Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Carnival of Journalism: What Tools Do You Use To Work Smarter?

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I am one of those people who love the latest in tech tools, toys, apps and programs that help me do the business of journalism.  Every Friday on this blog, I share some of my favorites as part of the Fast Five series.

Which is why I began to drool when I saw the topic for this month’s Carnival of Journalism: “What are your life hacks, workflows, tips, tools, apps, websites, skills and techniques that allow you to work smarter and more effectively?“

That being said, I’ll narrow my list down to my top five:

  1. Twitter: this program (and its accompanying tools and apps) has become my number one tool to getting the job done.  I use it to post stories, find sources, get story ideas and crowdsource for information.  I use Echofone on my iPhone, UberSocial on my Blackberry and split between TweetDeck and HootSuite on my desktop.  And a bonus for me is both TweetDeck and HootSuite give me access to Facebook, which I don’t use as much as a professional tool.
  2. 10000 Words: this website is at the top of my Google Reader.  Ever since Mark Luckie started it up, it has been my go-to site to keep up with all the latest  in tips, tools, apps, websites specifically targeting journalism.
  3. iPhone 4: my dad bought me the 32 GB version for my birthday last year, and I thank him for it every time we speak.  I can update my WordPress blogs, shoot live video with Ustream, edit video with iMovie, access all my contacts using LinkedIn and Plaxo, take and send pretty good photos, record interviews/podcasts and post them on AudioBoo, I can check the AP Stylebook and upload to my YouTube channel. Oh – I can also make phone calls!
  4. A tie – The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark Luckie and the No-Fear Guide to Multimedia, by Prof. Mindy McAdams: when I started on my road to multimedia nirvana, these two guides were extremely helpful.  Even today, I still look at them as inspirations.
  5. A pad and ink pen: amazingly enough, this is still a very effective tool for getting your stories.  I always have at least one pad and three ink pens on me at all times.

I love all the stuff that has helped this old-school journalist make the transition and keep up (somewhat) with the kids.  But I always emphasize that while you can have all the tools in the world, they aren’t worth a pitcher of warm spit (hat tip to former FDR VP John Nance Garner) if you don’t have the basic writing/reporting/editing skills down pat.  So have fun with the toys, but don’t forget the skills that actually make you a journalist.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism, multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five + Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Before I get started with this week’s five plus five, I want to address a few housekeeping items.  First, voting is now open for this year’s National Association of Black Journalists board of directors.  Avoid the crowds at this year’s convention Aug. 3-7 and vote online now, here.

Second, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force will be holding an online forum for the NABJ candidates for VP-Print — Denise Clay and Errin Haines — on Wednesday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.  The webinar is free, but you must register, here.  Now, onto Fast Five!

  1. 10000 Words5 Creative uses of DocumentCloud
  2. NetworkedStreamlining your social media posting: How to update more than one site at a time
  3. Journalists’ Toolkit7 Do’s and Don’ts for Video on Point-and-Shoot Cameras
  4. MashableFacebook Profile Migrations: A Cautionary Tale
  5. MakeUseOf5 Cool Ways To Make Use Of National Geographic Maps
  6. SmartBlog on Social Media6 tools to measure your personal branding efforts
  7. Teaching Online JournalismTeaching about storytelling
  8. Web Design Ledger10 Blogs to Help You Become a Photography Expert
  9. David Lee King5 Tips for Editing Videos
  10. Mastering MultimediaProducing Audio Slideshows with Final Cut Pro
Posted in Education, journalism, Social Media

Friday Fast Five + Five: The Job Search Edition

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I was in the car on Sunday and the NPR show “Marketplace Money” was on.  Host Tess Vigland was talking about how an internship at Oregon Public Radio launched her journalism career.  That got me thinking that as our latest crop of students graduate, now was the time to pull out the job search items lurking in my Fast Five bookmark folder.  But these links can be used by anyone searching for a job.

And NABJ members can get a free resume review from me.  I’m tough, but fair.  It’s better to hear what issues there may be with your resume from me rather than wonder why no one is calling you for interviews.  I’m at regaviationqueen AT Yahoo DOT com.  Now, on with Fast Five!

  1. MarketplaceMore companies hiring interns
  2. 10000 Words3 Reasons Why You Should Have an Infographic Resume
  3. Mashable10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From
  4. GigaOmLanding Your Dream Job in a Networked World
  5. LifehackerTop 10 Ways to Rock Your Resumé
  6. MashableYou Can Now Convert Your Facebook Profile to a Facebook Page
  7. New Grad Life22 Tips for Landing a Job On LinkedIn 
  8. MashableHOW TO: Ask For an Online Recommendation
  9. Position Ignition5 Tips in Using Social Media for Job Searches
  10. SmartBlog on Social MediaUsing enterprise 2.0 tools to ease into your new job
Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

How To Take Your Content To The Next Level

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

I was chatting online with a friend, discussing the drive for content.  We both agreed that content had been the big focus, but it’s just not enough anymore. Yes. I know. We’re already overworked and underpaid and just trying to keep up.  So I thought I’d go through my bookmark folders and offer 10 tips, tricks and tools that will help you take your content to the next level.

  1. Online Tools for Journalists: Chris Snider of the Des Moines Register has a great Slideshare presentation that’s a good starting point to see what’s out there and how you can use it.
  2. Video blogging: with all the myriad inexpensive HD video cameras out there, there’s no reason why you can’t include some video to enhance — or further explain — your story.  Check out this article from Mashable: The Complete Guide to Video Blogging. If you need more, check out Amani Channel’s Web Video Chefs.
  3. The Online Teleprompter.  As you explore video blogging, this is a great tool to help you prepare and read your script like a pro.
  4. Hub Spot Blog.  Speaking of video, this website offers Five Video Projects You Can Do in 25 Minutes or Less. Not all of them are applicable to journalism, but three of them do.
  5. 10000 Words.   My favorite multimedia website tells you how to make interactive timelines — and gives some great examples.
  6. Many Eyes.  Need to add data visualization to a story, but can’t do your own coding? This web-based application lets you input your data and come up with great visualizations.
  7. Teaching Online Journalism.  Need more on how to do data visualization? Check out this post for more resources.
  8. Networked.  Still confused about how to create slideshows? This post tells you how to get started.
  9. Flip The Media.  You need all the right tools to do this stuff, and here you can find where to get them — all for under $1000.
  10. Society of Professional Journalists.  If you’re still stuck, i advise you to read Part I and Part II of The SPJ Digital
    Media Handbook.

When I was a little girl, my mother always pushed me to try different things.  “Just one taste,” she said.  “Try it once. You might actually like it,” she said.  “Just give it one more chance,” she said.  I’m still following her good advice.  I hope you do too.

Posted in Uncategorized

10000 Words: What Hiring Editors Look For In Reporters Today

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

The May 10 edition of the 10000 Words blog — one of my favorites — had an interesting article on what hiring editors are looking for in reporters today.  As an old dog still learning new tricks, I read things like this regularly to see where I’m at in terms of skills.

Writer Meranda Watling comes up with a basic list of skills, then adds more skills we all need to have — all based on actual job listings.  Here’s a great example that more and more of us are facing: Experience with photography, video, the Web and social media would be a plus (this was for a reporter job at the Ellenburg Daily Record, in Washington state).

So I thought I’d check out what my own company, McGraw-Hill, is looking for these days in editorial positions.  The first one I pulled was for an editorial intern at Aviation Week:

Responsibilities would include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Contributing to editorial products in print and online, including AviationWeek.com and the Aviation Week Intelligence Network.
  2. Working with digital images and videos for online distribution.
  3. Some reporting, editing for daily and magazine products, on an assignment/mentoring basis.
  4. Researching, cataloging and uploading digital images to the digital asset management system.

Desired: Flexibility to work in both digital and print media; familiarity with broadcast/video standards. Interest and/or experience in aviation or engineering.

So then I looked at a higher-level job: Senior Editor ENR New York – McGraw-Hill Construction.  They want:

  •  Report news in the New York Region for ENR New York and ENR national.
  • Plan, package and produce all the content that appears in ENR New York.
  • Maintain ENR New York Website daily & moderate online community.
  • Plan and execute special awards competitions, including events.
  • Produce the ENR New York Insider, a regular e-newsletter.

You can see the other requirements, here.  I think this just illustrates Meranda’s point that no matter the size of the publication or the level of the job, it’s getting tougher for those who don’t have digital media skills.

Posted in Education, Innovation, multimedia journalist, Social Media

Friday Fast Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Editor’s note: the replay of today’s  NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force  BlogTalkRadio “In the Thick of My Career: Searching for the ‘New Me,’” is now posted, here.  Click here for the replay of our first show in this series — “The Young & the Restless: Keeping Hope & Journalism Alive,” which aired on April 15.  Our third and final show in the series will be “Laid Off, Bought Out & Scared: Managing My Life and Finances.”  This session with Past NABJ President Sidmel Estes of BreakThrough Inc., targets journalists who may have recently lost their jobs or fear they may lose them. We’ll discuss what you can do now to prepare for the worst, how you adjust to life without the office and offer Budgeting 101 tips.

  1. 10000 WordsVisual Thesaurus for Writers
  2. NetworkedTools that help you get more from Twitter
  3. Teaching Online Journalism10 useful resources about data visualization
  4. Engage: The BlogHow to Create Unforgettable Content: 4 Tips Inspired by Nicki Minaj
  5. Brand Me A JournalistParticipating in journalism chats to establish your personal brand
Posted in Education, Equipment, journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Technology

Friday Fast Five

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group

Editor’s note: the replay of today’s  NABJ Reinvention Committee and Digital Journalism Task Force  BlogTalkRadio “In the Thick of My Career: Searching for the ‘New Me,’” is now posted, here.  Click here for the replay of our first show in this series — “The Young & the Restless: Keeping Hope & Journalism Alive,” which aired on April 15.  Our third and final show in the series will be “Laid Off, Bought Out & Scared: Managing My Life and Finances.”  This session with Past NABJ President Sidmel Estes of BreakThrough Inc., targets journalists who may have recently lost their jobs or fear they may lose them. We’ll discuss what you can do now to prepare for the worst, how you adjust to life without the office and offer Budgeting 101 tips.

  1. 10000 WordsTools of the day: Markup.io and Connect a Sketch
  2. NetworkedInvestigative Reporting 2.0
  3. Journalists’ ToolkitSoundslides: Getting started, tips and help
  4. MakeUseOf 5 Tips To Perform A Smarter & Faster Google Map Search
  5. SmartBlog on Social MediaUsing videos to amp up your blog