Posted in Uncategorized

Times-Picayune Sure To Be Main Topic of Conversation at NABJ Convention

By Tracie Powell


“Advanced Publications, the group that publishes New Orleans’ Times-Picayune newspaper, announced Thursday it would scale back its printed edition to three days a week and shift its emphasis to online coverage. Similar cost cutting measures are happening across the country but New Orleans will become the largest city without a daily newspaper and many residents still don’t have internet at home,” Colorlines reports. 

The cuts come after the paper saw a steep drop in circulation. In 2005, before Hurricane Katrina, the paper had a daily circulation of 261,000; in March of this year, the circulation was 132,000.

New Orleans is 60 percent African American, according to U.S. Census data and based on a 2010 report from the Kaiser Foundation, only about 36 percent of its residents have Internet access at home.

The city will host to the 2012 National Association of Black Journalists Convention next month. The state of the Times-Picayune is certain to be a main topic of conversation. 

Tracie Powell writes regularly about journalism and media policy for the Poynter Institute. She is also a vice chairperson of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Google News Chief: Time to ‘Re-think Everything’

By Tracie Powell

Richard Gingras, head of news products for Google, is optimistic about the future of news, despite his belief that newspapers aren’t innovating enough.

“I do feel these are extraordinary times. I do feel that we in a sense are at the beginnings of a renaissance with regards to journalism,” he said, according to a recent report by the Nieman Lab. “I know that’s hard for many people to hear given the pain of the disruption to the traditional sources.”

But for that renaissance to really take hold, news organizations to rethink everything from their missions to their ethical guidelines in how they engage with their audience. News organizations must flip the ecosystem on its head and rethink every aspect of what they are doing.

“The unfortunate truth is that we’re not seeing the progress particularly in traditional media organizations that I think is truly necessary given the shift in the ecosystem that we’re seeing … I’m not suggesting that everything must change, but that we owe it to ourselves and the the objectives of what we want to do in journalism to reconsider everything as we go forward.”

View full video here.

Related: Google introduces Knowledge Graph to improve search (Google) | Live blog of Gingras talk (MIT) | Google’s head of news: Newspapers are the new Yahoo (GigaOm) | 8 questions that will help define the future of journalism (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Tracie Powell writes regularly about journalism and media policy for the Poynter Institute. She is also vice chairperson for NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force. 


Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Digital Journalism Task Force Twitter Chat: “How to Prepare for the NABJ Convention”

By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ Program Chair, NABJ DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogge

On May 21, we had a lively discussion on what to do to prepare for this year’s NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair, coming up on June 20.  Click HERE to see the full discussion on Storify.  Thanks much to DJTF Secretary Kiratiana Freelon for creating and running our Twitter Chat.

And you can keep up with all the action on my NABJ 2012 convention Tumblr.  And a gentle reminder — pre-registration has been extended to May 25, so you have yet another chance to get a $380 rate, HERE.  It will jump to $550 on May 26, so take advantage of this extension.  And I’ll see you in New Orleans!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

NABJ Twitter Chat “How to Prepare for the NABJ Conference” – Monday, May 21 8pm EST–9pm EST

You’ve bought your registration, booked a flight and hotel and are well on your way to the 2012 NABJ Conference in New Orleans. But that’s just the beginning.

The last thing you want to do is show up at the conference without goals or without a plan. And you definitely need one.

The question that should be running in your head right now is “How do I prepare for the NABJ Conference?”

On May 21, from 8pm EST to 9pm EST, the NABJ Digital Journalist Task Force will help you answer that question.

The NABJ Digital Journalists Taskforce is hosting a twitter chat on Monday, May 21 from 8pm EST to 9pm EST on the topic, How to Prepare for the NABJ Conference.

A Twitter chat (or tweet chat) is an online discussion using twitter, so every post is a tweet. Because it’s on Twitter, its open to everyone with a Twitter account. Anyone can participate, or just listen in to learn more about the topic.

Under the hashtag #nabj12prep, the @NABJDigital twitter handle will tweet out nine questions that our “panelists” will answer in 140 characters.  To insure a successful twitter chat full of information, we have invited several panelists who are “experts” in the NABJ conference and can speak on their experience in 140 characters.

Bob Butler @bobbutler7– Bob Butler is a reporter at KCBS radio and Vice President of the Broadcast. He always offers advice to first time NABJ Conference attendees and is a tireless advocate of getting more minorities into broadcast.

Kelley Carter @kelleylcarter – Kelley Carter is a longtime NABJ Conference attendee, having first attended the NABJ conference as college student. She now serves as the President of the Entertainment taskforce and can often be seen on television talking about entertainment.

Dr. Sybril Bennett @drsyb – Sybril Bennett, Ph.D. is an associate professor of journalism and the Executive Director of the New Century Journalism program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Last year she served as the program chair for the NABJ Philadelphia conference.

 Serbino Sandifer-Walker @sswalker – As a multimedia journalism professor at Texas Southern University, Sandifer-Walker has developed new social media tools for journalists, including the #twitternewschat, and the social media correspondents daily.

Ingrid Sturgis @isturgis– Ingrid Sturgis is an assistant professor of new media in the Howard University  Journalism department. She recently published the book, Are Traditional Media Dead? Can Journalism Survive in the Digital World?

Marissa A. Evans @marissaaevans – Marissa Evans is president of the Marquette University student NABJ Chapter. She’s an alum of the San Diego Union Tribune, Star Tribune, New York Student Journalism program and this year will be a Chips Quinn Scholar for The Washington Post metro desk.

In addition to these esteemed NABJ members, we’ll also have DJTF board members Melanie Eversley (@melanieeversley), Benet Wilson (@avqueenbenet and 2012 NABJ Conference Program Chair), Kiratiana Freelon (@kiratiana), Andrew Humphrey (@andrewhumphrey), and Tracie Powell (@tmpowell) on the chat as well.

To participate in the twitter chat, do the following:

1)    Use a twitter platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that will allow you to manage multiple twitter streams.

2)    Create a twitter search stream for #nabj12prep.

3)    Create another twitter stream for the @NABJDigital  stream.  This is where all the questions will come from.

4)    Answer the questions, retweet and reply to the panelists (or anything you find that is good) but ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use the hashtag – #NABJ12prep

Happy Twitter Chatting!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

How the NABJ Conference Helped Me Land My Job

Multimedia journalist John W. Davis tell us how the 2011 NABJ conference helped him to land his reporting job in Orlando. Don’t forget that the deadline for early registration to the NABJ conference ends midnight EST on May 15. 

When I arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport for the NABJ Convention & Career Fair in August 2011, I quickly boarded a SEPTA train headed for Downtown Philadelphia.

John W. Davis succeeded in finding another job after the NABJ 2011 conference.

As I took my seat, I ran into a friend who was also headed downtown to pick up his registration for the conference.

During our 30 minute ride to the Convention Center, we discussed our current work situations, and I joked with him, “I’m going to walk away from the career fair with a new job.”

He laughed at me, and I laughed at myself because I knew I still had three months left on my employment contract.

Realistically, I knew I would not leave Philadelphia with my next job lined up.

However, I was certain I would meet my employer at the career fair.

I had spent the days before the conference printing out extra resumes, and burning and labeling dozens of video resume reel DVD’s.

It was my first NABJ conference and I was ready to go.

My contract as a News Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in Fort Wayne, Indiana would be up in the three months and I was ready to ‘wow’ someone at the career fair and begin the process of landing my next job.

Over the next two days, I spent most of my time at the career fair, sat through about a dozen resume reel critiques and at the end of the conference I did not have a solid lead on my next job.

John came dressed for success at the NABJ Career Fair

At the time, I wish I had spent more time attending more of the seminars that I had circled in my conference schedule booklet.

When I went back to work, I took about a week to reflect and as I was looking over my notes, I realized all the managers who critiqued my work practically told me the same thing… “your standups should be more active, and your stories should be centered around people.”

Those were two tips I already knew from Journalism school.

However, those ideals did not translate onto my video resume reel because I had gotten away from that style in the grind and hustle of daily reporting.

So I went back to work with a renewed focus, centered on the tips and advice I learned specifically at the NABJ Career Fair.

I did my best to implement what I learned into my daily reporting.

In mid-September 2011, I was ready to make another job push.

I made sure my resume was concise and I re-edited my video resume reel with a focus on active stand ups in my standup montage and stories centered around people that displayed my reporting style and skills.

In early October 2011, I was already hearing back from potential employers and by mid-October, I accepted a new job as a Reporter/Video Journalist at Central Florida News 13 in Orlando, Florida.

In my short time in Orlando, I have had the opportunity to cover several national stories including the FAMU hazing investigation regarding the death of Drum Major Robert Champion and the Trayvon Martin Death Investigation / George Zimmerman legal case.

Now, the way I found my current job did not come from any direct connections to the NABJ Career Fair.

I saw an online job posting and I applied for my current position.

However, I believe I was qualified and able to get this job because I translated the tips and advice from NABJ Conference & Career Fair.

I also networked during the conference and before I began sending out my updated video resume reel, I asked several experienced NABJ members to give my video resume reel a second look.

Those final suggestions of what order my stories should appear on my video resume reel were exactly the final touches I needed to land my current job.

So here’s my final advice about the NABJ Career Fair, have an open mind, take notes, meet as many people as you can and don’t be discouraged if you do not land your next job during the conference.

In my opinion, the advice you can learn from discussing your work with a plethora of hiring managers is worth the price of NABJ registration, your hotel stay and your airfare, twice over.

I’m also a proponent of attending the annual conference when you’re not looking for a job, so I’ll see you in June in New Orleans for 2012 NABJ Convention and Career Fair.

John W. Davis can be reached via email at You can also follow John W. Davis on Twitter @johnwdavis.

Posted in Uncategorized

How to tell when unpaid internships are opportunities, when they’re an abuse

By Tracie Powell

Ashleigh Atwell posed an interesting question to the NABJ List serve: How can you earn income while interning.

It’s a question many students and recent college graduates are asking, but it also raises an equally important question: How can you tell if that unpaid internship is really an opportunity that will benefit you or an opportunity for an employer to exploit free labor.

There are a couple of tests, and a few really good questions that interns should ask up front, to ensure that they get what they want, and what they need, from an unpaid internship. Check out this piece published by Poynter Institute that was inspired by Ashleigh. There’s also lots of good advice from fellow NABJ members! 

Tracie Powell is a contributing writer to and a Vice Chair of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. 

Posted in Education, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Resources To Build That Perfect Portfolio Website

By Benét J. Wilson, NABJ Program Chair, NABJ DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Yesterday, Marissa Evans, a student at Marquette University, posted an item from the 10000 Words blog: 5 Free Sites to Help Journalists Build an Online Portfolio – 10,000 Words. But the good folks weren’t at last year’s NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair discovered a better resource.

Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of the Practice, Journalism at Boston University (and one of my digital journalism heroes), did a workshop at last year’s convention —The One-minute Media Mogul: Creating Online Portfolios — that was much more informative.  When I got laid off last October, Michelle was one of the first people I called. I wanted to get her notes from her great presentation.

She kindly gave me permission to share them, so here they are, as promised. I’d love to hear from you on which site you decide to use, and send links to see what you came up with.  Thanks!!

For Building a Free/Low-cost Portfolio or Website (for setting up a “self-hosted” version of WordPress)

Tips: Creating an Online Portfolio Using WordPress
WordPress is not just for blogging! It’s a full-fledged “content management system” that you can use to build a web site. With just a few tweaks, you can easily and quickly launch your own site. See these articles for details:
CUNY: Creating a Top-Notch Journalist Portfolio

How to Build a Distinctive Portfolio Site vs hosted WordPress

“Self-hosted” WordPress tutorials:
How to Install WordPress
Installing Themes
Setting up WordPress as a CMS (videos) Tutorials/Help
If you are using the free version of WordPress, look here for tips on how to configure your site: Support

Embedding documents
Do you want to embed : – Need to embed a pdf of your resume? Try scribd. – Similiar to Scribd.
Tutorial: How to Embed PDF, Spreadsheets, etc. into WordPress
WordPress Plugin: Google Doc Embedder (Note: this works only for the self-hosted version of WordPress, not the free version.

WordPress Themes (aka templates) Theme Showcase:

Note: The themes below are for “self-hosted” WordPress sites. You cannot install your own themes on the freebie sites available at

Graph Paper Press: Great templates for photographers, visual types
Gabfire: For creating a news site. My personal favorite. Tip: Click on “Wordpress” in the navigation bar first to filter out other formats. vs.
This article compares the two.


Posted in Education, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Twitter: Avoiding The Pitfalls and Building Your Brand

  1. Share

    Great turn out. #NYABJ #Harlem
    Wed, Apr 25 2012 21:34:57
  2. Share

    Great group of panelists at @NYABJ Twitter panel – follow discussion at #nyabjTwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:37:51
  3. Share
    @nyabj Panel discussion. Speakers: @jozenc @abelleinbk @dcfab @geedee215 @marioarmstrong #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 18:52:29
  4. Share
    When you put photos & comments on Twitter & Facebook, those sites own that, unless you take them down, says @dcfab. #nyabjtwitter #cuj12
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:24:47
  5. Share
    Twitter is a huge news feed if you follow journalists @GeeDee215 #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:27:22
  6. Share
    Your aim shouldn’t be number of followers you have. You should use the platform to cultivate sources & find stories. -@dcfab #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:29:22
  7. Share
    according to @DeeGee215 there is no such thing as over tweeting – as long as the dialogue is fact-base! #NYabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:33:57
  8. Share
    A good way to get followers is tweeting at events many people are not / cannot attend. Also using hash tags, says @dcfab. #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:40:09
  9. This is excellent advice. NYABJ President Michael Feeney will tell you that I semi-stalked him to get a hashtag for this panel discussion. I knew it would be good (especially since my Baltimore homey Mario Armstrong was representing) and I wanted to be able to share it with the larger community.
  10. Share
    Aspiring journalist should follow other journalists. Send he/she a compliment if you like there work and hope they follow back #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:42:23
  11. Looking to build your Twitter following? Check out the Twitter lists I’ve developed over at the @NABJDigital Twitter account.
  12. Share
    @jozenc @marioarmstrong “attach your twitter handle to any publication you do” #nyabjtwitter @NULYP
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:46:24
  13. Share
    #nyabjtwitter what are you trying to do? Are you trying to build a personality or drive people to a destination/website? -@Marioarmstrong
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:47:50
  14. Share

    @NYABJ Twitter panel discussion at Columbia – follow the discussion #nyabjTwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:50:42
  15. Share
    .@jozenc says it’s a tough balance b/w personal & professional tweets. He says he’s never claimed to have an all “pro” account #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:54:11
  16. @jozenc is better than me. I’m currently juggling three separate Twitter accounts for the different parts of my life — aviation geek, personal and journalism.
  17. Share
    #nyabjtwitter discussion now is around the delicate line between personal and professional tweets
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:55:17
  18. Share
    @marioarmstrong where r u trying to go, what do u want professionally which will dictate how u self manage your tweets. @NULYP #nyabjTwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 19:59:00
  19. Share
    NEVER put who you work for at the end of your Twitter handle! Things change. Nothing personal, just business! #nyabjtwitter #NABJ12 #cuj12
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:06:36
  20. Amen to that! I was @AvWeekBenet, but after i got laid off, I switched to @AvQueenBenet. But this affected the lists and references to my brand.
  21. Share
    Hey @NYCCarrega, you need to talk with @mfeeney @NYDNmfeeney about managing two accounts. He does a good job at it! #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:50:58
  22. Share
    .@marioarmstrong says Blacks can leverage voice on Twitter to create, not just to consume #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:09:01
  23. Share
    ”I would never break a story on Twitter.” – @dcfab on using social space to gather report news tips, sources, and stories #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:12:50
  24. Share
    .@dcfab encourages journalists to use twitter to find sources for stories. #nyabjtwitter #cuj12
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:13:06
  25. Share
    A tip I got from @acarvin was use hashtags and check people who are talking about the topic you are writing about. #nyabjtwitter #cuj12
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:15:22
  26. Share

    Mon, Apr 30 2012 16:41:46
  27. Andy Carvin, senior social media strategist at NPR, with his Knight-Batten Award for being the [Twitter] DJ of the Arab Spring revolution.
  28. Share
    [excellent point] #nyabjtwitter Build your network before you need it. -@Marioarmstrong
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:18:25
  29. Share
    .@abelleinbk says you can use the number of followers you have as “leverage” when finding / pitching for jobs. #nyabjtwitter #cuj12
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:33:28
  30. Share
    @dcfab @nyabj @NULYP #nyabjTwitter If you have a niche, know when you’re winning in your space!
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:42:38
  31. Share
    @abelleinbk says ask for Twitter handle to be added to your stories as a print reporter. Asked for photo online, etc #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:47:38
  32. Share
    So bottom line is, Twitter’s like real life: you either obsess over who does/doesn’t like you, or you don’t. Latter is easier. #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 20:39:58
  33. Share

    The panelists: @marioarmstrong @dcfab @jozenc @abelleinbk @GeeDee215 #nyabjtwitter
    Tue, May 01 2012 21:10:17