Posted in Education, Equipment, multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five + Five: Your Guide To New Media

It’s the end of the month, and very close to the end of the year. So below are not five, not 10 but 20 hacks, tips and tools you can try out as you work on boosting your digital storytelling skills in 2015. Enjoy, and happy new year!

  1. Medium – How they did it — Part 1: Spotting storytelling tools in the wild
  2. Knight BlogNew Digital Tools Every Journalist Should Try
  3. LinkedInThe Top 10 Get Sh*t Done Tools
  4. PBS8 Digital Tools Every Journalist Should Try
  5. GigaomHow to get faster answers to your searches in Google Chrome for Android
  6. IJNet – SoundCite makes it easier to add audio clips to text stories
  7. Blogging Tips – Top 10 Essential URL Shorteners 
  8. Knight Center, University of Texas – Maps, timelines and infographics: 5 tools to build your own interactive visualizations
  9. RebelMouse – 7 ways to write better headlines
  10. Re/Code Here’s the Twitter Tracking Tool More People Should Know About
  11. PBS10 Social Media Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
  12. Mashable – 7 Tips for Surviving The Leap From Employee to Entrepreneur 
  13. Buffer Social – The Ideal Length of Everything Online, Backed by Research
  14. Gizmodo10 tricks to make yourself an Evernote master
  15. PBS11 Steps to a Better Twitter Stream
  16. Knight Digital Media Center – Tools for mobile community engagement
  17. Mashable – How I Gained 68,000 Followers by Live-Tweeting
  18. Socialbrite – 9 time-saving tips to write more blog posts
  19. Blogging Tips – 8 Ways to Use Video the Right Way on Your Blog 
  20. MediaBistroThe 7 Elements of an Optimized Twitter Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Posted in Education, Entrepreneur, Innovation, journalism

Unemployed? In Between Jobs? Launch That Blog – NOW!

When I do my free resume reviews for students and young journalists starting out, many times I either see gaps in employment or not enough internship experience or time on school media platforms.

When I discuss the findings of my reviews, I note the lack of experience or the gaps and ask what they are doing to continue to perfect their craft.  I get vague answers about how hard it is to find freelance work, and the conversation peters out.

The lack of freelance work is NOT an excuse.  With all the free and low-cost web-based platforms out there, there’s no reason why you can’t use them to showcase your work. I found a great article forwarded to me by one of my Twitter followers from the International Journalist’s Network blog: “Six tips for journalists on launching a successful blog.”

I blog here. I also created AviationQueen.com back in November 2010, and I regularly guest post on journalism and aviation blogs.  My blog and others were godsends when I got laid off in October 2011. Some gigs were paid and some were not, but all of them got me exposure and led to job leads.

But blogging is not the only thing you can do.  Create a talk show on BlogTalkRadio on the topics you hope to cover.  I met Hezzie McCaleb, one of the founders of Barbershop Sports, at the NABJ convention in San Diego. Check out their website and how they use BlogTalkRadio.

Other ideas to get your work out and practice your craft:

  • Create your own stories using tools like Ustream and post them on your own YouTube or Vimeo channel;
  • Start a Tumblr blog on a specific topic;
  • Offer to guest blog on blogs you admire and have some expertise in;
  • Create your own podcasts using tools such as SoundCloud, Cinch or AudioBoo;
  • Comment on blogs and websites you admire, using the URL for your blog so people can follow your work; and
  • Sign up for social media platforms to further promote your work.

I understand that we all have bills to pay, and sometimes we have to take that job outside journalism to make sure we have a roof over our head and food in the fridge.  But with all the tools out there, you have zero excuse not to keep up your journalism skills. Good luck!!

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 coeditor of AirwaysNews.com and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media – The Google Edition

I wish there was just one place that was home to the master list of Google hacks. But until then, check out these five that can be handy right now.

  1. Google – Public Data Explorer
  2. Lifehacker – Create Customizable GeoMaps with Google Sheets 
  3. Gigaom – How get the most out of Google’s apps and services when using an iPad 
  4. Digital Telepathy – Google Spreadsheets: More Useful Than You Thought
  5. About.com Travel – Make your own Google maps
Posted in Equipment, multimedia journalist

9 Great Holiday Gifts For Journalists

With everything going on in digital journalism these days, you can never have too many tools, tech and toys at your disposal. So below are some suggested gifts to buy the ink-stained wretch in your life.  Enjoy!

  1. Mophie Juice Pack — with all the ways we use our iPhones and iPads on the job, we will inevitably get to a place where an outlet may not be available. That’s when Mophie comes to the rescue. There are different versions, but I carry the Mophie Powerstation Duo, which allows me to charge my iPhone and iPad at the same time, quickly. Nice!
  2. Belkin Mini Surge Protector — Speaking of outlets, I carry this one, which has three plugs and two USB slots. The Belkin can be rotated to fit any outlet space.
  3. QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones — sometimes when I’m working on deadline, I need to listen to one of my calming playlists and cut out the noise in the newsroom. So I decided to pay $299.00 for a pair of these puppies, which can also be used for conversations on the iPhone.
  4.  Brydge Bluetooth iPad Keyboard — You can read my review of the Brydge here.
  5. Newsprint skirt —  I saw a woman wearing this skirt at ta journalism convention and loved it. It is custom made by theVintage Galeria Etsy store for $45.95.
  6. AP Stylebook app – I’m loath to actually pay for an app. The most you’ll get out of me is 99 cents — until I saw this app. It costs $24.99, but it is worth every penny, putting the book on your iPhone. You can mark your favorites.
  7. GorillaPod Flexible Tripod — Jeremy Caplan of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism did a great presentation, “21 Ways to Awesome-ize Your Mobile Toolkit,”  and one of his tips was using this tripod when shooting video with an iPhone.
  8. Membership in a journalism organization — nothing shows the love like paying for your scribe to network and work on their craft in professional organizations. I’ll recommend the three that have me as a member — the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Online News Association (I’m on the board).

Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the immediate past chair of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is coeditor of AirwaysNews.com.  She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media

Every week we share five articles/tips/hacks to help you do your job as a storyteller easier and smarter. Here are this week’s entries.

  1. LinkedIn7 Social Login Myths Debunked
  2. PBS6 Great Apps to Help You Write
  3. BusinessWeekFive Things Developers Wish Their Nontech Colleagues Knew
  4. GigaomJournalism isn’t just about informing readers, it’s also about helping them take action
  5. Business Daily – The Best Add-Ons for Google Drive 
Posted in Entrepreneur, Innovation, multimedia journalist

Help Fund The Beacon Reader Project “HOW’D YOU GET THAT (MEDIA) JOB?”

Tracie Powell.
Tracie Powell.

Tracie Powell currently serves as the co-chair of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force. She is also founder, editor and publisher of the amazing AllDigitocracy.org website, which has quickly become the go-to website for digital diversity media issues.

But things like AllDigitocracy.org don’t run on good will alone. Good journalism needs to be funded, which is why I’m asking you to consider donating to Tracie’s Beacon Reader project, “How’d You Get That (Media) Job?” Under the project, Tracie will do high-quality video interviews with diverse industry movers and shakers on how they ended up with the jobs they’re in.  The first one, below, is with Roland Martin, a past NABJ board member, media entrepreneur and host of TV One’s “Washington Watch with Roland Martin.”

Non-whites make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population, but only 12 percent of U.S. newsrooms. That’s according to a report released in 2013 by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). The organization also found that 90 percent of newsroom supervisors at organizations that participated in the study were white.

Similarly, the Radio Television Digital News Association found that while the minority population of the United States has risen 10.4 percent, the minority workforce in television news is up only 3.7 percent, and the minority workforce in radio is up 0.9 percent. RTDNA’s 2012 diversity study also found that 86 percent of television news directors and 91.3 percent of radio news directors are Caucasian.

While women have made some progress, they still earn only 36 percent of bylines or on-camera appearances, and the number of women industry executives has declined. All Digitocracy seeks to help turn the tide by giving these journalists advice, insight and access to opportunities and by working closely with hiring managers to help make their newsrooms more representative so that they can better serve and engage with their respective audiences.

In a nutshell, All Digitocracy considers media questions and issues that aren’t covered—and your help will allow us to take this coverage even further with this new web series.

If you’re interested in funding good journalism, you can get more information here. Pledges start at only $5, but the deadline to show your support is Christmas Eve, so please consider making a donation today.

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 coeditor of AirwaysNews.com and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

We’re back! Here’s a quick list of events through the end of the year.  We’ll have a bigger calendar next week. Meanwhile, if you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

DECEMBER

  • The Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Information Society Project of Yale Law School have partnered to present this series of 5 lectures as part of the larger Journalism After Snowden project this Fall. Journalism After Snowden: Finding and Protecting Intelligence Sources After Snowden, a lecture with James Bamford on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm. The lecture will be held at Yale Law School – 127 Wall Street, New Haven, Connecticut,  Room 122. An RSVP Required via Eventbrite. Whistleblowers are very rare, and it is even more rare when one comes knocking on your door as Edward Snowden did with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.  Instead, journalists covering national security and intelligence need to develop sources from scratch.  And once developed, they need to be protected.  In his talk James Bamford will discuss some ways to develop sources and also ways to protect them.  He will also talk about Edward Snowden and his thoughts on sources and whistleblowers.  Bamford spent three days with him in Moscow last summer for a cover story in Wired magazine.
  • The Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Information Society Project of Yale Law School have partnered to present this series of 5 lectures as part of the larger Journalism After Snowden project this Fall. Journalism After Snowden – In Defense of Leaks, a lecture with Jill Abramson on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in Pulitzer Hall – 3rd Floor World Room. RSVP Required via Eventbrite. Jill Abramson is a journalist who spent the last 17 years in the most senior editorial positions at The New York Times, where she was the first woman to serve as Washington Bureau Chief, Managing Editor and Executive Editor. Before joining the Times, she spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal as the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief and an investigative reporter covering money and politics. She is currently a lecturer with the department of English at Harvard University.
  • The Tow Center for Digital Journalism presents Tow Tea: Understanding the Role of Algorithms and Data at BuzzFeed on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. RSVP encouraged via Eventbrite. Ky Harlin, Director of Data Science for Buzzfeed will join us along with an editor and reporter from Buzzfeed. Together, they will help us understand the relationship between content and data—How does Buzzfeed predict whether a story will go viral?  What is shareability?  Do reporters and editors at Buzzfeed make editorial decisions based on input from data scientists who track traffic and social networks?  What is the day-to-day workflow like at Buzzfeed and how are methods employed different than those used in traditional newsroom settings? For questions about this event, please contact Smitha Khorana, Tow Center DMA, at sk3808@columbia.edu.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force and the Diverse Social Media Editors & Digital Journalists group present “The Road To Social Media Success,” a FREE webinar with Huffington Post Columnist Sean Gardner. Gardner will offer tips on how to step up your social media game. The webinar will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. EST. Register today!

MARCH

  • The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host the Region III conference March 5-8, 2015, aboard the Carnival cruise line to the Bahamas. This conference will feature diverse programming for freelance and transitioning journalists, public relations practitioners, entrepreneurs and students.  A $100 per person deposit deadline is Monday, December 15, 2014; the final balance is due by Sunday, January 4, 2015.
  • Journalists, media and communication professionals and students are invited to participate in the 2015 National Association of Black Journalists Region VI Conference, March 13-14,2015, in Oakland, California. The event – which takes place at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland’s Jack London Square – will begin with a Friday night mixer reception at Lungamore’s @ Jack London Square followed by a full day of workshops, which will offer information and discussion on the impact and future of technology in the media and communications industries. Saturday’s sessions will end with a dinner/dance open to all participants.