Posted in Education, journalism, News, Uncategorized, Webinar

New Year, New You: Manage Covering LGBTQ Communities (Better)

One of the goals of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force’s New Year, New You webinar series is to help members do their jobs smarter and better in 2018. A big way of doing that is learning how to write respectfully and with knowledge about communities and groups that may not always be ones you cover.

So we were delighted when the co-chairs of the NABJ LGBTQ Task Force — Tre’Vell Anderson and Ernest Owens (who also is the current NABJ Emerging Journalist of the year) stepped up and created this webinar.

This webinar will discuss industry reporting standards, emerging trends and areas of improvement regarding coverage of the LGBTQ communities in print, broadcasting, and digital platforms. After this one-hour event, attendees will leave with ways to intersectionally improve their newsrooms’ coverage of LGBTQ people.
Join us on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET for what we expect to be an interesting and informative conversation. Click here to register.


Posted in Education, journalism, News, Webinar

RECORDING: How to Negotiate A Contract You Can Live With



The good news is that the television station has offered you the job. The next step iTiny Exaviers signing your contract. We were fortunate to have attorney Exavier Pope, Principal Owner of The Pope Law Firm, P.C., conduct the latest NABJ members-only webinar. During the event, Pope, who is also the host of #SuitUP Podcast and treasurer of the NABJ Sports Task Force, offered great advice to members on six key things to consider before putting pen to paper. 


  1. Length of a Contract
  2. List of Job Functions
  3. Compensation
  4. Morals Clause
  5. Non-compete Clauses
  6. Termination

You can listen to a recording of the webinar here.  Contact Exavier Pope via email, on his website or via Twitter.  And below are more resources for dealing with contracts.

Posted in journalism, News

AllDigitocracy Looks at the Numbers Behind the NABJ Board’s Travel Expenses

The NABJ Board of Directors
The NABJ Board of Directors

Denise Clay has an awesome story about NABJ and its out-of-control travel expenses on If you care about the association and have ever wondered about its internal workings, you’ll want to read this piece. Here’s an excerpt:

Right now, journalists hoping to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) at its annual convention in Minnesota this summer are shopping for low airfare — and in some cases hotel accommodations — to Minneapolis on discount travel websites.

But it might be a good idea for NABJ executives to start surfing those websites as well, especially if they plan on continuing to rack up skyrocketing travel expenses. At a time when journalism diversity is stagnant at best, a set of expense reports released to NABJ’s membership last month shows that its executive board spent more than $190,000 solely on travel in just two years.

According to the reports, the largest expenditures ($13,116.60 in 2013 and $28,391.24) can be attributed to NABJ President Bob Butler alone.

Read more: What does ‪#‎NABJ‬ have to show for the nearly $200,000 it’s spent on travel?

Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, News, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized

High school journalism camp targets budding storytellers

By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern

While most college and university journalism programs are drilling the tools and concepts of digital storytelling into the heads of college-aged students, Savannah State University has decided to go for an even younger demographic.

High School Students.

Approximately 20 students will immerse themselves in the campus life of Savannah State University while learning journalism at SSU Media High, a digital magazine and high school journalism camp. The camp, which begins on June 15, will allow students aged 13-17 to spend two weeks producing news and features for a general interest, digital magazine, said Wanda Lloyd, chair of the school’s journalism department and former executive editor of The Montgomery Advertiser.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.15.36 PM

Lloyd, who became chair of Savannah State University’s School of Journalism last summer,  said she got the idea about Media High after noticing high school students on campus for several different summer programs and camps, none of which involved journalism.

With a history of working with Howard University’s high school journalism camp, Lloyd understands that camps like this can provide journalism skills to students while helping colleges attract the best and brightest.

“The work produced in the program will give (students) an upper-leg,” Lloyd said. “My goal is to increase the capacity of journalism in the Savannah area and increase awareness of our mass communication program so students will consider Savannah State University when (choosing) a college.”

Benet Wilson, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force Vice Chair of Education, says journalism education should start early. She applauds Savannah State University for training the next generation of journalists.

“Programs like Media High give budding reporters a great foundation for their future careers,” Wilson said. “They also give students a taste of what the industry is like, allowing them to make an informed decision as they consider what college to attend.”

Media High will launch this summer under the direction of camp program director Tina A. Brown.

Brown, a professional journalist with 30 years experience, said she hopes to attract curious learners interested in acquiring newsroom skills quickly.

Candidates will be required to write an essay about themselves and why they would benefit from the program, Brown said. Those selected will produce news on multiple platforms, including video and audio, she added.

“Everything will be done online,” Brown said. “Students will cover events on campus and in the community.” Staff and students at the university will serve as mentors in the program, she said, and field trips to local media outlets and to city council meetings are included in the schedule.

The total cost to operate Media High is about $25,000, with the lion’s share of the money coming from public funding: a $14, 000 federal grant; $4,000 from the Dow Jones News Fund; and $2,000 from student participants themselves. Organizers say students will need assistance covering their share of the costs.

While existing funds will pay for the operation of the program, Media High needs money to cover students’ expenses, including meals and housing. Stipulations for current funding precludes program managers from using any of the $16,000 to purchase meals, which Brown estimates will cost $22 a day per student, she said.  

Contributions are tax deductible  and checks can be made to:

SSU Foundation, Inc.,
In care of: Wanda Lloyd, chair of Mass Communications, SSU Media High,
3219 College Street, Savannah, Ga. 31404.
Posted in Awards, Education, Innovation, journalism, multimedia journalist, News, Technology, Uncategorized

Why NABJ Members Should Apply For Google Fellowships

Bartees Cox, Jr. is Director of Media Relations at Public Knowledge, which works on technology and media policy in Washington, DC.

Where to start? First I must tell you that I didn’t wind up becoming a journalist. But like others, I understand the reasons people want to join Google Policy and Journalism fellowship programs, and who they are when they leave them.

Not only is it a major accomplishment to be chosen, it is an affirmation of the path that the potential journalist, policy maker, or entrepreneur chooses to take. I’ll tell you a little bit about why I think it’s important that we see more men and women of color apply for and complete these programs.

It’s an incredible opportunity to align oneself with the country’s brightest and most forward thinking. It’s also a chance to work for a premier organization in a new city, surrounded by brilliant people. But more important, it’s a chance for people of color to let their voices, ideas and stories get heard in the ongoing conversation about the changing media landscape, technology and innovation.

I don’t have to tell many of you that people of color are underrepresented, uncommon and non-existent in journalism and technology circles. Undoubtedly, the lack of diversity in technology and media are problems spiraling out of control as we swiftly move into the digital age. New policies, legislation, and technologies are made for everyone in America, so everybody’s voice should be taken in account before decisions are made, right?

Unfortunately, that isn’t exactly how it is right now. There simply aren’t enough people of color working on these issues. And the people that create rules might not be the most connected to common folks, let alone people of color. What happens when the laws that govern the next 100 years of innovation and technological advancement forget about us? Or the stories written about the impact of new technologies don’t express our ideas?

Now, I know I’ve painted an incredibly stark picture of what the country could look like with a lack of diversity in technology. For those of you that know me personally, you know that this is one of my favorite subjects. But there is hope.

Programs like the Google Policy and Journalism Fellowship are absolutely invaluable to helping to address this deficit. The fellowships are one way for minorities to introduce themselves to a new world of ideas and pressing issues. Whether it’s writing about or advocating for telecommunications, privacy, patent policy or copyright reform, our voices are needed and our stories are critical to shaping balanced and effective conversations leading to change.

The best part about this is that organizations, legislative offices, newsrooms, and regulatory agencies across the country want people of color. As a person who works in this space it always amazes how many students don’t take advantage of the untapped, well-paying and incredibly rewarding line of work that is technology policy and journalism. The Google Policy and Journalism fellowships are a fast track to getting a foot in all of the right doors. I strongly encourage you to apply. You will be very surprised to see how many of you are chosen.

And finally, how do you apply and what exactly does Google want?

Google Policy Fellowship

We’re looking for students who are passionate about technology, and want to spend the summer diving headfirst into Internet policy. Students from all majors and degree programs who possess the following qualities are encouraged to apply:

  • Demonstrated or stated commitment to Internet and technology policy

  • Excellent academic record, professional/extracurricular/volunteer activities, subject matter expertise

  • First-rate analytical, communications, research, and writing skills

  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently, and to work smartly and resourcefully in a fast-paced environment

Fellows will receive a stipend of $7,500 for 10 weeks during the summer of 2014 (June-August). Exact dates of the fellowship will be worked out by the fellow and host organization.

Google Journalism Fellowship

We’re looking for students, based in the US, who are passionate about journalism and the role that technology can play in the industry and the pursuit of their craft. Students from all majors and degree programs who possess the following qualities are encouraged to apply:

  • Demonstrated or stated commitment to journalism – especially in the fields of data driven journalism or freedom of expression online

  • An interest in exploring and creating business models to help the industry in the digital age

  • Excellent academic record, professional/extracurricular/volunteer activities, subject matter expertise

  • First-rate analytical, communications, research, and writing skills

  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and efficiently, and to work smartly and resourcefully in a fast-paced environment

  • Applicants with some experience with HTML, Javascript or another web programming language and experience with Microsoft Excel or a database system is an advantage.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $8,000  for 10 weeks during the summer of 2014 (June-August) and a travel budget of $1,000.

The Fellowship will start on June 9, 2014 with the first week at Google in Mountain View, California. Fellows will join their host organization on June 16 2014 and finish on August 8, 2014.

Work hard!

Bartees Cox, Jr. is Director of Media Relations for Public Knowledge, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that works to preserve the openness of the Internet and the public’s access to knowledge; promotes creativity through balanced copyright; and upholds and protects the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully. Bartees joined Public Knowledge as a Communications Associate in August 2012 after interning with Free Press as a Communications and Policy Assistant. While at Free Press he worked on media ownership, spectrum policy and municipal broadband issues. Prior to joining Free Press, Cox was public relations intern at Crosby-Volmer International Communications, The Urban League and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. His passion for intellectual property and media reform stem from watching minority communities’ ability to succeed lessen due to lack of broadband-based technologies and services. Bartees received a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma where he was a Gaylord College fellow. He serves on NABJ’s Communications Committee.

Posted in Awards, Education, Entrepreneur, Equipment, Innovation, journalism, multimedia journalist, News, Technology, Uncategorized

There’s an App for That: Mobile Technology is Growing in Newsrooms and Classrooms


As news continues to be delivered at an ever-increasing pace, it’s only natural for multimedia journalists to put down those heavy, complicated DSLRs and pick up their mobile phones to shoot, edit and deliver breaking news.

“I’ve seen people use their phones more and more for parts of a report and to relay news quickly to a station for publication  to a website.” said Sharon Stevens, a freelance journalist who has noticed the trend in her reporting travels. “While the resolution is not a good as using a video camera, I don’t see it stopping anytime in the near future. The news directors and general managers who choose to [use mobile footage] will just have to look for those phones that will give you that better resolution and supply them to their [employees].”

Journalism graduate Raven Ambers has used footage shot on her iPhone for web reports. “The iPhone was quick and easy,” she states, “For a tease, which we did with one continuous 10-15 second shot, it was easier and much simpler to upload to web.”

Reporter LaDyrian Cole of KTAB in Abiliene, TX, agrees, “I’ve used my phone for a tease that [was] uploaded to the web.” She continues, “It’s simple to shoot and easier to upload to the web and on air systems.”

Journalist Rajneesh Bhandari feels the same. In an article for IJNet, “Top apps for journalists shooting video on mobile”, he states, “[Mobile phones] are handy and you don’t have to carry a lot  of things…just a mobile, a light tripod and maybe a pin [lavalier] mic.” The article goes on to list some popular mobile apps for the journalist “on the go”.

Among the things leading this charge is the advent of the mobile app. From CNN to your local newspaper, more and more people are getting the information they need by accessing their favorite apps.

If you’re a young journalist who believes that you have an idea for the next generation of mobile apps, Dr. Michelle Ferrier of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University is looking for you.

Dr. Ferrier is part of a group that is beta-testing a two-week mobile innovation module. The module will teach students about mobile app development in course curricula. Through a broad overview of the mobile market, students will learn mobile app development, audience research, user interface design, and using prototyping among other topics.

The module will also benefit professors by coaching them on how to teach mobile development to their students.

“My philosophy is that if schools are going to offer the “just in time” learning that students need, we need some flexibility in our curriculum in order to be able to do that,” Dr. Ferrier says.

The module will demonstrate some of the things that students need to know about mobile development in two weeks in hopes of becoming a fixture in full semester courses later on. The module also supports the Scripps College of Communication Innovation Challenge, a student pitch competition around media industry issues. Students will have the basic knowledge to develop a mobile app as a potential solution to the challenges with the chance to win prize money or a grade in a class.

Dr. Ferrier finds the appeal in mobile apps in their inclusiveness of all communities. “They basically have bridged the digital divide. For underserved and underrepresented communities [and] people who have limited income, their phones most likely are their devices of choice not just for making phone calls but also for reaching the internet and getting information off of the internet. They can still get and participate in things that are necessary without having to have a laptop for the most part.”

Currently, Scripps College of Communication is looking for external reviewers for the module to get more feedback and eventually offer the module in multiple schools.

Source: Photo Source:

Sadiyyah Rice is the digital intern for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, recording secretary for the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists and producer and editor for Higher Education Channel Television (HEC-TV).

Posted in journalism, News, Uncategorized

What We’ve Learned from ABC Hit Series, ‘Scandal’ The do’s and don’ts of Public Relations and Media Tactics

By Dawn Angelique Roberts and Emiley Mallory

Tonight, ABC’s hit series ‘Scandal’ returns  with a brand new episode, the first of a two-part winter season finale that’s sure to have everyone glued to their television sets.

But for media and PR professionals, “Scandal” isn’t just a TV Show…It’s also a classroom of sorts. While you’ll probably never find yourself having to cover up your affair with the President of the United States or dealing with what can charitably be called “Daddy Issues,” there is a lot that public relations and media professionals can take from the show and use in their work.

Here are a few tips NABJ Associate Member Task Force Chair, Dawn Angelique Roberts, and NABJ member Emiley Mallory, learned from the show that PR/media professionals should apply in their jobs.

Do understand that it’s all about presentation. In Season one, episode one we saw war hero Sully St. James decide that love was more important than taking a murder charge. In an attempt to conceal his sexual orientation, Sully willingly went down as an accessory to the murder of his best friend. In Sully’s mind, the media couldn’t know that the most decorated war hero since Vietnam was a gay man. Olivia Pope and Associates had confirmation of his alibi from footage of a street camera with Sully and his lover, but he refused. As the show closed we see Sully standing before a podium, confessing his pride before a sea of reporters. Surrounded by his fellow soldiers in support, with American flag in tow, Abby could be heard saying from the sideline, “the other soldiers added a nice touch don’t you think?”

Yes, Abby. They did.

Do develop a relationship with reporters. It is not enough to make a call or send a press release. Your resources are your lifeline, so the relationship itself is a give and take you should take special care to nurture and maintain.

Speaking of which…DON’T lie to reporters. Again, in season one, everyone’s favorite gladiator, Harrison, had to give Quinn some life advice about her budding relationship with Gideon, a news reporter. “You’re going to have to lie to him to protect a client and we don’t lie to reporters. Because once you do, there’s no going back. You killed the one thing you protect at all costs: your credibility.” Well, there’s that.

Nothing is off the Record. A Reporter is a Reporter. The relationship between Cyrus and his husband James is an example of the tightrope that PR professionals have to walk when it comes to their relationships with reporters.  A reporter’s job is to tell the story, while the PR person’s job is to protect their client and tell their story in the most advantageous way possible. Your client is relying on you to remember that difference.

Do know that “everybody loves a hero.” This is the line Olivia gave a certain dictator, General Benicio Florez, as a forewarning to return his children to his wife, Carolina Florez. After learning his wife’s “kidnapping” was actually an attempt to leave him, Florez takes their children, leaving both Carolina and Olivia dismayed. Bound for return to his home country, Olivia confronts the general. She informs him just how much reporters love a human interest story, particularly one like Carolina’s. His wife, she continues, will write memoirs, appear on talk shows and more importantly, threaten his political career by becoming not only an inspiring advocate for women’s rights, but a hero. Some of the best journalism ever written comes from feature stories. Spotting a unique story (or a unique way to tell a story that’s already been told) is a skill every journalist and every public relations professional should keep in their arsenal.

Do mock interviews. Practice makes perfect. Prepping your client or colleague for the kinds of questions they will be asked in interviews is an integral part of great media training. It’s an advantage for your home team to anticipate and address what “they” (the media in question) are going to say before they say it. You can never be too prepared!

Branding and Image is everything. Olivia’s brand and image helps her attract high profile clients.

Along those lines, do hire a communications expert. Olivia Pope & Associates is known for managing crisis and crisis communications. They are experts in the business.

Feel free to add your own helpful media tips to this list in the comments section, and tune in after next week’s ‘Scandal’ finale when NABJ Digital plans to share what journalists learned from this season’s episodes. Until next time…

It’s handled.

Dawn Angelique Roberts is a media relations specialist, event manager, social media enthusiast and owner of KD Communications Group, a full service public relations firm. Emiley Mallory, a recent graduate of Trinity Washington University, is an entertainment freelance writer.