, but make sure you understand what a mentor actually is.
  75. A mentor relationship is not a social one. Mentors are not friends, they’re here to help you grow professionally. #habj
    November 12, 2011 12:16:45 PM EST
  76. “I’ve had the same mentors for 20 years, they do not look like me and they’re here to help me get to the next level.” – @joysewing
    November 12, 2011 12:15:53 PM EST
  77. Mentorships are not friendship based but building professional relationships.
    November 12, 2011 12:17:04 PM EST
  78. “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” @cindylgeorge #habj
    November 12, 2011 12:49:39 PM EST
  79. November 3, 2011 6:17:00 AM EDT
  80. There was then a breakout session where the students were able to network with industry professionals.
  81. Finally met @AshleyRSmall today!!! 🙂 #HABJ
    November 12, 2011 2:03:13 PM EST
  82. Helping prepare students for the future. The HABJ student breakfast was incredible. Enjoyed listening to all the panelist.
    November 12, 2011 1:24:47 PM EST
  83. RT @Terin_Lynn: Just left the @houstonabj breakfast and it was a major success!! @MaryBenton @sswalker @cindylgeorge @smcorrespondent I had a blast!! #HABJ
    November 12, 2011 1:54:45 PM EST
  84. There was then a question and answer portion where seasoned journalists could further interact with the students.
  85. FOX 26 News reporter and Houston Blogger, Isiah Carey, included some great photos and video included below of the event via his blog:
  86. In the Q&A portion of the @HoustonABJ #StudentMentorshipBreakfast hosted by @HoustonChron!
    November 12, 2011 1:07:13 PM EST
  87. November 13, 2011 7:25:00 PM EST
  88. HABJ Mentor Breakfastl:
    November 13, 2011 5:59:11 PM EST
  89. November 12, 2011 6:59:41 PM EST
    November 12, 2011 7:00:12 PM EST
  91. The journalism students of Texas Southern University with HABJ President Mary Benton.
  92. November 12, 2011 6:42:17 AM EST
Posted in Uncategorized

HABJ: Aspiring Journalists Get Inside View on What It Takes to Succeed in Today’s Newsroom

HABJ Mentors' Breakfast

By Ameena Rasheed

Aspiring student journalists gathered together at the Houston Chronicle recently to engage with local media professionals for a mentor breakfast to discuss how to progress in the evolving world of journalism.

The event, hosted by the Houston Association of Black Journalists, included three panel discussions and a breakout session where students got to network with local media personalities in the city.

In the first session, “Opportunities for Journalists in a Newspaper Newsroom,” the importance of conveying your stories on multiple platforms was quickly addressed.

“Well, first of all there is no such thing as a print newsroom, it’s just a newsroom these days,” Houston Chronicle Senior News Editor George Haj said. “There is hardly anyone who just works on the print side of journalism.”

Many of the journalists in his Chronicle newsroom use a myriad of resources, such as Twitter, Facebook and Storify to share their stories, but quickly mentioned that they make sure to not rely solely on social media.

Haj further explained that the foundation of great journalism is storytelling.

“It’s all about finding a great story and telling it,” he said. “A boring story on the web is still boring, there’s nothing magical about the web.”

Journalism has vastly changed in the last decade due to the advent of the Internet, but the fundamentals of journalism still hold true.

“The most important thing in journalism is for you to learn how to write,” Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle Sports writer said. “Once you do that, for me anyway, things fall into place.”

Solomon, who took an untraditional route to being a journalist, majored in Civil Engineering while he was an undergraduate student and was a flight attendant for 10 years, urged students to be aggressive.

“Just being there everyday and putting forth the effort to do the little things makes a difference,” Solomon said.

Chief Meteorologist Gene Norman who sat in on “The Changing Landscape of Broadcast Media” shared the same sentiments.

“Be a sponge, learn about everything,” Norman said. “Make yourself indispensable.”

With numerous job cuts throughout the industry, KHOU Web Producer Nakia Cooper told students to use social media to their advantage to gain a following and brand themselves to help them gain employment in the newsroom.

“They are looking to hire young people,” Cooper said. “They’re looking to see how many Twitter followers you have.”

Cooper ended the session by warning students to watch what they post on social media to be taken seriously by potential reporters.

“Work hard now and control your image,” she said. “You can play around later.”

Texas Southern University journalism professor Serbino Sandifer-Walker shared how she’s preparing a new generation of journalists to meet needs of a 21st century media culture.

“I created the first and only social media correspondents team on a college campus that uses social media to tell under told stories in under served communities,” said Sandifer-Walker. “We have a global reach because social media is ubiquitous.”

HABJ members also had  another chance to engage with students once again at the HABJ Holiday Toy Drive and Social that was held at the House of Blues on November 30.