Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Entrepreneur, journalism

DJTF Partners With Knight Foundation On JournoPreneur Panel In Boston

 

nabj_djtf_200x200logo wordsThe Digital Journalism Task Force will be out front at the NABJ convention in Boston next month. We are very proud to have a special workshop, “JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company,” that is being sponsored by the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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Tracie Powell

DJTF Co-char Tracie Powell, owner of the All Digitocracy blog, said that with all the upheaval in the industry,more and more journalists of color are choosing to produce and distribute their own content instead of begging for jobs. “Whether we are doing it intentionally or not, we’re creating and launching our own media ventures or trying to, but we’re doing so on a prayer and a string,” she said. “We haven’t the faintest clue about business plans, market studies or venture capitalism. We are already entrepreneurial, but do we know how to take that next step and truly become entrepreneurs?”

Powell feels that journalists need to know how to apply their unique skills to being an entrepreneur. “As journalists the skills we have are necessary in the startup world. We are articulate and determined. Our ability to clearly communicate ideas to others, especially those unfamiliar with a given issue, can translate into success explaining and generating excitement from venture capitalists. Finally, we have the tenacity to pursue a challenging story; that same tenacity can be used to aggressively seek funding and gain users.”

“What we need is to better understand the difference between building a personal brand versus building a media company, and we need to know how to take an idea from concept to launch. That’s what this workshop is all about,” she said.

The workshop will start by helping attendees figure out if they really want to start their own businesses, said Powell. “If the answer is yes, then we will have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with media entrepreneurs who are already doing this,” she said. “Those of us who are really ready to make the leap will not only learn from the panelists’ expertise at the convention, we will leave with the workings of a business plan in hand and a possible mentor.”

So many journalists of color have been laid off and downsized, people with real talent, knowledge and skills that are of benefit to the industry and to their communities, said Powell. “That should not and cannot go to waste. We have journalism skills that we can apply to being entrepreneurs, heck, many of us are already doing it and don’t even know it. So why not?” she asked. “What else are you doing besides begging for a limited number of newsroom jobs, working for somebody else when you really want to work for yourself?”

There are whole communities that are consistently ignored by mainstream newsrooms, Powell observed. “Launching our own media companies — whether it be developing mobile news apps, websites or innovative tools that connect communities with the information they need to strengthen our democracy — is one way we get to do the important work that we crave and that our communities need,” she said. “This is especially true as many of us find ourselves displaced and unemployed.”

Powell called the speakers for JournoPreneurs her personal dream panel. The panel consists of entrepreneurs at varying stages in the launch process, which will make this even more interesting and beneficial to those in attendance. “I thought of everybody that I would want to meet and learn from, then I invited them to Boston,” she said. “Of course, the Knight Foundation stepped in and offered to help make connections with some of the panelists and they also gave the task force some money to help turn the dream panel into a reality. That was a real plus.”

“We wouldn’t be here without them. I wouldn’t be here without them. I’m really looking forward to this being the start of something truly special in terms of nurturing our members and equipping them with the tools to become digital media entrepreneurs,” Powell said about the Knight Foundation. “I’m serious about this being a long-term project and a long-term relationship, not just some one-off chance encounter at the convention, and I believe Knight is too.”

Powell hopes that attendees will walk away from the workshop with a business plan and a mentor. “We’re looking to identify promising ventures by a handful of journalists and hope to bring those media entrepreneurs back together in the next couple of months at a entrepreneurial media institute, or at the very least, enable them to meet personally with their mentors,” she said. “That part is still a work in progress, but it will all start at the convention in Boston.”

The workshop is on Thursday, July 31 from 2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company

When it comes to digital media innovation, journalists of color are largely missing from the landscape. Earlier this year, the American Society of News Editors surveyed 68 online news organizations about the percentage of journalists of color inside their newsrooms and found that 43 sites didn’t have any person of color on staff. Meanwhile, more journalists, including journalists of color, are creating their own media companies or hyperlocal sites. JournoPreneurs: How To Build Your Own Media Company will provide hands-on experience with drafting business plans, filing articles of incorporation, advice on how to access funding and build teams as well as concrete steps on how to launch a media company and what happens after the launch. #nabj

Panelists:

Michael Bolden, Knight Foundation

Ezra Klein, Co-Founder, Vox Media

Carlos Watson, Founder, Ozy.com

Kelly Virella, Founder, Dominion of New York and The Urban Thinker

Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force.  She also serves on the board of the Online News Association.  She is  the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

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Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism

10 Things to Do NOW to Prepare for #NABJ14

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The 2014 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is coming up fast. In order to have a successful convention, you need to be prepared. Below are 10 things you need to do now to be on your game in Boston.

  1. Buy your plane ticket. The closer you get to the convention date, the more expensive that air fare will be. I bought my Baltimore-Boston ticket in March on Southwest Airlines for $124 round trip (and if you we’re following @NABJDigital or @AvQueenBenet, you would have known I shared the deal). They are now running a shade under $200. Search Airfarewatchdog.com for lowest fares and fare alerts.
  2. Business cards. Get them now. Vistaprint has a great selection and you can get 500 for as little as $10. You can even get free cards (minus shipping costs) that sport an ad on the back.
  3. Resume/online portfolio. Now is the time to tighten up that resume and freshen up or create an online portfolio to impress recruiters at the convention. Need help? Check our the DJTF webinars covering online portfolios and resumes that we did in January. They’re free to watch, but you must register.
  4. Find ways to save money. Going to convention is not cheap, but you can do it and not break the bank. Find folks to share a hotel room at the NABJ Convention Roommate Bureau. If you’re checking a bag, tuck some non-perishable snacks and water. Reach out on our listserves and social media channels for ride shares to and from the airport.  Check out sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon to find nearby places to eat that are less expensive than the hotel. And search Hotwire and Priceline for nearby hotel deals.
  5. Look at the convention schedule. Work out a plan on what workshops you want to attend and create a schedule.
  6. Check out the exhibitors and recruiters (not posted yet, but the site says coming soon). See who will be in Boston and start prioritizing who are the must-see employers on your list.
  7. Start making appointments. The schedules of those attending the conference are very tight. Call folks now to set up interview/chat times. And consider breakfast meetings, since schedules tend to slip as the day goes by.
  8. Check your wardrobe. See what clothes fit and what don’t. See what needs to be cleaned or altered. And if you need to buy things, do it  now.
  9. Check your social media profile. Google yourself and see what comes up. Check your Facebook profile and make sure there are no embarrassing photos or posts, because potential employers will be checking.
  10. Hang out with your friends now. The convention is the time to meet new people and grow your network. It is not the time to hang with the same group of people you do at home, because as much as you love them, they are not going to get you a job.
Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Entrepreneur, journalism, multimedia journalist, Uncategorized

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

JUNE

  •  Since 2002, the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded $10,000 to a person, group or organization that works to preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. If you, a person or an organization you know fiercely protects these rights, submit a nomination for the 2014 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award by June 22. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SPJ’s supporting foundation) dedicates this honor to anyone who upholds this pillar of democracy, not just journalists. Visit SPJ’s website to learn more, see a list of past honorees and submit the nomination materials. Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier, awards@spj.org, can answer any questions you may have. Submit a Pulliam First Amendment Award nomination today.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.

JULY

  • The Native American Journalists Association will hold the 2014 National Native Media Conference held in Santa Clara, Calif. Join more than 300 Native journalists, media professionals and tribal community representatives from across the country at the 30th annual event commemorating three decades of enhancing Native journalism July 10-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Members of the Native American Journalists Association save $50 on conference registration – become a member to take advantage of the discount.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.

AUGUST 

  • The National Association of Hispanic Journalists will hold its Annual Multimedia Convention & Career Expo August 7-9, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. NAHJ has approximately 1,500 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators.

SEPTEMBER

  • For the past 7 years, data enthusiasts from all over the globe have come together for the Tableau Conference. They’ve discovered how to leverage their investment in data analytics, hear what’s next in business intelligence, and network with other like-minded individuals. This year you can expect the same. The conference will host more than 240 sessions, 10 super sessions, 4 engaging keynote speakers in Seattle, Washington from September 8 to 12. 
  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism

Digital Programming At The NABJ Boston Convention

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The 2014 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is coming up quickly.  The full convention schedule has been released, and there’s a nice representation of digital programming that will allow attendees to up their skills. Below are some of the highlighted workshops you may want to consider in Boston.

  • Google for Media Bootcamp NABJ 2014
  • BrandingExchange (InvitationOnly)
  • Writing,Editing,Design,Computing: An Introduction to Computational Journalism
  • Multimedia Gadgets and Lighting
  • DigitalJournalism101:Write,Click,Tweet
  • JournoPreneurs: What It Takes To Build A Media Company
  • How to be a WordPress VIP
  • Social Media Reporting Tools: Using Social Media to Leverage Your Journalism Brand: Apps, Tech and Tools for Journalists (this is how it appeared on the website)
  • Robot Reporters
  • Bloggers,Tweeters, and Journalists-What is the Difference?

Pre-registration ends on June 15, so register — and book your hotel and flight — today.  See you in Boston!

Benét J. Wilson is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force.  She also serves on the board of the Online News Association.  She is  the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Posted in Education, journalism

How to get the most out of your internship

By Marcus Foster

college-internAn internship in any newsroom (large or small) should be considered an honor.  A station or publication has shown an interest in grooming you to be the leaders of tomorrow.  You are getting valuable, hands-on experience and real-world lessons.  At the same time, you are building a resume/reel that could land you your first job.  You are also making connections that could help you get that first job or help move you to the next level later in your career.  With that said, don’t do anything that would cause anyone to doubt you or your abilities.  

To that end, here’s the most valuable advice I can offer:

1. Dress the part.  You don’t have to wear a suit and tie. However, you should know that jeans and t-shirts are usually not acceptable attire for newsrooms.  I know you are students and times are hard.  Your finances may limit what you can spend on clothing.  Stock your closets with interchangeable clothing items that you can easily mix and match for those days you have to “work.” Reporters and photographers are less likely to take you out on stories if you aren’t properly dressed. It’s all about making memorable first impressions.  Other things you might want to reconsider: party attire, wild hair colors or hair styles, noticeable body piercings that are not on the ear, etc. (Seriously, I’m trying to help you get a job!)

2.  Ditch the crowd.  I encourage you to know your fellow interns.  You all share a common interest, so grow that friendship.  HOWEVER, I challenge you to make a lasting connection with the professionals in the newsroom.  Those professionals have an established network of friends in the business.  They can connect you with job leads.  They are more likely to offer help in building your resume/reel.  

3.  Shadow everyone.  I am a witness to this.  I entered my senior year in 1998 with the mission to get a job as a television reporter.  During my final semester, my professor asked if I was interested in weekend internship at WLBT in Jackson, MS. For the first few weeks, I shadowed reporters.  Then I switched to shadowing a weekend morning producer.  It was the best move of my entire life.  It opened the door to an option that I had not even considered.  It made me a better writer and producer of my daily newscasts at the University of Mississippi.  AND when that producer decided to leave the business in May, the news director offered me a part time job producing the weekend morning newscasts.  That led to a full-time job a few months later.  

4.  Take advantage of every opportunity offered/Create your own opportunities to learn.  Your internship is about more than just running scripts and answering phones.  Get out of the newsroom and follow the reporters.  Find out which photographer is on vo or vo-sot patrol for the day. Ask if you can tag along.  Before you go out, log on to your newsroom computer system and read the background information on the stories.  The photographer may hand you the microphone and ask you to conduct the interview.  It’s also an easy way to get practice interviewing and shooting stand-ups.

5.  Write, write and re-write.  Take your own notes when you are out with the reporters.  Write your own version of their story.  Ask that reporter to review your work.  The same applies to interns who want to be producers/writers.  Write a few voiceovers or vo-sots and ask the producer to review your samples.  

It’s all about putting your education to work for you.  

 

Marcus-FosterMarcus Foster is a producer for WSB TV – Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta.