They come to Poynter’s St. Petersburg campus for a week to receive guidance on navigating newsroom culture, leadership styles, the business of journalism and entrepreneurship, as well as networking and one-on-one coaching. I’m honored to be one of the instructors of this amazing program, which trained its second class in December 2017.
It’s important that the next generation of diverse leaders get training here, because they may not be in newsrooms that support their efforts. So when I put out the call for the 2016 cohort to do a management webinar, Nicole Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stood up and created this webinar.
Smith has created a unique master class — with panelists Erica Henry of CNN, Herman Wong of the Washington Post and Indu Chandrasekhar of Wired magazine — for those who are ready for the next level. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to bolster your leadership skills, gain career allies, nurture relationships, and articulate vision to a team. Click here for more information and to register for this free, hour-long webinar.
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.
If it’s the beginning of the new year, that means it’s time for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force’s annual “New Year, New You” webinar series. Every year, we kick off January with a series of webinars designed to help you jump-start your career. As usual, we partner with NABJ Task Forces and members to create this programming.
Usually, you must be a paid NABJ member to participate, but for January, anyone can join us. But going forward, you will need to be a paid member (local membership doesn’t count) to participate in future webinars. Click here if you want to join NABJ.
Below is a list of the webinars we have scheduled this month. And if you have ideas for future webinars email us herewith your ideas and we’ll work on making them happen. I thank all the NABJ members who have stepped up to make this happen!
It’s almost a tradition that we kick off the New Year, New You webinar series with a resume review session with Benét Wilson, an aviation journalist and NABJ’s immediate past VP-Digital. She’s done hundreds of resume reviews for everyone from students to executives and has her own businessfor those who need help.
Benét has partnered with NABJ Student Board Representative Kyra Azore to do a resume webinar. In this session, she will offer her top 10 tips to use to craft a resume that won’t get thrown away. She will also do live resume reviews and answer your questions. This session is for students, but anyone is welcome to join us on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register. Hope to “see” you there!
I thought I’d go ahead and get this down on the blog while it’s still fresh in my mind. If you didn’t attend this year’s Online News Association conference in D.C., you missed one of the best events of the year. Here are 10 things I learned — and start getting ready for #ONA18 in Austin, Texas!
2. Michelle Johnson of Boston University and Katia Hetter of CNN kick ass! These women, along with their team of mentors, ran this year’s Student Newsroom and Innovation Lab. Not only did they oversee the stories written by students, but they also focused on innovations including new tools and creative storytelling. Check out their stories and innovation here.
3. #MediaDiversity is alive!! I saw it in what was a record number of overall and diverse attendees in D.C., and NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA and NLGJA were all represented. This is impressive because it wasn’t so long ago that there were conferences where I could physically count the diverse attendee. I also saw it on the panels and at the sold-out diversity reception.
6. Sketchnoting is a thing. For real! I was a mentor at the ProPublica Diversity Breakfast and I was paired with Ayumi Fukuda Bennett and Tiffany Lew (who are both great). When I asked Ayumi what she did, she pulled out a Moleskin notebook and POW — it was an amazing sketchnote of the opening #ONA17 keynote address. She does this live and is done with a sketch 20 minutes after a session is over. See a video of her doing her thing here. Follow her on Twitter and check out her website on Medium. And seriously — you need to hire her for your next workshop, panel or event. Seriously.
7. Facebook is here to help. They held office hours on the exhibit floor where specialists took appointments to teach skills. I took the CrowdTangle and Instagram consults and I can’t wait to play with them. You can check out some lessons here.
8. The ONA Midway was a great place to get down and dirty with tools and tech. I’m sad that I only had a few minutes in this cool space.
9. We have another stellar (and diverse) group of ONA board candidates. You can check out the video from the Lighting Round session, where 11 board candidates made their pitches on why they should be one of the five candidates elected.
10. There wasn’t enough coffee!! There was a coffee shop on site and Google had a coffee bar across from registration. But the lines for both were always long, so I got my java fix in the Student Newsroom and the very kind folks at the Knight Foundation Lounge.
OK. I know we’re still recovering from the very successful #NABJ17 in New Orleans. For those of you who didn’t make it this year, yes — it was just as great as it appeared on your friends’ myriad social media posts. You can click here for my summary on just what you missed.
If you’re already preparing for next year’s convention in Detroit, I applaud you, but this post isn’t for you. This one is for the following people:
Those with hard-core FOMO, who always vacillate whether to come or not then get mad when they don’t;
Those who want to attend the convention but have no idea how to pay for it;
Those — PLEASE pay attention — who think throwing up a GoFundMe account a month or less away from convention is a good idea; and
Those who email me, NABJ VP-Print Marlon A. Walker and other NABJ members sob stories about how they want to go but have no money (and asking me for “an airline hook up”) one to two weeks before the convention.
There are two journalism conferences I attend every year — NABJ and the Online News Association. I, like you, know that these events happen every year. Back in 2012, DJTF did a TweetChat with Natalie “The Frugalista” McNeal on ways to save. I encourage you to read it because the tips are still pretty good.
I began saving for both in June of the year before the conventions; that means I started saving for #NABJ18 and #ONA18 in June. I use the Smarty Pig website, which automatically takes out a designated amount twice a month (you can choose your own deposit schedule). I never see the money, so there’s no temptation. There are also apps like Digit and Qapital that are designed to help you save.
You need to break down your expenses: airfare, hotel, transportation to/from the airport, city transportation, food/drink, tips and gifts/souvenirs. You also need to save for things like clothing, hair, nails/grooming, business cards and a resume/portfolio website. Once you get that number, divide it by 10 and start saving — today.
Other ways to raise funds for Detroit include a part-time job or side hustle and using birthdays, Christmas and Kwanzaa (specifically Kujichagulia, Self-Determination) to ask for things like registration, airfare and hotel costs. And save on costs by sharing a room (I’ve had roommates every year since 2008), attending the free professional breakfasts and lunches (bonus-you’ll learn something) and sharing transportation. Most mentors will also help with a meal or drinks, especially if you are a student.
Don’t get me wrong — I have and will continue to help those who are also working to help themselves. This year I paid to register a professional and a student. I also gave $25 grants to help folks with expenses in New Orleans and did several free resume reviews. And I fully expect to help folks get to Detroit.
You now know what you have to do nearly a year in advance. But be warned — if you email me asking for help, or I see you posting one of those last-minute GoFundMe, my reply to you will be this column. So come correct and start saving now. Only 345 more days until NABJ hits the Motor City!!
So. The 42nd Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair is in the books. After I got home on Sunday night, I shut down my computer, iPad and iPhone and spent the next day in bed sipping tea (the actual drink, people) and watching trashy movies. On Tuesday I caught up on all my email and finished some work projects.
And now I’ve had time to think about the highlights and lowlights of this year’s convention. Overall, it was a great success. We had workshops that were on point, great news making plenaries (despite Omarosa’s best attempts to make them otherwise), wonderful evening events and plenty of time to visit with the NABJ family. Here’s my list of the top 10 things I learned in New Orleans.
You missed a really good story at the W.E.B. Dubois plenary. I won’t go into the Omarosa debacle, but thank goodness Birmingham Times reporter Ariel Worthy was able to report the real story from that session. “Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile and Sandra Sterling, aunt of Alton Sterling – both black men who were killed by police officers on video and days apart in 2016– spoke on life after their son and nephew’s slayings.”
I’m going to miss my NABJ board members. You all don’t know how hard and rewarding the work is behind the scenes. I’ve been a frequent critic of past boards and I personally apologized to all of them. We were handed a mess and got it cleaned up under the leadership of NABJ President Sarah Glover. My time has ended, but I hope that folks will step up and run for open offices in Detroit.
My NABJ Babies really are the future. You can click here to learn who they are, but they are really going to rule the media world. I’m not going to name them all here because I would forget someone and feelings would be hurt. I am so proud of how they are negotiating their careers that are difficult in the best of circumstances. Above is my mentee Stephon Anthony with his mentees!
Black journalists are doing excellent work. Don’t believe me? Check out our list of Salute to Excellence winners, here. Look at the work done by our student journalists in our official convention site, The Monitor. And I must shout out two of the winners. First is my mentee (and fellow American University alum) Brianna Moné Williams, who won an award for best collegiate newspaper feature reporting for her story “Passing.” The second is my dear friend, Pulitzer Prize winner Keith Alexander of the Washington Post for his story on reclusive black billionaire Robert Smith.
The workshops were great — but it was hard to choose. You’d always rather have too much instead of not enough. But in this case, there were so many competing workshops, it made it hard to choose. For example, my workshop – Content Marketing: A New Career/Freelance Option for Journalists? – conflicted with many others, so I streamed it on Facebook Live. You can see the full video here. The Online News Association conference either livestreams or audio records all of its workshops and keynote speeches (here’s an audio recording and video summary of my workshop, Early-Career Tips From our MJ Bear Fellows, from ONA 16). I’ve been advocating NABJ to do the same since 2012. I hope this can happen in Detroit in 2018.
There is such thing as a free lunch — or breakfast. Admit it — you go to the professional breakfasts and lunches for the free food. But if you stay after eating, you can learn some really interesting things. So next year, go, eat and stay.
There’s never enough time to see everyone you want to see. To folks like Tracie Powell, Sonya Ross, Jamerika Blue, Shauna Stuart, Melanie Eversley, LaSharah Bunting, Leah Uko and the many others I missed — I’m sorry. I was winding down my board duties and time just ran out. But I love you all!!
Water and sleep are vital for getting through the convention. Let’s be real. There’s a lot of drinking and partying at NABJ. The lobby bar was THE place to see and be seen (although I preferred the quieter Public Belt bar on the second floor). With all that, you need sleep and hydration. Unfortunately, it took me two days to figure that out. Lesson learned — and I will be fully prepared for Detroit in 2018.
I overpacked for New Orleans. Folks who know me know I travel the globe never checking a bag. NABJ is one of the few things that make me break that rule, and I actually checked two for this trip. It was too much. I will check a bag in 2018, but I will remember to use the packing tips that work so well for me when I’m on the job.
You’ve gotta have friends. There are people you see at NABJ and then there are people you SEE at NABJ. These folks began embracing me way back at #NABJ09 in Tampa and I can’t imagine going to conferences without them. They are always there with laughs, drinks and those badly needed reality checks. And I must shout out my cousin, DeMornay Harper. It was her first NABJ convention and she took full advantage. She also kept me from going completely off the rails forcing me to drink water and take naps.
The Detroit convention is 350 days away. NOW is the time to start saving your pennies and join us. Even as we were counting down to New Orleans, Detroit was already busy preparing for 2018. See you in the Motor City!!