Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media – The Google Edition

I wish there was just one place that was home to the master list of Google hacks. But until then, check out these five that can be handy right now.

  1. Google – Public Data Explorer
  2. Lifehacker – Create Customizable GeoMaps with Google Sheets 
  3. Gigaom – How get the most out of Google’s apps and services when using an iPad 
  4. Digital Telepathy – Google Spreadsheets: More Useful Than You Thought
  5. Travel – Make your own Google maps
Posted in Equipment, Innovation, multimedia journalist


time mapper

Happy New Year, everyone! As we get settled into the new year, I hope that this Tuesday feature will serve as inspiration for those who resolved to step up their digital journalism game in 2014.

Today’s #TryItTuesday item is TimeMapper, created by the Open Knowledge Foundation Labs. TimeMapper allows users to create really cool and embeddable timemaps quickly and easily from a Google spreadsheet. Give it a try!

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 Education, journalism, multimedia journalist

Friday Fast Five – Your Guide to New Media

By Benét J. Wilson, immediate past chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

  1. Mashable — Anyone Can Be Found on Social Media in 12 Hours
  2.  Poynter — 10 digital tools journalists can use to improve their reporting, storytelling
  3. Bloggers Passion — 5 Viral Content Ideas For Your Blogging Success
  4. Lifehacker — 8 Extensions That Make Google Drive More Powerful Than Dropbox
  5. Knight Digital Media Center5 ways to use Slideshare to engage communities, build traffic
Posted in Conferences & Conventions, multimedia journalist

How To Get DIGITALLY Ready For The NABJ Convention

janine mackBy Janine Mack, recent graduate, Syracuse University, master’s in broadcast and digital journalism

Editor’s note: Guest blogger Janine Mack offers tips to digitally prepare for the NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair July 31-Aug. 4, 2013.

It’s that time of year when I urge those in my network to start getting ready for the annual convention. Successfully preparing for NABJ can make the difference between landing an awesome first job or internship and heading back home empty handed. Here are a few tips to get started now.

1. Get an online portfolio! If you do not have a website with at least 8 to 12 clips of either video stories that aired or published print articles, then you are already behind. Ideally, you want your that way when people Google your name, your web presence will be the first thing to come up. I didn’t thing people Googled me until my website showed me otherwise. and Weebly are good places to start building a simple portfolio.  Some great examples of each come from Vanessa Deggins, Sarah Glover and Kirstin Garriss, respectively.

2. Google yourself. I always thought people were crazy when they said this, but one day I found old comment I thought was deleted and pictures of other people named Janine Mack half-naked. Recruiters and prospective sources will look so should you. A good rule of thumb is to delete anything that you would not want on your website.

3. I have a website, now what? Make sure to put your resume, some details about what you do and your aspirations, your clips and a nice professional picture of you doing whatever aspect of journalism it is that you do. Some of my favorite examples of how it’s done are Wesley LoweryStephanie Siek, Fadia Patterson and Eva McKend. Don’t forget to update it whenever you get a new job or an internship, to have it critiqued BEFORE you head to the convention and that the link is on anything you hand out such as business cards, resumes, demo reels, etc.

4. Build up your social media presence. Start accounts with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Storify, etc. These accounts should also be as a fine balance of personal, but professional with of course no on grammar, spelling or punctuation errors. Every account should be customized with your first name, last name, a picture and a brief biography of you on it. Once the accounts are established, link them to your webpage and begin to familiarize yourself with each one. You want as many ways as possible for recruiters to search for you, to add you to their network and to keep in touch after the convention is over. Plus, it’s fun to live tweet at the convention.

Posted in Uncategorized

Google News Chief: Time to ‘Re-think Everything’

By Tracie Powell

Richard Gingras, head of news products for Google, is optimistic about the future of news, despite his belief that newspapers aren’t innovating enough.

“I do feel these are extraordinary times. I do feel that we in a sense are at the beginnings of a renaissance with regards to journalism,” he said, according to a recent report by the Nieman Lab. “I know that’s hard for many people to hear given the pain of the disruption to the traditional sources.”

But for that renaissance to really take hold, news organizations to rethink everything from their missions to their ethical guidelines in how they engage with their audience. News organizations must flip the ecosystem on its head and rethink every aspect of what they are doing.

“The unfortunate truth is that we’re not seeing the progress particularly in traditional media organizations that I think is truly necessary given the shift in the ecosystem that we’re seeing … I’m not suggesting that everything must change, but that we owe it to ourselves and the the objectives of what we want to do in journalism to reconsider everything as we go forward.”

View full video here.

Related: Google introduces Knowledge Graph to improve search (Google) | Live blog of Gingras talk (MIT) | Google’s head of news: Newspapers are the new Yahoo (GigaOm) | 8 questions that will help define the future of journalism (Nieman Journalism Lab)

Tracie Powell writes regularly about journalism and media policy for the Poynter Institute. She is also vice chairperson for NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force. 


Posted in Innovation, multimedia journalist, Social Media

NABJDigital Reviews Google Plus For Journalists

By Renee Pinckney, Journalist, Freelancer & Multimedia Reporter

As media professionals continue to discover new ways to operate in a digital age and adapt to a new era of journalism, Google Plus might be the next big communication tool for journalists to interact with their audiences.

Social networking giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, have proven to be effective platforms for journalists to disseminate real-time news and information.

According to a 2011 survey conducted by TEKGROUP International, 90 percent of working journalists say they use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis to monitor news and information.

While Google Plus has yet to reach the degree of notoriety its competitors have, the site offers essential social media tools that will potentially attract a larger audience that include:

  • Sharing posts as a way to engage readers
  • Analyzing news coverage
  • Personal branding strategies
  • Sharing of photos, videos and other multimedia
  • Marketing opportunities (advertise & increase traffic)
  • Interacting with readers/audience
  • Connecting with fellow writers and professionals
  • Providing journalists the chance to show personality
  • Hosting audience hangouts
  • Gathering ideas for blog posts and articles
  • Gaining feedback and increasing followers

Some journalists who have become early adopters of Google Plus are media mogul and founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, and The Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor, Ezra Klein.

Much like Facebook, Huffington and Klein engage with the public by posting up-to-the-minute news stories and sharing photos. Readers respond with comments, shares and +1’s (Google Plus’ take on the Facebook like button). However, in comparison to their Facebook pages, the feedback by the audience is much less.

But this is expected for Google Plus, which just launched last summer. Many media professionals are experimenting with the site, including Chicago-based freelance writer Jewell Washington.

“In many ways, I think Google Plus has the potential to be a great social networking tool to not only connect with readers and fellow professionals but it has personally helped me in driving traffic to my site and marketing my work while also selling my brand,” she says.

One of Google Plus’ most popular options is its Hangout feature, which allows journalists to invite readers from anywhere in the world to join them in a video chat session. This provides the audience an inside look into their profession and a chance for journalists to host Q&A sessions with viewers.

Sarah Hill, an anchor for KOMU-TV in Columbia, Missouri, recently told that she hosts a Hangout during the 5 p.m. newscasts to give viewers a behind-the-scenes into the newsroom.

Hangout allows journalists to create a community to exchange ideas, knowledge and advice while also sharing experiences. Washington recommends using the virtual platform to conduct interviews.

“There have been times when I’ve connected with sources through Google Plus who don’t live in the surrounding area and it provided a fresh alternative to talking on the phone or through email.”

Unlike Facebook, and much to Google Plus’ advantage, journalists are able to create a public network that establishes a connection with readers that doesn’t infringe upon their privacy.

In addition, journalists who already have a large following on Twitter and Facebook can build their network by encouraging readers to follow them on Google Plus.

The effect Google Plus will have on the news industry is still unforeseen, however its social media tools are steadily making an impact on journalists and growing one user at a time.

Posted in Awards, Education, multimedia journalist

AP, Google Join Forces For National Scholarship Program

By Tyrone Hall, Sports and Minority News Freelance Writer

Hello current and future journalists and welcome to the new year.  I’m sure right now you’re just getting into the swing of things. Before you complete the first full week of implementing your resolutions and goals for the year, have you heard the big announcement?

No not voter’s registration, state of the economy or latest celebrity reality show. I’m talking about the partnership that is set to take the journalism field to another level.

That’s right folks. The Associated Press and Google have joined with the Online News Association to bring all undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to enhance both their digital and media skills.

AP, as many of you college journalism majors know is one of the premier global news networks and one of our most trusted independent news sources. If you ask me AP, which stands for Associated Press, should also stand for “Always Prepared.”

Simply because when you want the latest information and unbiased content, AP is ready to deliver it to you.  This worldwide media giant has been standing strong since 1846 when print industry was far less digital as it has become today.

Yet, AP recognized that today’s college students need more resources to truly present news in the ever-changing digital world.

According to Sue Cross, AP senior vice president for the Americas, the scholarship program will help build these vital skills in a new generation of journalists — which is where the global technology leader Google comes into play.

Let’s be honest here for a moment. Internet users seek Google for answers to everything — not just news.

Google has helped today’s readers locate information through web search and advertising that has made life a bit easier even during difficult times.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering why this didn’t happen sooner, but it doesn’t make any sense in trying to figure that out.

Just know it has come at the perfect time!

Are you ready to sink your journalistic skills into this stepping stone to your future career?  What can this scholarship program do for you?

The AP and Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship will offer $20,000 in scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic school year to six deserving undergraduate or graduate students planning to pursue academic degrees in the area of journalism, computer science and new media.

This program is seeking individual students that have an interest in creating innovative projects that will further the ideals of digital journalism.

Beside the $20,000 in scholarships, do you know the primary purpose for this program? The key goal is to promote geographic, gender and ethnic diversity with an emphasis on rural and urban areas.

This is where NABJ students and future digital journalist of tomorrow have been granted a resource — a new platform to help tell your story using technology through various components of multimedia.

NABJ students should find this new partnership as a passage way to not just funding their education, but a contributing factor to making their vision of future projects a reality. Student members of NABJ should seize hold of this program because it’s been designed with them in mind.

The deadline to apply for the AP-Google Journalism & Technology Scholarship is January 27th 2012. To find out eligibility requirements you can check out

What are you waiting for NABJ Students? This program is your chance to create and bring to life your very own journalistic content!

Posted in journalism

Another Journalist Layoff: My Own Story, The Update

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair

First, I must apologize for how I’ve let this blog go.  I really thought that during my unemployment, I’d have much more time to devote to it.  But that wasn’t the case.  In some ways, I worked harder while unemployed that the regular day-to-day operations of a regular job.

The good news is that I did find another job. My first day was Monday.  In my original post on Oct. 7, I offered tips on how those of you in my old situation could jumpstart — or start — your job search efforts.  They work.

I moved away — quickly — from the mourning of the job loss.  I kept hearing how well I was taking the layoff, but I really didn’t have time to look back.  Having that resume ready was very helpful, because I could literally send it at a moment’s notice. Even if you have a job and are comfortable in it (like I was), have the resume ready to send out tomorrow if need be.

One of the three jobs that were offered to me came as a direct result of my 100% updated LinkedIn profile.  My network and groups were great resources for job and freelance leads.  And the recommendations were mentioned in all of my job interviews.

I was a BIG fan of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+) before my layoff, and I’m an even bigger fan now.  I received 2 other job leads (that resulted in offers) from Facebook and Twitter.  And Twitter and Google+ led to a nice pile of freelance work that continues to this day.  I’ve managed to build two great networks — aviation and journalism — using my social media outlets.  And they were my salvation after the layoff.

In the end, I was offered a journalism job, a communications job and an editorial job for an association.  I did struggle, because I thought I wanted to stay in journalism.  But I ended up becoming the director of media relations for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  This job offered the perfect blend, allowing me to use my communications/PR, community manager, social media consultant and aviation media/marketing skills.  And did I mention that one of the perks is free flying lessons?

So that’s my story.  I want to say thanks to all of you who sent me words of encouragement.  I want to thank my freelance folks for giving me all kinds of great advice for getting set up and what to charge.  I want to thank all my Aviation Week colleagues for their support and personal recommendations.  And thanks to my fellow aviation journalists and the aviation community for the job leads and freelance work.

And for those of you out there still searching — don’t give up.  Work your network and think outside the box — that next job is around the corner!

Posted in journalism

Another Journalist Layoff: My Own Story

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair

It was just another Tuesday. I was judging an airports concession contest, then was going back to the office at 1 p.m. for what I thought was a group meeting. I briefly thought it was odd that most of my colleagues were still sitting at their desks, but shook it off. I was called to a conference room where I saw two company leaders, and I knew.

The whole process was very cordial and professional. I listened to the talk, took the packet and thanked them for a great five-year run. Who else do you know that gets paid to do their hobby, their passion? My last day is October 21. One would think that I would be devastated, but really, I’ve been amazingly optimistic. I chatted with a few of my co-workers (actually consoling them), then I went home.

On the train ride home, I started tapping into the network I’ve amassed after almost 20 years in the aviation business.  I’ve also tapped my rapidly growing new/digital media network for leads.  And the response has been wonderful. I’ve picked up some freelance work, and I already have two job interviews scheduled.  Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter, I have hundreds of folks (and their own contacts) on the lookout for any opportunities for me.  And dear readers, if you hear of anything, you can let me know at!

So below are five tips from me to you to use if you get laid off — or if you’re already laid off and looking.

  1. Give yourself no more than a day to mourn (I took all of 15 minutes). The deed is done, and you need to focus your energies on looking for your next opportunity.
  2. Have a resume ready.  I spent a happy five years at my soon-to-be former employer, but I always kept it ready.  I have it on a thumb drive on my key ring, along with a copy on my iPhone, so I can send it from anywhere at any time.  I was able to send my resume to three friends on my train ride home Tuesday.
  3. Create/update your LinkedIn profile. One of my job interviews came from this network.  My profile was 95% complete, but I needed recommendations.  I tapped my network again, asking for recommendations on my listed jobs. This brings you to the attention of potential employers.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use social media.  One thing you DON’T want to do is bash your former employer. Tell people you’re out and ask them to pass along any opportunities they may hear of.  I already have 4 leads from a Facebook post coming from others contacts.
  5. Think outside the box.  People are asking me what I want to do next.  I want to stay in journalism, but I’m not going to limit myself to that.  So I’m looking at communications/PR, community manager, social media consultant, aviation media/marketing efforts and anything else I think will fit my unique skills.

So here’s to finding that next adventure!!