Posted in journalism, Social Media

When Social Media Bites Back

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation journalist/blogger

Yesterday I got a call from a friend who is a reporter at a major metro newspaper.  He was calling to get my thoughts on the controversy over NABJ member and CNN commentator Roland Martin’s tweets on Super Bowl Sunday, which some found to be homophobic. You can read about the situation in Richard Prince’s Journal-isms.

My friend is a great reporter and I’ve been trying to get him more active in social media to enhance his journalistic efforts.  I’m a big fan of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter.  I feel that both of them have helped me write better stories, interact with my readers and put a human face behind the reporter.   I wanted my friend to also reap the benefits of social media, but he has always been wary.

I told him that I understood his concerns, especially because since our conversation, Martin has been suspended over his remark.  But if done following some simple guidelines, social media can help you — not hurt you.

My biggest piece of advice is never write/tweet/post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother or an employer to read — or have printed on the front page of the New York Times, which covered the Martin story.

I like the fact that social media gives people a sense of my personality and allows me to be part of a community. I feel that Martin’s 92,000 followers feel the same about his tweets.  But you need to come up with your own social media posting guidelines. I avoid politics, religion, sexual orientation and my family life.

On my aviation and journalism accounts, I stick to those topics. But I’ll also do an occasional aside, like a song on my iPod (“Unchained Melody,” the Righteous Brothers), a book (Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See) or article I’m reading (“Technique: Wind Warrior,AOPA Pilot magazine) or the random post on the number of days until Christmas (319) or this year’s NABJ Convention (132). If you have to ask if you should post it, then don’t.

I feel that Twitter has been a big factor in the establishment of my brands in aviation, where I’m @AvQueenBenet and in journalism, where I created and oversee the @NABJDigital account.  In the end, it’s pretty simple — if you have to ask if you should post something, then don’t.  So I ask you — what are some of your tips for keeping your social media accounts under control?

Check out some of our past social media blog posts, below.

Twitter Intrigue

Make Sure There’s No Shame In Your Social Media Game

Separate But Equal: Juggling the Personal and Professional with Social Media

The Thin Social Media Line

Friday Fast Five: The Social Media Edition

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism, Social Media

SXSW Panel Picker Is Open For Voting; Please Support People Of Color

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

It’s that time again — time to pick panels for next year’s South by Southwest Interactive.  Based in Austin, Texas, SXSW was originally created as a way for the city to celebrate and showcase musical talent.  The festival expanded to include films and later, interactive.

The interactive part of SXSW has become THE place to come to hear the latest in digital/social/new and multimedia.  A virtual who’s who from influential companies and media organizations are at SXSW, participating on panels, offering exhibits and hosting evening functions.

The conference has struggled in past years to make their panels more diverse.  So to help them out, below are my picks among the 90 journalism-related panels submitted among the nearly 4,000 overall submissions. Last year, I had the time to go through all the submissions, but this year, I just can’t do it.

I’m already seeing Tweets from folks pushing voters to their panels, so I want to help out our folks.  Please take a look at the list, below, and support them with your votes.  Please let me know if I missed anyone. Voting ends Sept. 2.

Posted in Uncategorized

Say What? CNN Sees FACEBOOK As Its Biggest Competitor?

Klein at NABJ 2009 conference Photo by Benet J. Wilson

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

I received an email from Natalie McNeal, aka Frugalista, with a link to this post on the Mashable blog: CNN Sees Facebook As Major Competitor.  I had to do a double take, thinking maybe there was an error.  I mean, how can a major global news outlet say its biggest competitor is a social media site?

But CNN President Jon Klein says that the social network is more of a threat to his business than other broadcast media organizations, writes Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove.  At BusinessWeek’s Media Summit, Klein told Editor Josh Tyrangiel that he was more worried about Facebook’s 500 million users more than FOX News channel’s mere 2 million viewers.  Media Bistro has more on Klein’s remarks here.

“The people you’re friends with on Facebook or the people you follow on Twitter are trusted sources of information,” Klein said in the Media Bistro story.  “People bemoan the state of journalism today, but … the audience wants in. They don’t want to turn their backs on information.”

And journalists are still afraid to use social media to push and highlight their content?  I digress.  Mashable’s Van Grove noted that Klein’s statements come on the heels of a report from  Hitwise showing that Facebook’s new role is becoming that of a news site.  One of my fellow new media journalists nailed it for me:  “this is the surrender of mainstream media. Their job is good reporting and they will now let others do the transmission.”

So what do you think? Is Klein right?  Is the mainstream media surrendering its role as transmitter of news?  Tell us what you think!