- LinkedIn – How to not make newcomer mistakes on LinkedIn
- JeffBullas.com – 12 Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make on Twitter If You Want More Followers
- Life Hacker – The Best Extensions to Make Google Maps Even More Awesome
- Mashable – 12 Best iPhone Apps of 2014
- IJNET – Analice.me helps journalists automatically analyze thousands of documents
- LinkedIn – 15 Twitter Tips That Get More Retweets, Favourites And Clicks [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Gigaom – 13 Google Chrome extensions you should know about
- Mashable – 11 Best Video Editing Software Platforms
- Shout Me Loud – How to Choose Blogging Niche of your New Blog
- Code Geekz – 20 Free Data Visualization Tools
Mashable has long been one of my go-to websites when it comes to things I can do to improve my digital journalism skills. So below are great links to 10 Mashable articles that may help you. Enjoy!
- From creating charts to managing your inbox, the 11 most useful web tools of 2014
- The Tumblr Starter Kit
- The 7 Best Uses for Tumblr
- Persona Wants to Protect Your Online Reputation
- The Beginner’s Guide to SoundCloud
- 5 Must-Have Tools for a Killer Presentation
- 9 Best Free Image Editors
- 7 Things You Didn’t Know Bitly Could Do
- How to Optimize Your Profile Photos Across Social Media
- 9 Best Free Image Editors
It’s 2015, and yes, we’re all making our New Year’s resolutions. One of yours should be to step up your digital journalism skills to keep you relevant in your current newsroom or help you become a star in a new one.
To that end, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force and the Diverse Social Media Editors and Digital Journalists Facebook group will host a free series of webinars — New Year, New You, Part 2 — in January, all designed to boost your digital skills in 2015. Click here to see what we did in 2014.
First up, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at 8:30 p.m. ET, is “Tech & Tools Journalists Can Use,” a free hour-long webinar where panelist will share and demonstrate their favorite tools, websites, apps and technology that help them do their jobs smarter and better. We’ll leave time for questions after the presentation, which will be recorded. Our media partner for this event is AllDigitocracy.org.
Watch this space for other webinars we’ll be holding this month to boost your skills. And if there are webinars you want to see, let us know. Here’s to a great 2015!
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.
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.
By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern
The desire to build something that no one could ever take away from her is what fueled Rene Syler, former anchor of “The Early Show” on CBS, after her termination in 2006. What Syler wanted to create was a brand, and using the tools of digital media, she did just that and more.
She is now the author of “Good Enough Mother,” a book and supporting blog targeted at “imperfectly perfect” mothers, host of “Sweet Retreats,” a family travel show on the Live Well Network, and co-host of “Exhale”, a provocative talk show in its second season on Magic Johnson’s cable network, Aspire.
What am I going to do now?
A few weeks after losing her job at CBS, Syler underwent a preventative double mastectomy, a journey that was documented on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. “What am I going to do now?” she asked herself. “I had no job and my body was taking on a different shape.”
After telling her agent of 25 years that she did not want to do television anymore, he asked a similar question, “What am I going to do with you?”
Syler knew she would have to save herself.
“I had been relying on them to get me jobs,” she said. “I could either sit here and wait for the phone to ring or I could make it ring.”
Going digital to build a ‘bonafide brand’
Syler wrote “Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting” and secured the website’s domain in 2005 while still employed at CBS. The following year, she was fired. In 2007, her book was officially published.
“The only skills I had was the ability to write and TV,” she said. “It started with a book.”
Harnessing the power of digital media, Syler began to build what she now calls a “bonafide brand.”
“Your brand needs to be in sync with yourself,” she said. “Good Enough Mother,” the blog, was born.
“I started on Facebook, then moved to Twitter. The more I did it the more I understood its power,” Syler said in regards to her overwhelming introduction to social media.
“After almost 10 years, I have built a bonafide brand,” she said. “People need to think of blogs as living breathing business cards.”
“Good Enough Mother” has partnered with both General Motors and Disney and Syler attributes her recent television success to her digital presence.
Looking back, she said “Good Enough Mother” became much more than a book. It became a movement based on what a lot of women are experiencing.
Not for the faint of heart