Posted in Conferences & Conventions, Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Webinars

Help The NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force In Philly

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

Like everyone else, I’m running around taking care of last-minute details before I leave early Tuesday morning for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Annual Convention and Career Fair in Philadelphia.

One of those details was to print out raffle tickets for DJTF’s second annual airline ticket raffle.  This year, we’re raffling off 3 pairs of tickets on JetBlue and one pair on AirTran Airways.  Our tickets are $3 each or 2 for $5.  And we’re asking that you buy tickets to support us.

After the Tampa convention in 2009, DJTF decided to step up its game and offer more programming for NABJ members.  We started this blog and began offering FREE training and holding discussions on the latest in digital journalism.

After the San Diego convention in 2010, we decided to take our efforts to the next level by purchasing our own GoToWebinar account so we could offer more dynamic and interactive training — again, all FREE.  Thanks to our raffle sales and a $2,500 grant from the Gannett Foundation (spearheaded by DJTF Treasurer Melanie Eversley), we were not only able to offer at least once webinar a month, but we were able to help NABJ chapters, task forces and the Elections Committee with their programming needs.

We’ll be selling tickets at the following events:

  • The DJTF Reception Thursday, Aug. 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Associate Member Suite (room number to be announced);
  • The Associate Member Luncheon Friday, Aug. 5 from noon to 2 p.m. in a room number to be announced;
  • The DJTF Annual Meeting Saturday, Aug. 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Room 115B; and
  • The Visual Task Force Photo Auction Saturday, Aug. 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Room 120BC.

But we need your help to do even more.  So please support us by buying raffle tickets.  Even if you don’t win the tickets, you still benefit by the services we’ll offer for the rest of 2011 and into 2012.  We thank you in advance for your help!!

Posted in journalism, News, Webinar

NABJ Elections Committee Offers Replay of Presidential Online Forum

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

Earlier this evening, the National Association of Black Journalists’ Elections Committee held an online forum for the candidates — VP Print Deirdre Childress, Treasurer Greg Lee, and Region II Director Charles Robinson — running for the NABJ presidency.

Nearly 110 NABJ members registered for the event.  The coordinator of the webinar was Melanie Eversley, a member of the Elections Committee, treasurer of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and  a reporter on the Breaking News Desk at USA Today.  The moderator was Lewis Diuguid of The Kansas City Star.

The candidates answered questions on issues including boosting NABJ membership, conflicts of interest among board members, member training and regional conferences and publishing of the NABJ Journal.  You can listen to the 1 hour, 30 minute session here.

The final Elections Committee online candidates forum will be held Sunday, July 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EDT.  The session, moderated by Lewis Diuguid of The Kansas City Star, will feature candidates in contested races: Vice president/Print, Denise Clay of the Philadelphia Sunday Sun and Errin Haines of the Associated Press; Parliamentarian candidates Cindy George of The Houston Chronicle and Ken Knight of The Tampa Tribune, and student representative candidates Marissa Evans of Marquette University and Wesley Lowery of Ohio University.  Click here to register.

And online voting is open; click here for more information or to vote.

Posted in journalism, Webinar

DJTF Offers Replay of VP-Print Candidates Forum

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

Last night, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force held an online webinar for VP-Print candidates Denise Clay and Errin Haines.  Our questioners were Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times, Natalie McNeal of Frugalista and DJTF Treasurer Melanie Eversley of USA Today.

We discussed general NABJ topics including the UNITY split, an alleged disconnect between NABJ national and local chapters and the association’s current guidelines for membership.  We also discussed digital journalism issues. You can hear the hour-long session here.  DJTF held a similar forum for the presidential candidates, and you can listen to that session here.

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists held their presidential candidates forum June 4, and you can view it below:

In May, the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists held a candidates forum, which you can view here.

Voting for the 2011 elections is now open.  I urge you all to review these materials from the candidates, which will allow you to make the best choice of the leadership that will move NABJ forward.

Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Webinar

Join DJTF For An NABJ Presidential Candidate Online Forum

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

On Monday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, the Digital Journalism Task Force will be holding an online forum for the candidates — VP Print Deirdre Childress, Treasurer Greg Lee, and Region II Director Charles Robinson — running for the presidency of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Digital journalism continues to quickly evolve and shape our industry, and we’re seeing an emphasis on all things digital at this year’s convention.  So the members of DJTF felt a forum to question the candidates on their knowledge on all things digital was in order.

I will moderate the event.  The monitor will be NABJ Elections Committee member and DJTF Treasurer Melanie Eversley of USA Today.  We will use the traditional Q&A format.

The questioners will be:

  • Dr. Sybril Bennett, Associate Professor of the New Century Journalism Program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., and Programming Chair for this year’s NABJ convention;
  • Mike Green, Chief Information Officer and a co-founder of the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative; he led award-winning online community engagement projects for the Dow Jones Local Media Group and is also a blogger at Huffington Post; and
  • Mark S. Luckie, National Innovations Editor at the Washington Post, creator of the 10000 Words blog and author of The Digital Journalist’s Handbook.

The focus of this debate will be on digital journalism issues, although questioners reserve the right to ask general questions about NABJ.  Each candidate will have up to 3 minutes to read an opening statement, with or without a PowerPoint presentation.

Our panelists will ask three questions each.  Responses for each question will be in rotating alphabetical order.  Each candidate will have up to two minute to respond, and panelists will be allowed to ask one follow-up question.  After the panelists have asked their questions, we will open up the lines for members to question candidates directly. Five minutes before the end of the debate, candidates will be able to give a one-minute closing statement.

DJTF feels it’s important to have an NABJ leader that is comfortable in the digital world.  I hope you will join us and bring your questions.  The next direction of NABJ depends on it!

Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist

Follow Up: “Some Multimedia With That Story?”


By Melanie Eversley, DJTF, USA Today

For those who missed Friday’s DJTF multimedia webinar with Media General’s Vidisha Priyanka,’s Madison Gray and Gannett’s Nichelle Smith, the audio replay of the session is now available here. Here are links to the pieces/PowerPoint presentation that were discussed during the session:,28757,1726656,00.html,32187,1952607,00.html

Here is contact information for the panelists:
• Vidisha Priyanka,
• Madison “Joe” Gray,
• Nichelle Smith,

Also, don’t miss DJTF’s next free webinar, “Tapping Our Oral Traditions: How To Add A Podcast To Your Print Story,” slated for noon to 1 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, April 5. DJTF co-chair Benet Wilson, online managing editor for business aviation for Aviation Week, will host Vanessa Deggins, a multimedia reporter for the American Press and a radio reporter for Cumulus Broadcasting.

Posted in Education, journalism, multimedia journalist, Webinar

Friday Fast Five

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

Editor’s note: join Digital Journalism Task Force Treasurer Melanie Eversley of USA Today for a free webinar: “Some Multimedia With That Story?”  This 90-minute webinar will take place Friday, March 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST.  Three panelists will discuss mapping out a story from conception, reaching out to other parts of the newsroom and brainstorming ways that social media, video, reader interaction and other tools can help bring new and eye-opening dimensions to your work.  Click here to register.

  1. 10000 Words6 innovative uses of Tumblr by newsrooms
  2. NetworkedHarness the resources of the Web
  3. VimeoWelcome to Vimeo Video School
  4. Poynter6 ways journalists can use Quora as tool to report, share ideas
  5. GigaOmQR Codes 101: Make Links to Your Website from Anywhere (note: Knowlegewebb members can watch a webinar and access notes to a Lunchtime Boot Camp held yesterday on QR Codes here)
Posted in journalism, multimedia journalist, Social Media

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

Editor’s note: we are off this week, so we’re re-posting our most popular columns.  This column was originally published March 1 by our treasurer, Melanie Eversley of USA Today.

By Melanie Eversley, Rewrite Reporter at USA Today, DJTF Treasurer

At first, it was a novelty.

You sent out your first “tweet” and your eight followers – including your best friend, your cousin Skip and two coworkers – learned you were “proud of making a successful bowl of guacamole.”

But in time, your use of social media blossomed. You sent out links via Facebook and Twitter to the latest postings from your blog and to the news stories you’d written for your employer’s website. You connected not only to dozens of relatives and every friend from elementary school on, but also to just as many business contacts.

So what do you do when you’ve grown to hundreds or even thousands of followers or “friends” from your personal and professional lives? Journalists, authors and writers advocated separate accounts for personal dealings and business or, if you’re going to mix it up, avoiding controversial or negative postings that can get you into trouble – especially if you work for a mainstream news organization that demands objectivity in your work.

Author, screenwriter and former Miami Herald journalist Tananarive Due is one of those whose friends and professional contacts are comingled. She says she is making it work for her.

“Most of my friends are readers. Many of them are writers. There are also some family members, old friends and Hollywood contacts,” Due, who lives in the Los Angeles area, says of her activity on Facebook.

“These groups have very different interests, so I try to mix it up,” she says. “I post personal photos with my family, for example. I post silly thoughts, movies I’ve seen, or observations. That keeps it ‘real.’ “

Due uses Facebook to update followers on the progress of her writing, her books and movies being planned from her work, to draw followers to new entries on her website,, and her blog,, to promote events and to advertise writing coach services offered by her and her husband, Steven Barnes, at She also maintains a fan page on Facebook for Tennyson Hardwick, the star character of three of her mystery novels.

Due says Facebook is her most reliable tool for readers and potential clients, but she is still figuring out how best to use it and other social media. She uses a program called that helps her track exactly how many hits have come from Facebook.

What helps her keep her friends and followers blended is that she stays away from negative or potentially controversial postings, she says.

“I do political postings I care about, but not often,” Due explains. “I try to celebrate on my page as much as possible, i.e. a new 18-year-old writer I support.”

Others maintain separate personal and professional accounts.

Tiffany Alexander works for, and also is a children’s book author and blogger. She maintains separate personal and professional accounts on Facebook and Twitter, as well as a fan page on Facebook.

Alexander uses her professional accounts to educate readers about her characters and update them about publishing news and public appearances. The accounts also help her draw traffic to and, the website where customers can order her children’s books.

She also takes advantage of the privacy settings on Facebook that allow users to control who on Facebook or outside of Facebook can access information on their pages.

“There are a few coworkers in my personal network, but very few, and they are people I consider friends,” says Alexander, who lives in Atlanta.

“Actually, most people I work with are blocked from being able to access any of my personal information,” she continues. “My Facebook page won’t show up for them even if they search for me. If they want to connect with me, they can join my coworker network. They can access my fan page on Facebook and a few of them are fans.”

Author, activist, blogger and filmmaker Yasmin Shiraz uses Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to keep followers abreast of film screenings and her speaking engagements, and to draw traffic to She says she keeps everything professional.

“Since I am in fact selling the Yasmin Shiraz brand, I remain true to it,” says Shiraz, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area. “I will admit that I’m not as opinionated on my LinkedIn account … As I learn more about social media, I feel that it’s important to remain true to my brand and so I’m intimately involved in every tweet, every post, every comment.”

Journalist and public relations specialist Greg Wright also is a huge proponent of keeping separate accounts for the personal and the professional.

Wright, who also lives in the Washington, D.C., area, is a senior public relations specialist for the National Association of Social Workers and maintains the organization’s blog, As a freelance writer, he also has written several pieces advising people how to use social media to their advantage. Wright uses Facebook and Twitter to send out links to freelance pieces he’s written for magazines or websites or for new blog postings.

He points out that people can use LinkedIn to position themselves as an expert in an area by addressing questions posted to the site and taking part in the discussion boards. He also is an advocate of the Facebook fan page, which is not difficult to set up, he said.

Wright cautions, however, that while social media might seem like a great new invention that can boost marketing, it’s important to keep it all in perspective.

“You shouldn’t overdo this and don’t be online all the time,” Wright advises. “It’s not the end all and be all, it is just a tool.”

Wright continues, “It does not replace getting on the phone and saying, ‘Hey, let’s go have a meal.’ Some people, the only way they socialize is on Facebook. They don’t even hang out. That’s how they basically interact. People are becoming more and more isolated.”