Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

10 Things You Can Do NOW To Step Up Your Digital Game

It’s a new year, and it’s not too late to add a work-related resolution — learn new digital skills. Don’t be afraid. We’ve compiled this list of 10 simple things to get you started!

  1. Hold and record a Google Hangout.
  2. Step up your game on Twitter.
  3. Record and upload a story on Soundcloud.
  4. Create an embeddable map using Google Fusion Tables.
  5. Try your hand at coding – for free!
  6. Test out these alternatives to a PowerPoint presentation.
  7. Learn how to make infographics.
  8. Take a Skillcrush class on becoming a WordPress developer.
  9. Whip up an embeddable timeline using Timeline JS.
  10. Learn Google Analytics with a free online course.
Posted in Education, multimedia journalist, Webinar

Webinar TONIGHT – Tech & Tools Journalists Can Use

nabj_djtf_200x200logo words

The NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and the Diverse Social Media Editors and Digital Journalists Facebook group is committed to helping journalists beef up their digital skills and help keep them relevant in ever-changing newsrooms.

Tonight we’re unveiling the first of a free series of digital skills webinars — New Year, New You, Part 2.  At 8:30 p.m. ET, we’re holding our first webinar, “Tech & Tools Journalists Can Use.” Our panelists — Benet Wilson, Emma Carew Grovum, Ingrid Sturgis, Marissa Evans, Jeannine Hunter and Romy Camille — will share and demonstrate their favorite tools, websites, apps and technology. We’ll take your questions and the webinar will be recorded for those who can’t make it. Our media partner for this event is AllDigitocracy.org.  You can still register, here.

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

Journalists of Color Missing from Wired UK’s Future of Online Journalism Post

Diversity Definition Magnifier Showing Different Diverse And Mixed Race

Wired UK recently rolled out a piece entitled “The Big Question: What is the future of online journalism?” I was not surprised, but I was disappointed to see that not one journalist of color was included in the discussion.

The points made by folks including Melissa Bell of Vox and Micah Cohen of FiveThirtyEight.com (two outlets with their own diversity issues) were interesting, along with the rest of the group.  But did Wired UK really have that much trouble finding journalists of color in the digital space? I can come up with at least a dozen names off the top of my head. Folks Wired UK could have called for comment include:

  • DeWayne Wickham, one of the original founders of the National Association of Black Journalists, USA Today columnist, a digital pioneer and dean of Morgan State University’s Global School of Journalism and Communications;
  • Michelle Johnson, a professor at Boston University and a former editor at the Boston Globe who was in the forefront of the digital journalism revolution;
  • Retha Hill, a pioneer at washingtonpost.com and BET.com, and executive director of the digital innovation and entrepreneurship lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University; and
  • Carlos Watson,  former digital journalist and anchor at MSNBC and CNN and founder of Ozy.com, an online news site whose investors include Laurene Powell Jobs and Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond.

I could go on, but I think I made my point.  And my good friends at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association would also be willing and able to give you names from their ranks.  So next time, I urge you to cast a wider net of digital journalist sources in the name of true media diversity.

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 social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and  a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Entrepreneur, journalism, multimedia journalist, Uncategorized

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

JUNE

  •  Since 2002, the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded $10,000 to a person, group or organization that works to preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. If you, a person or an organization you know fiercely protects these rights, submit a nomination for the 2014 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award by June 22. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SPJ’s supporting foundation) dedicates this honor to anyone who upholds this pillar of democracy, not just journalists. Visit SPJ’s website to learn more, see a list of past honorees and submit the nomination materials. Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier, awards@spj.org, can answer any questions you may have. Submit a Pulliam First Amendment Award nomination today.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.

JULY

  • The Native American Journalists Association will hold the 2014 National Native Media Conference held in Santa Clara, Calif. Join more than 300 Native journalists, media professionals and tribal community representatives from across the country at the 30th annual event commemorating three decades of enhancing Native journalism July 10-13, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. Members of the Native American Journalists Association save $50 on conference registration – become a member to take advantage of the discount.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.

AUGUST 

  • The National Association of Hispanic Journalists will hold its Annual Multimedia Convention & Career Expo August 7-9, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. NAHJ has approximately 1,500 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators.

SEPTEMBER

  • For the past 7 years, data enthusiasts from all over the globe have come together for the Tableau Conference. They’ve discovered how to leverage their investment in data analytics, hear what’s next in business intelligence, and network with other like-minded individuals. This year you can expect the same. The conference will host more than 240 sessions, 10 super sessions, 4 engaging keynote speakers in Seattle, Washington from September 8 to 12. 
  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!

Posted in Entrepreneur, Innovation, journalism, Social Media

How Digital Journalism Relaunched Rene Syler’s Career

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.

Courtesy Photo
Rene Syler, Courtesy Photo

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


 

Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media, Webinar, Webinars

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events

MAY

  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism presents the free webinar, “Shadow Money: Unraveling Political Nonprofits’ Funding.”  The event takes place May 14, 2014. Russ Choma, money-in-politics reporter at the Center for Responsive Politics, provides basic tips for covering political nonprofits and developing investigative stories. Attend either one-hour session at noon or 4 p.m. ET. Register at the main webinar page: http://bit.ly/shadowmoney
  • Applications are now open for The McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism, a new program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism designed to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to U.S. economy and business. The fellowships will enable experienced journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative, analytic or narrative business story. Each McGraw Fellow will receive a stipend of $5,000 a month for up to three months, along with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with established print, radio or digital outlets. Freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization may apply; five years professional experience as a journalist is required. Applications, including a story proposal, work samples and references, will be accepted in the spring and fall of 2014. The deadline for spring applicants is May 15, 2014. For further information, visit www.mcgrawcenter.org or email  mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.
  • Are you interested in targeting audiences through social media (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) but challenged to identify or engage with them? The Johns Hopkins University MA in Communication Digital Social Advocacy online, 14-day workshop will address questions like these and more! The workshop is open to communication practitioners around the globe, regardless of whether or not they ever have been admitted to the MA in Communication program. They may work in various fields that aim to stimulate change, such as politics, advocacy, lobbying, social justice, health, digital technologies, and public relations. The workshop will be held May 09, 2014 – May 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. 

  • Registration is now open for the massive open online course “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age,” which will last five weeks, starting on May 12 and ending on June 15, 2014. Please read our story about this MOOC and click here to register. The MOOC “Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age” will be taught by four of the best investigative reporters in the United States: Brant Houston, former, long time executive director of IRE (Investigative Reporters and editors), currently a professor and Knight Chair in Investigative Journalism at the University of Illinois; Steve Doig, a veteran investigative journalism and data journalism pioneer, currently a professor and Knight Chair at Arizona State University; Lise Olsen, a veteran journalism trainer, currently investigative reporter at Houston Chronicle; and Michael Berens, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times.
  • A new initiative established at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism will offer fellowships of up to $15,000 to experienced business journalists starting this spring. Applications will be accepted periodically through 2014. The upcoming deadline for applications is May 15, 2014. The fellowship is open to those with at least five years professional experience in journalism, including freelance journalists, as well as reporters and editors currently working at a news organization. Fellowship applicants should submit a focused story proposal of no more than three pages through the accompanying online form.

JUNE

  • Hosted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s instruction and guest presentations by world-class trainers, award winning multimedia journalists, storytellers and industry leaders, a intensive two-week program providing  hands-on training in essential skills for digital media production will be held June 2-6 & June 9-13, 2014 at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism near San Francisco.
  • The Global Editors Network  hosts the GEN Summit June 11 – 13 in Barcelona. Discover ‘robot journalism’, and be updated about drone journalism and data journalism. This is the event to meet with the media industry influentials and drive business.
  • The best in the business will gather for more than 100 panels, hands-on classes and special presentations about covering business, public safety, government, health care, education, the military, the environment and other key beats at the 2014 IRE conference June 26-29, 2014 in San Francisco. Speakers will share strategies for locating documents and gaining access to public records, finding the best stories and managing investigations. Join the discussion about how to practice investigative journalism in print, broadcast, Web and alternative newsroom models.

JULY

  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 39th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Boston July 30-Aug. 3, 2014. Thousands of journalists, media executives, public relations professionals, and students are expected to attend to network, participate in professional development sessions and celebrate excellence in journalism.

SEPTEMBER

  • The Online News Association 2014 Conference & Awards Banquet is the premier gathering of highly engaged digital journalists shaping media now. Learn about new tools and technologies, network with peers from around the world and celebrate excellence at the Online Journalism Awards. ONA  is looking for your input on sessions for ONA14, Sept. 25-27, in Chicago. Submit your session proposals  from March 20 to April 18. Submit one here

If you have items you wish to include, please email them to me at benet AT aviationqueen DOT COM. Thanks!!