Posted in Conferences & Conventions, News, Social Media

Meograph Revolutionizes Storytelling with a Few Clicks

Misha Leybovich, Meograph CEO


By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Multimedia Journalism Professor, DJTF Contributor

Imagine being able to tell a story in four dimensions on one media platform that includes Google maps, video, audio and photos.

Misha Leybovich has created such a tool that he hopes will appeal to anyone who has a story to tell.

Leybovich’s new enterprise is called Meograph and the geospatial data curation program goes public in early July.

It allows users to incorporate audio, video, photos, Google Maps and Google Earth into a simple one-page interface that creates a four-dimensional story or Meograph as Leybovich has coined and publishes instantaneously to the Internet.

Leybovich, who has degrees from MIT and University of California, Berkeley, in engineering, has been thinking about Meorgaph since he read Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland when he was 8-years-old. His fascination with space, time and communication led to Meograph’s creation.

“I think that everybody is creative and everybody has a story to tell,” said Leybovich. “We want to make it so everybody can take the stories they have and have an easy way to tell them.”

Meorgaph has already been put to test.  Several stories are on the demo site at, including one that documents the events in the Trayvon Martin case, the Sanford, Fl. teen killed by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed crime watch volunteer, who claimed self-defense.

The Meograph appears in a 707 by 450 pixel frame with an interactive Google Map and narration from a reporter. A timeline takes the viewer through the events in the case while showing images of Martin, Zimmerman and audio from 911 police dispatch tapes. YouTube videos, multiple images and maps of the community, where Martin was shot are included in the Meograph timeline as a signature “M” mobiles across each location.

Click the Meograph image above to see story

As of June 29, more than 9-thousand viewers have watched the Meograph titled Trayvon Martin Case.  Other Meographs on the demo site include “The Arab Spring, Whitney Houston’s Life, Facebook’s Timeline and Gay Marriage Rights.”

Journalists produced many of the stories on the demo site; however, Leybovich hopes that Meograph will appeal to everyone. He says the site is so user friendly that it would take anyone about 10 minutes to produce a multimedia story.

“Whether it’s a personal story, a travel story, your company story or teaching… your students,” Leybovich said Meograph revolutionizes storytelling with a few clicks.

Leybovich said Meograph would be free to use; however, special customization and premium platforms will be available too.

Leybovich, who grew up in Irvine, Ca., visited 70 countries and lived on four continents, said there are so many great stories to tell and he can’t wait to see how people use Meograph to tell their own stories.

See Misha Leybovich talk about Meograph here.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, multimedia journalist

Missed #NABJ12? Check Out Storination!

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

We know that everyone couldn’t join us for this year’s fantastic convention in New Orleans.  In a perfect world, we would have had live streaming of the workshops, similar to what they do at the Online News Association’s annual convention.

But since that wasn’t an option due to budget considerations, NABJ went all out with social media.  So many of our members and attendees were on Twitter that at several points last week, we were a trending topic.

Right before the convention, I learned about Storination, a cool web-based tool that allows you to put all the Storifys from a single event — like #NABJ12 — in one place for folks to read and share.  I went on Twitter and begged for a beta code, then sent an email explaining exactly what I wanted to do with the tool. 

I want to thank all those members who did Storifys on key sessions, along with two plenaries, the board meeting and the business meeting.  Click here to see all the Storifys done from New Orleans.  If you did one and it wasn’t included, please email me and I’ll include it. Enjoy!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

NABJ Social Media Checklist #NABJ2012

– NABJ Social Media Team 

For many of you this will be your first NABJ convention on twitter. That means it will be your first time using an NABJ Convention hashtag, your first time retweeting convention tweets, your first time enjoying the “backchannel” that often dominates the digital conversation during major events. Your digital self will be alive during this convention and the NABJ Social media team will do everything to keep you engaged.

This year NABJ has a robust social media program and we want to make sure that everyone knows how they can engage and share what they’re learning, or better yet, how they’re enjoying New Orleans.



NABJ is on twitter and we’d love to hear from you! Tweet us! NABJ has two regularly updated twitter channels, @NABJ and @Nabjdigital. The PR student project team of Christopher Nelson and Bartees Cox will be manning the official @NABJ channel. You can expect announcements, live-tweeting, questions, scavenger hunts and NABJ student articles tweeted from this account. As usual, Benet Wilson will provide her unique and enlightening tweets on the @nabjdigital account.

Hashtags Hashtags!
The OFFICIAL hashtag of the conference is #NABJ12 (not #NABJ2012). To promote engagement among members who are at the conference and who aren’t able to attend, please tweet all panels and events with the official hashtag. Each workshop will also have it’s own hashtag which you should also include. This will aid people who want to go back and seek information from the panels.


Twitter Scavenger Hunt
Starting on Thursday, the @NABJ will be running a twitter scavenger hunt at NOON on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Prizes include the following:

  • VIP Ticket to the Sports Task Force Jam
  • Tickets to the Gospel Brunch
  • Meet & Greet opportunity with Cedric The Entertainer, Niecy Nash, Rosie Perez, and Viola Davis

Follow the @NABJ account for clues to find Bartees Cox, who will be within a half mile of the Hilton. Once you find him, you’ll have to answer some trivia questions.

Join us on Facebook!

Stay up to date with NABJ news and connect to other attendees!

Facebook Page – Look out for the day’s best picture as well as photo albums from each day’s events.

Facebook Group – The Facebook group continues to be a place for community around the 2012 NABJ conference. We encourage you to continue to post announcements, photos and questions on the group during the conference.


Create a Storify from Your Panel!

Storify is one of the best ways to create stories and archive social media content from your panels. We’re really pushing for NABJ conference panelists and members to create a storify for EVERY PANEL. Please tag ALL of your stories with #NABJ12. We’re aiming to create at least 30 storify stories from the convention. Afterwards we’ll compile this media into a Storination.

New Social Media Site – Instagram!

NABJ has a new social media account on Instagram – NABJofficial. Please follow us and look out for the best pictures from this week’s convention.

Check in on Foursquare

Follow NABJ and check into the 2012 NABJ Convention and Career Fair. If the check in doesn’t immediately pop up then do a search. Please also add photos to your check in.


Do you plan on blogging the NABJ Conference? Don’t forget to tweet us the link so we can tweet it or facebook it!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, multimedia journalist

NABJ and ONA Show The Love To New Orleans Journalists

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

As we prepare to attend the  National Association of Black Journalists‘ (NABJ) 37th Annual Convention & Career Fair, we arrive with heavy hearts.

In an ironic twist, it will be a week to the day that Advance Publications, parent of the iconic Times-Picayune newspaper, announced that 84 of its 173 people in the newsroom were losing their jobs, effective Sept. 30.  On the same day in Alabama, three major daily newspapers laid off approximately 400 employees, many of them in the newsrooms at The Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile and The Huntsville Times.

Among those losing their jobs were Birmingham chapter founding member Eddie Lard — the newspaper’s lone African-American editorial voice — along with former chapter president Sherrel Stewart and current officer Roy Williams.

NABJ this year partnered with the Online News Association to bring their popular ONA Camp to New Orleans.  ONA Camp brings one day of world-class digital journalism training to those trying to beef up their skills.  Courses available include Mobile Newsgathering, (Mostly) Free Tools and Google Fusion 101.

In light of what has happened in Alabama and Louisiana, we are opening up registration in ONA Camp to anyone affected by the layoffs. So whether you are an NABJ member or not, you can pay $10 and attend this great training.  Click HERE to register.  We hope many of you will take advantage of this offer, and look forward to seeing you!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Innovation, multimedia journalist, Technology

Going To New Orleans For #NABJ12? Check Out The Black History Mobile App

An iconic New Orleans balcony. Photo courtesy of Katjusa Cisar via Flickr.

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

Back in November 2010, NABJ member and digital journalism pioneer Retha Hill won a $12,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs program.  Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, used her grant to create the Mobile Black History Project app. You can see her presentation of the app here.

The app offers an augmented reality view of prominent black history sites in 12 cities, including New Orleans, where NABJ will hold its annual convention next week.  “When NABJers are out and about in New Orleans, they can look through the lens of their smartphone and find out about all kinds of interesting African-American history,” said Hill.  “They can discover, for example, the home of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, the founder of the first black daily newspaper in the U.S., or the Cheval House, which was once home to the free person of color who invented a way of refining sugar.”

To access the app, download the Layar browser (available for iOS and Android devices) then search for “black history.” After your mobile’s GPS determines your location, the app can direct you to nearby points of interest, providing historic images, video and other information.  Below is a YouTube video demonstrating how the video works.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Social Media

10 iPhone Apps To Enhance Your NABJ 2012 Convention Experience

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

Regular readers know that I am a HUGE fan of my iPhone as a great tool to do my job as a journalist. But some of the same tools I love to do my work will also help make next week’s National Association of Black Journalists Annual Convention and Career Fair a better experience. So below, in no particular order, are 10 apps to make your convention experience even better.

  1. The Weather Channel: I love this app for giving me detailed hourly, daily, 36-hour and weekly forecasts in any city.
  2. Hoot Suite: with this free Twitter app, not only can I keep track of my six Twitter accounts, I can also create columns to follow the #NABJ12 and #NABJ hashtags, along with key people like @NABJprez2011. I also like the Hashtag app to follow particular tags in one place.
  3. Dragon Diction: this handy app allows me to post directly to my Facebook or Twitter accounts just by speaking. And because so much is going on, I can also use it to send myself reminders and updates.
  4. AroundMe: this free app is an invaluable resource when you’re in a new city. It offers information on local conveniences including banks/ATMs, bars, hospitals, restaurants and supermarkets.
  5. Concur: If you’re going on your company’s dime and it uses Concur, this app is golden. It allows you to keep track of expenses on the run. And after the convention, there’s no huge pile of receipts to track. Nice! If you don’t use Concur, click here for other suggestions.
  6. Urbanspoon: New Orleans is a great city for food. Use this free app to find restaurants in the city, complete with menus, comments, directions and contact information. It also breaks down restaurants by cuisine and price.For my sushi lovers, I’m a big fan of iSushi.
  7. Ustream: this app allows me to shoot live video from my iPhone. I can also upload the video to my YouTube channel.
  8. Audioboo: I used this tool in Philly last year to do quick, 5-minute audio interviews.
  9. CamCard ($6.99): every year I collect a huge stack of business cards and only 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. ABMW President Troy Johnson also told me about CardFlick, a free app that allows you to share business card information.
  10. Taxi Magic: you need a cab, but you don’t want to hunt for phone numbers. Use this free online booking service to get a cab where you want, when you want.

So, what did I miss? What apps would you suggest for NABJ?

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

Storified!! #NABJ12PREP Chat Part II – Ask ANY Question

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

We did it again, thanks to popular demand.  This time, we let YOU ask the questions about the upcoming NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair, and we had a great group of folks generous enough to give you the answers.  Click here for a Storify of the Twitter Chat.  And BIG ups to DJTF Secretary Kiratiana Freelon for producing this second chat!!

See you in New Orleans!!

Posted in Uncategorized

How Atlantic Media magazines, websites hire for intellect, generosity, digital dexterity

By Tracie Powell

ImageJob seekers: Want tips on how to get your foot in the door at The Atlantic Media Company? Their new online publication, which launches this fall, is hiring! This is a must read for college graduates, especially those just getting their graduate and/or doctoral degrees.

Media executives: While other news organizations struggle to survive in the digital age, The Atlantic Media Company is not only beating the odds, it’s surpassing them. Want to know their secret? 

When it comes to diversity, however…. meh. (Hint: That’s another reason to read this piece.)

Read more here.

Tracie Powell is a contributing writer to and a vice chairperson for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. 

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

#NABJ12PREP Chat Part II – Ask ANY Question!

The Digital Journalist Task Force is back at it again. Due to the overwhelming success of the first #NABJ12prep twitter chat two weeks ago, we’re doing another twitter chat THIS Wednesday, June 6.

NABJ DJTF OPEN Twitter Chat – Wednesday, June 6, 8pm EST–9pm EST #NABJ12PREP

This time, we’re handing over the choice of twitter chat questions all to you. It will be an entirely open forum in which you will be able to tweet ANY question that you have about the NABJ conference.

We’ve invited all different types of journalists to this twitter chat to insure that everyone’s question is answered.

Below are the people who will be on our twitter chat on Wednesday –

The Entrepreneur Kelly Virella (@kvirella) – Longtime print journalist Kelly Virella recently emerged as a new media entrepreneur with her new website, Dominion of New York.

The Longtime NABJ Conference Attendee  – Kathy Chaney (@kathychaney) – Kathy Chaney is the managing editor of the Chicago Defender and has attended the NABJ conference for seven years straight.

The Recruiter – Stacy Williamson – (@recruiterstacy) She recruits journalists for ESPN and can be found on twitter dispelling the best advice on landing that dream job.

The Broadcaster – Andrew Humphrey – (@andrewhumphrey) Andrew Humphrey founded the Digital Journalist Task Force and is a Meteorologist & Reporter at WDIV-TV Local 4. He’ll join the chat for the first 30 minutes.

The Blogger & Social Media Expert – Natalie McNeal (@frugalista) Former Miami Herald reporter Natalie McNeal turned her Frugalista blog into a successful book and brand.

The Board Member Cindy George (@cindylgeorge)– Cindy is the current parliamentarian of the NABJ and reports on health issues for the Houston Chronicle.

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

The Student – Ashleigh Atwell – (@ashjournaliste) As a Georgia State University student,  Ashleigh is the Atlanta student NABJ chapter PR rep and last year launched the successful blog about her road to the Philly NABJ conference.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions

What To Wear For The NABJ Convention: The New Orleans Edition For Women

By Kirstin Garriss, Desk Assistant, NBC News, Washington, D.C.

It’s about that time again — convention time! A great time for journalists — newbies and veterans — to come together in a city to learn from each other, network, make connections and yes, even have a little fun. But this is not your average everyday workday or even a vacation; it’s weird mix of both. And like most people when they get ready for work and for a vacation, you have to ask the infamous…What should I wear?

Well, as a young journalist and veteran to the conventions (this will be my 4th!) I have a pretty good sense of what’s convention appropriate. Plus, I’ve seen my fair share of the good, the bad and even the ugly of convention attire.

So here are a few tips to keep you looking as clean, fresh and professional on the outside as you are on your resume!

Women’s Attire:
Location, Location, Location!
– Every year, NABJ choices a different place to hold the convention and it’s always during the summer months so you already know it will be hot, hot, HOT! So when preparing what to wear for the convention think about the weather

  • Before you start shopping and/or packing, check the forecast for the week of the convention so you can get an idea of what the weather will be like
  • But regardless of the forecast, ALWAYS pack at least one jacket/blazer that will keep warmer if needed and an umbrella — yes, even if it’s going to be clear the whole time, you just never know

How to TOP it off – As women, we have the options to wear dresses, skirts, tops and pants with our professional attire BUT just because we have all these potential combos, doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with 10 million options. Because we all have various shapes and sizes, it’s good to make sure all your clothes “FIT”I repeat, FIT, not barely fit or almost fit, but FIT!

  • When it comes to our tops, you want to make sure your blouse, button up or professional top fits your body — you don’t want any of your shirts to pucker in middle or near a button, that looks unprofessional and it can give people the wrong impression
  • To avoid these mishaps, try buying a top a size up. Yes, I know hearing the words “a size up” is death to us women but it’s actually a great tip to help you look slimmer because the top will fit you well and will accent your curves verse highlighting them in a bad light
  • Now, if you get to NABJ and realize that one of your button up puckers there are ways to fix that — safety pins! You can use a small safety pin in between the two buttons where your shirt is puckering and presto, no pucker! This is a great tip to save you some unneeded attention in that area!
  • Also look for light and bright colored tops that will keep you cool in the summer heat but still very professional — corals, pastels and even subdued neons are great color choices for women and they go well with neutral bottoms
  • And if you want to rock a funky pattern on top, look for patterns that aren’t too big like huge strips or enormous polka dots — both of those patterns are great but in small form
  • And remember, too much cleavage is not a good thing, you want to look professional and that is a quick way for someone to get a wrong impression about the professional you really are — so ladies, keep the girls covered!

Pants vs. Skirts vs. Dresses – When it comes to conventions, pants, skirts and dresses are all appropriate choices. Again, it’s all about fit that will make or break an outfit!

  • With pants, make sure they fit you and all your womanly curves and your height. If you’re more on the petite side, then you may have to hem your pants but if they’re just a tad bit too long, try wear some heels (that you’re comfortable in) and that will make up the difference. Or if you’re a taller woman, make sure your pants are the right length, you’ll have to do the opposite and wear a great pair of flats if your pants are just the right length
  • To make sure you have the right “FIT”, try a size up on your usual pant size because sometimes business pants are cut smaller than usual
  • Skirts and Dresses — these options are great for summer business casual. It’s good to shoot for knee length or just above your kneecap – anything shorter than that will look too casual for professional settings
  • For skirts, bright colors are in this season so you can dress up a neutral top with a bold colored skirt
  • Patterns are great for dresses and skirts, but make sure the pattern isn’t too big much for your body type — smaller framer can handle a bigger print while curvy frames look great with smaller more subtle prints AND pinstripes look great on everyone so no discrimination there!

Blazers, Jackets and SHOES – Always bring one or two blazers that are neutral and go with most of your option choices because even though it’s hot outside, the convention site and rooms can be chilly

  • A blazer gives a casual look, a nice professional touch!
    • Bring a jacket just in case it’s cooler than expected outside and for bad weather (ie. summer storms)
  • SHOES — yes, ladies you can wear your heels but PLEASE wear heels that you feel comfortable in! When you’re networking and making connections, you want to be focusing on those conversations and not how badly your feet hurt
  • Also you only need a few pairs of shoes for the whole convention — 1 to 2 pairs of neutral heels (that coordinate with most of your outfits), one pair of neutral flats (that you can use to walk around in), a pair of sandals or sneakers (to wear for sightseeing and casual events) — that’s essential 3 – 4 pairs of shoes but it could be less if you can pack efficiently
  • Now don’t get me wrong, you can rock some statement shoes if you want to but just remember a unique pair of pumps or flats may not work with all your outfits and if you’re only trying to bring a carry on, then you want to think neutral shoes all the way!

Packing Tips – The week of convention, layout all your outfit options — top, bottom and shoes (even accessories if you’re like me and love to add those too)

  • This will help you pack just want you need and save you more room in your travel bag
  • Also pack one extra outfit that you can dress up for the workshops/forums but you can also dress down for other events — this will be a good back up just in case something happens to one of your preset outfits
  • I also pack extra personal items because you just never know plus it’s always good to be ready!

These are just a few hints that will help you look great and stay cool while braving the New Orleans heat to make some new contacts at NABJ. If you think your current business wardrobe needs a little bit of a boost before the convention, take advantage of some of these pre-summer sales and stock up!

Some of my favorite places to go for business clothes are:
NY & Co.
J.C. Penny’s
Macy’s — specifically Style Inc
LOFT by Ann Taylor
– And thrift stores, like Goodwill, Value Village, Plato’s Closet, etc — this is a great way to score some designer and vintage looks without breaking the bank, but make sure you try on anything you like before you buy because there’s no return policy in thrift!

Editor’s note – for those of you on Pinterest, please take a look at two boards we’ve set up: What To Wear At NABJ and What N-O-T To Wear At NABJ.  See you in New Orleans!