Tag Archives: nabj

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events


  • ENGAGE: The NYC Digital Storytelling Conference is a one-day digital storytelling event will gather together a carefully selected group of experts, visionaries and leaders to talk about how digital storytelling has changed–and will change. The conference takes place  April 29, 2014. With a special focus on publishing, we’ll look at innovative ways to fine-tune storytelling within the context of advertising. We’ll examine the role of current and emerging technology. Ultimately, we’ll help you drive and create amazing content experience for viewers and users alike. 
  • The Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) is working with Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) to offer two-day Watchdog Reporting Workshops for journalists from your region. If your team is chosen, there will be follow-up training opportunities (google meet-ups, webinars, etc) and ongoing story consulting for a limited period of time. The sessions and the follow-up training are free, thanks to the support from Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. You’ll be responsible for any travel costs. We want to ensure that we work with news organizations that not only desire to do better work, but are committed to the effort. Training will take place in Chicago, April 28-29, hosted by Columbia College.

  • When news looks like an unending stream of what’s wrong, what’s broken or what’s corrupt, audiences complain that the news is nothing but bad news. The solution for this problem may be to focus on not only problems, but also how people are trying to fix them. The Solutions Journalism Network was founded in 2013 to legitimize and spread the practice of “solutions journalism”: rigorous, compelling reporting on responses to problems. SJN works with newsrooms around the country—including the most hard-hitting, investigation-focused newsrooms such as the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Seattle Times—to help them do solutions-focused stories and series. The webinar will take place Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern Time. For more information, visit Poynter. This Webinar will give you practical, specific tips for reporting and writing solutions stories, and using them to make your journalism stronger.


  • 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. 

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!!

Friday Fast Five + Five: The Google Edition

It seems like every day I learn some new trick or hack with Google.  Say what you want about Google, they have some really cool tools that can help you work smarter. Check out 10 of my finds, below.

  1. GoogleGoogle Media Tools
  2. Knight Digital Media Center – Learn Google Analytics with new, free online course
  3. Read Write – Now You Can Ask Google Search To Compare, Filter And Play
  4. TechCrunch – Context Lets You Search Across Dropbox, Evernote, Spotify & More, All From Google.com
  5. The Next Web – Watch this: Google Docs can automatically generate QR Codes
  6. Mashable – The Beginner’s Guide to Google+
  7. Journalism.co.uk – Google at 15: Tips and tools for journalists
  8. Lifehacker – How to Set Up Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts (Properly) on iOS
  9. Mash Social Media – 7 Tips for Sorting Your Gmail Contacts
  10. MediaBistro – How Your Google+ Profile Can Help Your Articles Links Stand Out

Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger and is theAir Travel Expert for About.com.

Friday Fast Five + Five: The Twitter Edition

Twitter is one of my favorite journalism tools, so I’m always looking for tricks to make it even more useful to use.  Below are 10 hacks that may be helpful to add to your Twitter arsenal.

  1. TwitterTwitter for newsrooms and journalists
  2. MediaBistroFive Habits To Help Yourself Tweet Once Per Day
  3. MediaShiftErica Anderson’s 6 Tips for Journalists on Twitter
  4. Intuit10 Rules for Crafting the Perfect Tweet
  5. MashableHow to Spend Only 10 Minutes Per Day on Twitter
  6. Open ForumHow Many Of Your Twitter Followers Are Fake?
  7. Forbes31 Twitter Tips: How To Use Twitter Tools And Twitter Best Practices For Business
  8. MashableThe Beginner’s Guide to HootSuite
  9. MashableThe Beginner’s Guide to TweetDeck
  10. AllTwitter6 Tips For Shorter Tweets [INFOGRAPHIC]

Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the vice president of education for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger and is the Air Travel Expert for About.com.

Never Say ‘We Can’t Find Talented Journalists of Color’ Again

journalism diversityBy Tracie Powell, Co-Chair and Benet J. Wilson, Vice President, Education of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force

Now that the lack of diversity at journalism startups has been sufficiently underscored by others, this is the perfect opportunity to provide a set of principles to follow for those interested in  creating diverse newsrooms.

Diversity is not just about checking a box. In light of demographic changes that show the white, male audience is dwindling, diversity in newsrooms is good business. It just makes sense.

For some these guidelines will be a reminder, but for others they can serve as a new source of information that we hope you’ll make a permanent part of your company’s recruiting process and employee retention efforts. At the very least, these guidelines should go a long way in helping digital media funders and founders to never again say: “We can’t find talented journalists of color.”

1. We’re not here to bash or criticize, we’re here to help

The NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force has a strong record of providing free training for anyone who wants to participate and serving as a resource, mainly through the @NABJDigital Twitter account using the #mediadiversity and #journojob hashtags, for those looking for diverse candidates to fill jobs. Companies like NPR, American Public Media, CNN, TBS and NBC, to name a few, have reached out to us directly to promote their jobs and pass along qualified candidates.

In addition to @NABJ Digital, digital startups also get the resources and strong network of the Online News Association, with ONA board member Benet Wilson, who chairs the Diversity Committee, and DJTF Co-Chair Tracie Powell, who serves as a committee member. We are more than willing to meet with anyone for a friendly conversation and information on how we can help. We can meet with folks in person or via Google Hangout.

2. Build a more inclusive network

  • Talk with and partner with organizations and individuals with community connections that reflect the demographics that you serve or want to serve, including organizations like NABJ.

  • Go to diversity conventions yourself. Do not depend on recruiters. “My old boss at the Boston Globe came to a National Association of Black Journalists convention to actually meet people he never heard of, and they were talented. He hired two people and still had many on his list,” said Greg Lee, immediate past president of NABJ. “You have to get out and expand your personal pool.”

  • Lisa Williams, Program Chair of the Online News Association’s 2013 conference and Director of Digital Engagement at the Investigative News Network, wrote in her Life and Code blog, “Any call for diversity in hiring in the information industry (and in that I include the tech industry and the news industry) is usually met with a lament at how HARD it is to find female candidates, or candidates who are people of color.  Except for one thing.  It’s not.  All we had to do was….ask. That’s it.”

3. Say “YES”

Accept invitations to participate in panel discussions or workshops before diverse audiences where you can talk up your organization and the benefits of working at your company. In the past three years, the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University has done presentations with DJTF at NABJ conventions and held an online Q&A for potential applicants with DJTF, in conjunction with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalism Association. As a result of that and other outreach efforts, Knight has reported seeing more diverse applicant pools for its fellowship, according to the program’s director, Jim Bettinger.

4. Step outside of your comfort zone

We naturally tend to gravitate toward those we’re most comfortable with. For white men, that means mingling with other white men; the same holds true for people of color. That paradigm must be broken, especially in today’s newsrooms.

The most powerful line in a piece recently written by Shani O. Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, for Medium was this one: “The journos of color and women aren’t networking with white dudes doing the hiring because it isn’t in their DNA,” she wrote. “Call it the Twice as Hard Half as Good Paradox: Many of us are so busy working twice as hard and hoping to get noticed that we don’t do the networking that seems like bullshit but is actually a key part of career advancement.”

It is true that more journalists of color must pull back from their daily grind to network in order to ensure career advancement. But startups and venture capitalists must do the same thing. This effort can not, and should not, be one-sided. Go to mixers and seek out journalists of color. Go up to them, shake their hands, ask about what they are doing now, what they’d rather be doing instead or what they want to be doing in five years. You might meet your next game-changer.

5. Read publications and writers outside of those you normally read

Just as aspiring writers are taught to read those more established in order to improve their craft, editors need to do the same thing. Not only because it helps you identify new talent, but because it also clues you in about issues and ways of telling stories that you may be missing. You never know what gems you will come across. Some publications we recommend are ColorLines, Richard Prince’s Journal-isms and Racialicious.

6. Ask employees for referrals

Talk with managers, but more important, talk with your rank-and-file employees, who likely know others who are in the job market. Offer rewards for successful referrals, but don’t rely solely on employee networks, which may also be white and male.

7. Retaining is just as important as recruiting

Once you recruit diverse job candidates, keep them by offering benefits such as on-site daycares, non-gendered bathrooms, and quiet rooms employees can use to meditate or recite daily prayers. Offering these services also lets potential employees know that your company accommodates gender, family and religious diversity.

8. Make a seat at the table

Don’t just send employees of color to conventions as recruiters just to show that you have employees of color; if you send them, make sure they have hiring authority.  If your company does not have diverse candidates in key positions, then engaging diverse high-level employees in the recruiting process — even if they do not have hiring authority — can be helpful. Having someone at the table is important.

Even if you do not connect with NABJ Digital, you should be, at the very least, posting and connecting with other job boards that specialize in reaching diverse job candidates, including NABJ and JournalismNext. If you are not doing this, then you’re not really looking.

You can reach Tracie Powell at tracie.powell@gmail.com and Benet Wilson at benet@aviationqueen.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday Fast Five: Your Guide To New Media

  1. Lifehacker – Top 10 Worthwhile Uses for Tablets
  2. SourceBuilding News Apps on a Shoestring
  3. Business 2 Community – 5 tips for writing online headlines
  4. IJNet – Four tools that aim to make journalists and their data more secure
  5. Blogging Tips – 10 Ways to Keep WordPress site Safe from Hacking

Calendar of Multimedia Training and Events


  • Investigative Reporters and Editors and National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) will hold its 2014 Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in Baltimore, Md., Feb. 27, 2014 – March 2, 2014. Join IRE and NICAR for their annual conference devoted to computer-assisted reporting. Come and learn about tools you need to dig deeper into stories and give readers and viewers the information they want.

  • The Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society. Fulbrighters will undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue, comparing and contrasting how that issue is experienced across borders. Utilizing a variety of digital storytelling tools, including text, photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations, and/or social media, Fellows will tell their stories, or the stories of those they meet, publishing their work on National Geographic media platforms with the support of National Geographic’s editorial team. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.


  • The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is offering eight $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships in a new program established by Michael Pollan, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. The fellowship, a project of the Knight Center in Science and Environmental Journalism, is supported by a grant from The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation. Aimed at early and mid career journalists, the Fellowship presents an opportunity to report ambitious long form stories on the full range of subjects under the rubric of food systems: agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment (including climate change), global trade and supply chains, consolidation and securitization of the food system and public health as it relates to food and farming. The deadline to apply is March 1, and winners will be notified on April 15.

  • The National Association of Real Estate Editors has issued a Call for Entries for the 64th Annual NAREE Journalism Competition for real estate and home and design writers and editors. Staff writers, freelancers, columnist, bloggers and editors are eligible to enter work published, posted or aired in 2013. Entry deadline is March 1, 2014. The competition is open to entries published in daily newspapers, weekly business newspapers, trade, investment and shelter magazines, commercial real estate publications, wire services, television, radio and web sites. A total of 75 Gold, Silver and Bronze Journalism Competition Awards may be presented. Entry forms are on www.NAREE.org under the “Journalism Contest” tab. Awards will be presented at NAREE’s Annual Journalism Conference in Houston, June 11-14, 2014 at Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria.

  • The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards is now accepting submissions for its 2014 contest. The program honors professional and student journalists for distinguished reporting that cultivates, promotes and disseminates understanding of accounting, finance and business topics. All original entries must have been published, broadcast or posted online by a U.S.-based news organization during the contest year of January 1 through December 31, 2013. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2014.

  • The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will hold a free webinar, “Social Media ROI for Journalists,” March 4 at  4:00 p.m ET (noon PT). In 2013, more and more newsrooms will revisit their social media strategy and ask, “What’s our return on investment?” How do we know if our newsroom is doing social “correctly”? What does this mean for our organization’s bottom line?

  • The National Association of Black Journalists’ Region III will hold a conference, “Diversity, Inclusion and YOU: The New DIY,” March 7-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Charleston, in Charleston, S.C. The conference program will offer participants an opportunity to sharpen old skills, learn new ones, and engage in valuable networking. A college scholarship and the Region III Achievers Award will be presented.

  • The Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists will hold a one-day free program in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 featuring Wharton Professors Mark Pauly and Robert Inman on “The Affordable Care Act” and “Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth,” respectively. Breakfast, lunch and course materials are provided at no cost.  A limited number of Southwest Airlines travel scholarships are also available for full time West Coast reporters. Registration is required and available online here: http://whr.tn/1hJYjOP

  • Make your plans now to attend the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, March 27-29, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz. Michael Lewis, author of “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side,” will be among the keynote speakers as he accepts SABEW’s Distinguished Achievement Award. The conference will conclude with a banquet honoring winners of the 19th annual Best in Business awards competition. The conference, to be hosted by The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is expected to attract several hundred business editors, reporters and producers as well as a wide range of exhibitors.


  • The post-graduate, multimedia fellow manages and maintains the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire’s website. He or she creates multimedia projects for our website, works with undergraduate interns to develop multimedia projects and provides leadership to a team that produces news stories and projects. Qualified applicants must have professional-level expertise in HTML, content management systems and CSS. Applicants must also have high-level skills in reporting and writing, shooting photos and video using a DSLR camera and editing video. This one-year, post-graduate, multimedia fellowship will begin in late summer 2014 and run through mid-August 2015. The fellowship includes a $22,155 stipend, plus free housing in a furnished apartment shared with the program’s undergraduate interns.  The deadline to apply is April 1.

  • The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 6th Annual Media Institute on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities in Washington, D.C., at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center at The Kaiser Family Foundation April 10-12.  It is the only conference of its kind to focus exclusively on health disparities in communities of color and provide print, broadcast and digital journalists with tools to effectively report on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act of health care reform and health policy on underserved communities. Journalists and media professionals will leave with resources to inform and empower readers and viewers to action.  Registration is $79 for members and $129 for nonmembers.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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

9 More Holiday Gifts For Journalists 2013

One of the blog posts I look forward to the most as far as journalism is concerned is the 10000 Words annual holiday gift list for journalists. The blog lists 25 great items to buy for the ink-stained wretch in your life.  While this list is pretty good, I’d like to add another nine for your consideration. Enjoy!

  1. Mophie Juice Pack — with all the ways we use our iPhones and iPads on the job, we will inevitably get to a place where an outlet may not be available. That’s when Mophie comes to the rescue. There are different versions, but I carry the Mophie Powerstation Duo, which allows me to charge my iPhone and iPad at the same time, quickly. Nice!
  2. Belkin Mini Surge Protector — Speaking of outlets, I carry this one, which has three plugs and two USB slots. The Belkin can be rotated to fit any outlet space.
  3. QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones — sometimes when I’m working on deadline, I need to listen to one of my calming playlists and cut out the noise in the newsroom. So I decided to pay $299.00 for a pair of these puppies, which can also be used for conversations on the iPhone.
  4.  Brydge Bluetooth iPad Keyboard — You can read my review of the Brydge here.
  5. Newsprint skirt —  I saw a woman wearing this skirt at this year’s Online News Association convention and loved it. It is custom made by the Vintage Galeria Etsy store for $45.95.
  6. AP Stylebook app – I’m loath to actually pay for an app. The most you’ll get out of me is 99 cents — until I saw this app. It costs $24.99, but it is worth every penny, putting the book on your iPhone. You can mark your favorites.
  7. Typo — one of the great things about having the Blackberry was the cool keyboard that made it easy to type. Back in 2007, I actually typed a story and filed it from my Blackberry because the hotel WiFi was beyond crappy. I cannot do that on my iPhone because I can’t type well on glass. But thanks to Typo, I can snap a Blackberry-like keyboard onto my iPhone.
  8. GorillaPod Flexible Tripod — Jeremy Caplan of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism did a great presentation at this year’s ONA conference, “21 Ways to Awesome-ize Your Mobile Toolkit,”  and one of his tips was using this tripod when shooting video with an iPhone.
  9. Membership in a journalism organization — nothing shows the love like paying for your scribe to network and work on their craft in professional organizations. I’ll recommend the three that have me as a member — the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Online News Association (I’m on the board).

Benét J. Wilson serves on the board of the Online News Association. She is the immediate past chair of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force and is the social media/eNewsletters editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  She is also a freelance aviation journalist and blogger.

DJTF Presents “New Year, New You” Virtual Conference


2014 is right around the corner, and the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force is ready to help you get ready for it, career wise.  We are holding a “virtual” conference on Saturday, Jan. 11 with four workshops that will help you take your job to the next level in what we’re calling “New Year, New You.”

Jeremy Caplan of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism will show off his journalism tips and tricks to help you do your job smarter and better. Michelle Johnson of Boston University will show you the tools you need to create and maintain your online portfolio.

Dr. Sybril Bennett of Belmont University will show you the tools you need to create and publicize your journalism brand. And Benet Wilson, DJTF vice president of education and the eNewsletters/social media editor for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will offer tips on how to make your resume stand out with potential employers.

Here’s the schedule and the link to register (all times EDT):

You can attend the workshops you want, and the event will be recorded for those who can’t attend the live sessions.

What We’ve Learned from ABC Hit Series, ‘Scandal’ The do’s and don’ts of Public Relations and Media Tactics

By Dawn Angelique Roberts and Emiley Mallory

Tonight, ABC’s hit series ‘Scandal’ returns  with a brand new episode, the first of a two-part winter season finale that’s sure to have everyone glued to their television sets.

But for media and PR professionals, “Scandal” isn’t just a TV Show…It’s also a classroom of sorts. While you’ll probably never find yourself having to cover up your affair with the President of the United States or dealing with what can charitably be called “Daddy Issues,” there is a lot that public relations and media professionals can take from the show and use in their work.

Here are a few tips NABJ Associate Member Task Force Chair, Dawn Angelique Roberts, and NABJ member Emiley Mallory, learned from the show that PR/media professionals should apply in their jobs.

Do understand that it’s all about presentation. In Season one, episode one we saw war hero Sully St. James decide that love was more important than taking a murder charge. In an attempt to conceal his sexual orientation, Sully willingly went down as an accessory to the murder of his best friend. In Sully’s mind, the media couldn’t know that the most decorated war hero since Vietnam was a gay man. Olivia Pope and Associates had confirmation of his alibi from footage of a street camera with Sully and his lover, but he refused. As the show closed we see Sully standing before a podium, confessing his pride before a sea of reporters. Surrounded by his fellow soldiers in support, with American flag in tow, Abby could be heard saying from the sideline, “the other soldiers added a nice touch don’t you think?”

Yes, Abby. They did.

Do develop a relationship with reporters. It is not enough to make a call or send a press release. Your resources are your lifeline, so the relationship itself is a give and take you should take special care to nurture and maintain.

Speaking of which…DON’T lie to reporters. Again, in season one, everyone’s favorite gladiator, Harrison, had to give Quinn some life advice about her budding relationship with Gideon, a news reporter. “You’re going to have to lie to him to protect a client and we don’t lie to reporters. Because once you do, there’s no going back. You killed the one thing you protect at all costs: your credibility.” Well, there’s that.

Nothing is off the Record. A Reporter is a Reporter. The relationship between Cyrus and his husband James is an example of the tightrope that PR professionals have to walk when it comes to their relationships with reporters.  A reporter’s job is to tell the story, while the PR person’s job is to protect their client and tell their story in the most advantageous way possible. Your client is relying on you to remember that difference.

Do know that “everybody loves a hero.” This is the line Olivia gave a certain dictator, General Benicio Florez, as a forewarning to return his children to his wife, Carolina Florez. After learning his wife’s “kidnapping” was actually an attempt to leave him, Florez takes their children, leaving both Carolina and Olivia dismayed. Bound for return to his home country, Olivia confronts the general. She informs him just how much reporters love a human interest story, particularly one like Carolina’s. His wife, she continues, will write memoirs, appear on talk shows and more importantly, threaten his political career by becoming not only an inspiring advocate for women’s rights, but a hero. Some of the best journalism ever written comes from feature stories. Spotting a unique story (or a unique way to tell a story that’s already been told) is a skill every journalist and every public relations professional should keep in their arsenal.

Do mock interviews. Practice makes perfect. Prepping your client or colleague for the kinds of questions they will be asked in interviews is an integral part of great media training. It’s an advantage for your home team to anticipate and address what “they” (the media in question) are going to say before they say it. You can never be too prepared!

Branding and Image is everything. Olivia’s brand and image helps her attract high profile clients.

Along those lines, do hire a communications expert. Olivia Pope & Associates is known for managing crisis and crisis communications. They are experts in the business.

Feel free to add your own helpful media tips to this list in the comments section, and tune in after next week’s ‘Scandal’ finale when NABJ Digital plans to share what journalists learned from this season’s episodes. Until next time…

It’s handled.

Dawn Angelique Roberts is a media relations specialist, event manager, social media enthusiast and owner of KD Communications Group, a full service public relations firm. Emiley Mallory, a recent graduate of Trinity Washington University, is an entertainment freelance writer. 

Journalism educators, this $1M is for you

Editor’s note: this first appeared on the Online News Association’s website and is republished with permission.

You and your fellow j-school colleagues have been talking for far too long about that innovative experiment that will shake up your curriculum. There’s a talented student who just needs the right mix of collaboration and inspiration to fulfill her promise. You have a media partner willing to work with you and a cool engagement platform in mind.Researcher: Check. Designer? Could be. Developer? In the wings.

You’ve got the right ingredients to apply for the 2014 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, and inject up to $35,000 in the form of a micro-grant that can push your idea to launch and — we hope — make both your curriculum and your local news landscape stronger.

The competition, run by ONA and funded by a collaborative that includes the Excellence and Ethics in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Democracy Fund, will support live news experiments that further the development of teaching hospital models in journalism education, in which innovative projects are created by teams of educators, students, professionals, technicians, and researchers. Micro-grants will be awarded to 15 to 25 projects to be completed during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“Your project should stretch the limits of what you think you can do,” said Irving Washington, ONA’s Director of Operations and Challenge Fund administrator, in advising applicants. “Don’t be afraid to fail. The goal is to empower journalism schools to lead professional innovation and thought leadership. The size of your school or program shouldn’t limit the project’s ambition.”

Teams will be selected based on ideas that show the most potential for:
* encouraging collaborative, student-produced local news coverage
* bridging the professor-professional gap
* using innovative techniques and technologies
* and producing shared learnings from their digital-age news experiments

The competition will culminate in at least one substantial grand prize for the project most likely to change either local newsgathering, journalism education or both. An overall prize will be given for the best project evaluation, regardless of the experiment’s outcome. The winners and their projects, chosen in consultation with academic advisers and ONA leaders, will be featured at upcoming ONA conferences and other news media education events.

For inspiration, FAQs and resources, visit journalists.org and follow the conversation on#hackcurriculum. Have questions? Email challengefund@journalists.org.

Deadline is Feb. 13, 2014 and winners will be announced in April, 2014.

Good luck — we can’t wait to see what you come with up.