Posted in Education, journalism, Webinar

RECORDING: Boss Moves: Content Is King

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The NABJ Media Related Task Force (MRMTF) held a members-only webinar with tips on how journalists and media professionals can transition their skills into six-figure salaries with less stress, fewer deadlines and more flexibility in a digital world via content marketing. Member Tenisha Mercer, a content marketer and brand storyteller and owner of HireAnSEOWriter.com, gave tips on how to break into content marketing and answered questions on being effective in that segment.

Maria Pitts Roberts of writing/marketing/social media consultancy RiaRob Media explained about the task force’s new media-related mentorship program for Mid-Level Career Journalists and Media-Related Professionals. The program will connect members to people within the MRTF membership to help with your transition. Click here to view the webinar.

The Media Related Task Force asks that you take this survey so they can meet your needs.

There were some questions that we weren’t able to get to during the webinar, so here are the answers from Tenisha Mercer.

A major food company asked me to write a 2000-word story for their website, but they didn’t want to provide a contract or work out details of pay. How should this be handled?

Answer: Definitely get compensated if it is not a part of your regular role. Something like, “Thank you for the opportunity to write the story, now what will the compensation be for this additional project?” And then leave the ball in their court and let them answer. Stay firm.

How important is it to establish a niche in content marketing? It is important if you want to command top dollar and land projects easier.

Answer: Niches like technology, medical and health care tend to be much higher paying. Clients pay even more for subject matter expertise. But if you do not know your niche, just get started! I did not know I wanted to specialize in SEO writing until I had several projects under my belt.

How can I get started?

Answer: I would encourage you to take advantage of NABJ’s mentorship opportunities or, shameless plug, enroll in my master class for Content Marketing for Journalists.

How different is content marketing writing from journalism?

Answer: Content marketing will not require sourcing, necessarily, and there is less of an advertising push. It is informative, but you are writing content for a different audience. The same principles of good journalism — accuracy, a well-written story and factual info are typically used.

What is the editing process for CM like?

Answer: Similar to any editing process, but depends on the type of project. If it’s for a large organization, it may have to go thru several rounds of approvals and revisions before it is finalized.

Content Marketing Brand Examples

Further resources

Posted in Education, journalism, News, Webinar

RECORDING: How to Negotiate A Contract You Can Live With

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The good news is that the television station has offered you the job. The next step iTiny Exaviers signing your contract. We were fortunate to have attorney Exavier Pope, Principal Owner of The Pope Law Firm, P.C., conduct the latest NABJ members-only webinar. During the event, Pope, who is also the host of #SuitUP Podcast and treasurer of the NABJ Sports Task Force, offered great advice to members on six key things to consider before putting pen to paper. 

 

  1. Length of a Contract
  2. List of Job Functions
  3. Compensation
  4. Morals Clause
  5. Non-compete Clauses
  6. Termination

You can listen to a recording of the webinar here.  Contact Exavier Pope via email, on his website or via Twitter.  And below are more resources for dealing with contracts.

Posted in Education, journalism, Webinar

RECORDING: Internships 101: The Guidebook to Success in Journalism

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In the latest NABJ members-only webinar, a panel discussed the importance of internships and why you need to get one and how you can maximize your intern experience. The event, hosted by NABJ Student Representative Wilton Jackson,  featured veteran journalist Wendy Wilson, students Malika Andrews and Tierra Smith, along with recent graduate Clayton Gutzmore. They shared their experiences and answered questions. NABJ members can listen to the webinar here

Wilson offered six golden tips on what it takes to have a successful internship here.  We ran out of time but still had questions. So panelists Malika Andrews and Clayton Gutzman took a crack at them, below.  Finally, our next NABJ members-only webinar, “How to Negotiate A Contract You Can Live With,” will be held on Tuesday, March 21 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Attorney Exavier Pope will reveal six key things you need to include in your next contract.

What is the best way to follow up with an internship program regarding your application?

MA: I think an email is generally the best way to follow up. Remember, following up doesn’t necessarily have to be “when will you decide?” When I was applying for SJI, I sent Greg [Lee] (the coordinator) a Happy Thanksgiving email, a happy holidays email, happy birthday (okay, I didn’t go that far) — but I did send him a happy holidays note and “I look forward to hearing from you” note.

CG: Give it about two to three weeks before sending an email. Do your research first and find out how their process goes. If it’s not listed, ask before you apply.

What if you have 3-4 years of freelance experience? Would you recommend still going for internships?

CG: Yes still apply for internships. Apply for the internship you believe will take you to the next level. Internships that are different than your current line of freelance work. If you are good enough to freelance, you are able to still earn money while seeking new opportunities. Fellowships can also be something to seek out.

 

MA: I think internships can apply across the board. One of my good friends Rhiannon Walker (now full time with The Undefeated) took back-to-back internships for a year or two before committing to a full-time job. If you are looking for that full-time gig after freelance and nothing is biting, reworking what you are applying for and going for an internship can be a great thing.

How does one find the hiring manager, especially if it’s at a big media corporation? I have tried LinkedIn, but that has not helped.
 

CG: Check the website. There should be contact information at the bottom or on a tab on their website. Call the station and politely ask. Check with your professors. If it’s a big company, they should know somebody that knows somebody.

MA: Ask! Usually, someone will know in your network. For instance, when I was applying for the New York Times internship, I asked someone I had met at a conference very briefly who to address my cover letter to. It turned out, I was supposed to address it to him! He was glad I asked. Or you can always call the newsroom.

I am in the process of applying to internships at local TV stations. What advice do you have to set myself apart?

MA: Find your voice and hone in on it. Are you a great features storyteller? Great. Hold that up. Can you edit as well as be in front of the camera? Say that. And be versatile- make sure you are more than just the face in front of the camera or the behind-the-scenes person.
Also, in your cover letters, make sure not to just say that this is why you want this. A lot of kids want it. Make sure you also say how you are a good fit for them and what sorts of things you bring to the table.

I have just received my first internship at a news station in Greensboro, N.C. I am extremely excited. What can I do to prepare for that internship now? What are the things that would make me stick out in the internship? What are some of the tasks of an intern at a news station?

MA: This may seem basic, but make sure you watch the station. Familiarize yourself with their content style and also the content they have already published so you make sure you aren’t pitching stories that double dip into what they’ve already done. Also, know the names of producers and talent!

As far as sticking out: be the person that goes above and beyond. If there is an assignment after your normal nine to five shift, stay late. Something on the weekend? Be there. And pitch stories! Don’t make your producer constantly come to you. Even if you get shot down, keep pitching. And remember, no assignment is too small. When I was at the local Portland TV station, we begged a producer to stay late so we could read off the anchors tape and cut out own highlight reels. That was really helpful for me to have.

How do you feel about tracking the progress of your work in the internship? Would it be too much to ask for evaluations from the people who I work with?

CG: I say give it time. Seek critiques on your second project. You will know a little bit more about how you are supposed to do work for the outlet.

MA: Seek feedback. But don’t forget it’s easier to fix things before they go to print or on web or the package airs. So if you have a complex story, seek out your editor or producer beforehand.

I have just begun researching different graduate schools. Is there a time to do an internship while in grad school?

MA: I can’t speak from experience but from what I have heard, it depends. For instance, I know Columbia J-school doesn’t recommend it. They put you to work. I know [NABJ Student Representative] Wilton [Jackson] has done internships while in graduate school at LSU so I think it depends on your specific program and how many credits you take. It also depends if you can balance keeping your grades up and having an internship.

Posted in Education, Entrepreneur, journalism, Webinar

RECORDING: Do The #SideHustle

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As the industry continues to reshape itself in the digital age, journalists are getting caught in the crossfire. So now is the perfect time to start or step up that side hustle. In this NABJ members-only webinar, panelists Dr. Sybril Brown, Tenisha Taylor Bell, Nicki Mayo and Benét Wilson shared how and why they started their side hustles and offered advice on what is needed to keep them going. Click here to listen to a recording of the webinar.

Below are some links to #SideHuste resources:

And join us on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11:00 a.m. EST for our next webinar in the #FreelanceFebruary series. What if you don’t want to become a freelancer and you want to look for a new job instead? Put your best foot forward with an online portfolio to showcase your work. Web sites, for all of their benefits, can be tough to sift through as ideas about technology and branding change every day.

In this webinar, hosted by Marissa Evans of the Texas Tribune, you’ll get tips on how to choose the best web platform for you, the do’s and don’ts of a quality website and best practices for putting your best digital footprint forward, including live critiques. Register here — your NABJ membership number is required. And look for our #SpringCleaningNABJ series of members-only webinars in March and April. Do you have an idea for a workshop? Send it here and it may be used.

Posted in Education, journalism

RECORDING New Year, New You 3.0: The Art of Interviewing and Storytelling

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For journalists, being able to tell the stories on our beats and in the nation’s neighborhoods is central to our job. Being able to tell these stories in a way that is compelling is especially necessary in a time where information options are numerous. In this webinar, a group of experienced journalists—Tory Parrish, reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Gary Witherspoon, a former editor for the Boston Globe and Newsday, and Brandon E. Robinson, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in SLAM and Ebony magazines and is the host of the ScoopB radio podcast—will share what makes a good story, how to go and get them, and how good research and good questions go hand in hand.

In this webinar, held on Thursday, Jan. 27, a group of experienced journalists—Tory Parrish, reporter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Gary Witherspoon, a former editor for the Boston Globe and Newsday, and Brandon E. Robinson, an independent journalist whose work has appeared in SLAM and Ebony magazines and is the host of the ScoopB radio podcast—will share what makes a good story, how to go and get them, and how good research and good questions go hand in hand. Click here for a recording of this NABJ members-only webinar.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism, Uncategorized

Why Conferences Like NABJ Are Vital to Media Diversity

Guest Post by Polly Irungu

My first National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) conference was three years ago, at the 38th annual convention in Orlando. NABJ is a four-day conference and career fair attended by thousands of journalists, media professionals, executives and recruiters. Being surrounded by thousands of people who look like me — and who aspire to learn more about their craft and are actively pursuing their dreams, as I am — is a surreal feeling. NABJ is a life-changing event for many, many students and professionals. I know I wouldn’t be nearly as confident in my abilities if it were for not the support system and network that NABJ has given me. It is hard to sum up the impact and experience NABJ gives to thousands each year, but I will do my best to break it down.

Why do I keep going back?

As an African woman in America — especially one who lives in Oregon, where the black population is less than 5 percent — I have often been disappointed with the way the media portrays people of color. Not only do we not see enough diversity in media, but when we do, the media portrays only one story, one experience that it suggests is shared by all.

Part of the reason I keep going back to NABJ is my desire to change that narrative. NABJ uses its platform to inspire others to take real action to address the lack of diversity in media. People who care about media diversity go to the conference each year actively seeking new ways to tell those underrepresented stories and tips to bring back to their newsrooms. They are often also there to recruit talented, qualified people of color.

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Being a part of the student newsroom

You always grow more when you are a producer instead of a consumer. It’s one thing to attend a conference, but it’s quite another to help create. For me, being a part of the student newsroom was an opportunity to be more than a participant. When you are in the fold and a part of making something happen, you learn and grow more. Being there alone is great, but it has been more fulfilling to be a part of the team of diverse talent.

I’ve applied the skills that I’ve learned inside and outside the SOJC’s classrooms when I worked in the NABJ student newsroom, in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015, I was selected to be a part of the photo team. We were the fantastic four, responsible for providing photo coverage of the 40th annual convention for the NABJ Monitor. Leading up to the conference, students are paired with a mentor to help them bring the stories they have pitched to life. The mentors pushed us to step out of our comfort zone and take our photo skills to new heights. My responsibilities included pitching stories to cover in Minneapolis (where the conference was held), photographing daily assignments, providing captions for all images captured and taking headshots of each student in the newsroom as well as candidates for the 2016 NABJ elections. In a one-week span, I learned how to use tools like Photoshop and Photo Mechanic in my sleep. Everything I thought I knew about taking pictures was challenged.

My favorite story that I produced was about the rising Somali community in Minnesota. I was able to overcome cultural and language barriers to take intimate photos of residents in the community. This is the moment that I truly felt like a multimedia journalist.

The 2016 student newsroom was a little bit different. This year, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists(NAHJ) joined forces with NABJ to host the largest minority journalism convention (NABJNAHJ16) ever. The newsroom was a collaborative environment where peers and mentors worked together to provide some of the best coverage at the historic conference.

I wrote articles for the website, including “The Ferguson Effect: Social media and its impact from Ferguson to now.” But one of the things that I am most proud of is co-producing a podcast, Reportedly Black, with two other students in the newsroom. Leading up to NABJNAHJ16, we tirelessly worked on scheduling interviews, script writing and editing. In the first episode of Reportedly Black, we asked numerous journalists from across the country: “How do you separate your race from being a journalist?” In our second episode, we had journalists weigh in about the importance of media diversity and the media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential elections. Our podcast featured some prominent names in the industry, such as Wesley Lowery, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tanzina Vega, Victoria Massie, Gustavo Arellano, Stephen A. Nuño and more.

NABJ and NAHJ gave us a platform to discuss real issues with journalists who are leaders in their respective fields. In the midst of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, these journalists took time out of their hectic schedules to speak with us. Some of these journalists got their start through NABJ and NAHJ, which shows you the influence and impact these organizations can have.

The importance of attending conferences 

One of the best things you can do for personal and career development is attend a conference. These organizations want you to succeed and will give you the tools to do so — all you have to do is get there. It is a chance to pick your favorite person’s brain, network with people who share common interests, gain a mentor and meet future employers. The free swag doesn’t hurt either. I know that each year I will leave with renewed inspiration, priceless mentorship and insight that I can take back and share with others. I am already counting down the days until the 2017 NABJ convention in New Orleans!

 

Polly Irungu is a multimedia journalist and social media strategist who plans to graduate from the SOJC with a degree in journalism this fall. She is currently working as a digital content creator for the SOJC’s Communications team, a campus editor-at-large at The Huffington Post and a freelance production assistant for the PAC-12 Networks, and she’s also been published on CNNKVAL and YesJulz. A National Association of Black Journalists fellow in 2015 and 2016, she participated in the NABJ and National Association of Hispanic Journalists student newsroom to provide coverage of their historic joint convention for NABJ Monitor and Latino Reporter. She also worked in the Online News Association’s student newsroom Sept. 15-17, 2016. Previously, she has worked for TrackTown USA, Def Jam Records, Dell and Adobe. She made the 2013 and 2014 Daily Emerald Ducks Who Will Change the World list, and in May 2015, she was named the Women4Africa International Young Achiever of the Year. You can view her work at www.pollyirungu.com and follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat @pollyirungu.