Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism, multimedia journalist

10 Things I Learned At #ONA18


I usually have this post done the Monday after the 18th annual Online News Association conference. But there was so much to unpack I needed extra time to process everything.  And for those of you who didn’t make it this year, it was just as good as it looked on social media, so I hope you’re preparing for New Orleans next year. So here’s my review.

Board elect

  1. The ONA board is very popular! We have a record 22 folks running for six board seats, including me. No matter who wins, the board will be in a great position to help implement ONA’s strategic plan, already in progress. Click here to see the video, listen to the audio or read the social media on the candidate’s forum. Did I mention there was a bar? You have until Sept. 27 to vote, here.
Partial group photo of #NABJAtONA
#TheBrownAndTheBeautiful photo at ONA, styled by Paul Cheung.

2. Diversity a thing! I remember when there were so few of us attending the ONA conference that we all fit into a picture. But not this year! My #NABJ tribe took a photo but had to take several in order to get everyone, and we still didn’t do it. I saw many more people of color and got to see many friends I made at my first (and the last true) Unity convention in Chicago in 2008. And my heart was warmed seeing how many NABJ members say they will attend ONA in 2019. Overall, the diversity at this year’s conference was pretty good. Wait until New Orleans! #NABJAtONA

The HBUC Fellows and Leader Michael Grant at ONA’s awards banquet.

3. The ONA HBCU Fellows crushed it — again! THESE are the #ONA18 HBCU Digital Journalist Fellows at our awards banquet. Left to right: Xavier McKnight (Savannah State); Leah Proctor-Ford (Spelman); Shayla Simmons (Tennessee State); Kyla Wright (Hampton); Daja Henry (Howard); and Program Lead Mentor Michael R. Grant (Grambling State).  I strongly encourage you to check out their work here, under HBCU FELLOWS REPORTING. And if you’re looking to diversify your newsroom internships, contact them; they’re all seniors! Or contact me — I’ll help you find them and other deserving students of color in need of paid internships.


4. I get by with a little help from my friends. I have to thank all of my friends who stopped by to speak with the HBCU fellows. They took time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences and wisdom with these young people. Most importantly, they made the HBCU fellows really think about the realities of a journalism career. So shout out to my boss Mandi Woodruff, executive editor at LendingTree; Rochelle Riley, award-winning columnist at the Detroit Free Press; 2018 CNN Diversity Fellow and SB Nation staff writer Tyler Tynes; Sarah Glover,NABJ President and NBC Social Media Editor; Ebony Reed, director of innovation and the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Futures Lab at the University of Missouri; Imaeyen Ibanga, senior producer and presenter with AJ+ and ONA board member (vote for her here); Akoto Ofori-Atta, senior editor of The Trace; and Jamal Jordan, 2017 CNN Diversity Fellow and digital storytelling editor at the New York Times.

Award winner Marissa Evans.

5. And the winner is… This is my mentee Marissa Evans. Marissa worked in the Online News Association Student Newsroom (along with Anna-Lysa Gayle) in 2012. She is now the health policy reporter at the Texas TribuneShe was one of a few journalists of color to win an ONA journalism award for her story comparing the childbirth process in Poland and Texas. Marissa won a grant from the Pulitzer Foundation to pay for her trip to Poland (after meeting the granters at NABJ in New Orleans) to report on the story. These awards are prestigious and they are always competitive, but the right person won. P.S. If you’re looking to hire a talented journalist for your newsroom, you should definitely give Marissa a call. Or email me here — I have a lot of people who would be great for your newsroom. Seriously.


6. Amy Webb was…soothing! Her panel, “Tech Trends For Journalists,” is always packed. It’s known for dropping some serious wisdom — and scaring the crap out of us. But this year, Amy flipped the script and focused on the optimistic side, and gave us cocktails to boot! You can view, listen to and read about her session here — and I highly recommend that you do.

Emma Carew Grovum (leader, Journalism Mentorship Collaborative), Kim Bui (board secretary), Mandy Jenkins (board president) Benet Wilson (board VP), Charo Henríquez (board member) and Rubina Madan Fillion (board candidate).
The annual #BlackGirlMagic photo at Amy Webb’s tech trends presentation.

7. Women rule. This is a photo of women who are kicking ass, both on the ONA board and in their careers. I hope that every one of them ends up running ONA, now and in the future.


8. Time management. The truth is, I *suck* in this area. There was always a workshop to attend, a person to have coffee with, mentees to hug, board duties to perform, receptions and parties to enjoy, dinners to eat and cocktails to enjoy (thanks, Mandy Jenkins for making me stay up when I really wanted to sleep).

Companies participating in the ONA Midway.

9. I saw the future of journalism. One of my favorite things about the ONA conference is The Midway. I call it an exhibit hall on steroids because you have great companies creating interesting tools and tech that help us do our jobs smarter and better. There are hands-on demonstrations and presentations on what’s next. Check out this 2:10-minute video on what you missed.

ONA staff

10. The ONA staff kicks ASS! Led by Executive Director Irving Washington, this staff — a perfect blend of full-timers and great consultants — always manages to raise the bar with our conference every year. If there were issues, we never saw them. Every single time I saw a member of the ONA team, they were cool, collected and smiling. And a BIG shout out to the newest member of the staff, Diana Lopez, who started on the job mere days before we descended on Austin.









Posted in Education, journalism, Webinar

WEBINAR: A Conversation with Kim Godwin, Vice President of News, CBS Network

Light Kim G

VP-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker hosted a webinar earlier this evening with Kim Godwin of CBS News. It was a lively discussion on her rise from an investigative reporter to one of the highest-ranking black women in the news business. Click HERE for a recording of the webinar.

Godwin also discussed open jobs at CBS News and why they would be of interest to NABJ members. Click HERE for a full list of open jobs and internships, and check out the list below.

CBS THIS MORNING:                    Broadcast Marketing Associate (contact John Peck)       

                                                          Office Manager (contact Ray Ortiz)


CBS THIS MORNING                     Associate Producer (contact Brian Applegate)



CBSN:                                               Media Manager – freelance (contact Lindsey O’Connell)

Associate Producer – freelance (contact Rob Gifford)


DALLAS BUREAU:                          4.03(g) Maintenance Technician (contact Dan Klos)


DC BUREAU:                                   Political Director (contact Chris Isham)   


ELECTION AND SURVEY UNIT:    Unit Coordinator – part-time (contact Jennifer De Pinto)


EVENING NEWS:                            Senior Broadcast Producer (contact Mosheh Oinounou)  

                                                          Producer (contact Mosheh Oinounou)  


FACE THE NATION:                       Administrative Assistant to Anchor (contact Mary Hager)  


LA BUREAU:                                   Assistant Business Manager (contact Karen Stefanelli)

Producer/ Assignment Editor (contact Eleanore Vega/Chris Myers)

Soundperson/ 4.03(g) Technician (contact Eleanore Vega/ John Weiser)

Library Archivist/ 4.03(g) Technician (contact Eleanore Vega/ John Weiser)

                                                          Associate Producer, Assignment Desk (contact Eleanore Vega/Chris Myers)

Soundperson/ 4.03(g) Technician – San Francisco (contact Eleanore Vega/ John Weiser)


NETWORK NEWS SERVICE:         Broadcast Associate, overnight (contact Mike Sims)


NEWSPATH:                                   Producer, MoneyWatch (contact Maura McHugh and Bob Bicknell)

Associate Producer, Regional Hub (contact Chuck Senkier and Megan Tennyson)

Associate Producer, MoneyWatch (contact Maura McHugh and Bob Bicknell)  

4.03(g) Technician (contact Bob Dries)


NEWSPATH DC:                             Camera Technician (contact Lorna Jones)

Editor (contact Lorna Jones)


NEWSPATH LA:                             Camera Technician (contact Tim Gaughan)                                                          


NORTHEAST BUREAU                  4.03(g) Camera Technician (contact Armando Gonzalez)



OPERATIONS:                                4.03 (g) Technician (contact Kathy Butler)


OPERATIONS DC:                          4.03(g) Technician Editor (contact Bob McKinley)


RADIO NEWS:                                Digital Content Producer (contact Craig Swagler)

4.03(g) Technician (contact Craig Swagler)

                                                          Editorial Manager (contact Craig Swagler)

Unit Manager (contact Craig Swagler)


CBS INTERACTIVE:                        Associate Video Producer for – freelance (contact Paul Kim)

The Digital Journalism Task Force will continue hosting these members-only webinars.  If there’s a topic you think we should cover or if you want to host a webinar between now and August, please contact us HERE.

Posted in Conferences & Conventions, journalism

10 Things I Learned At #ONA17


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!

The ONA HBCU Digital Fellows with Instructor Michael Grant and Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times.

1. I’m excited about the new generation of digital journalists of color. Between the HBUC Digital Fellows, the CNN Diversity Fellows, the MJ Bear Fellows and the ladies I met at the ProPublica Diversity Breakfast, I think we’re pretty well covered as they all move ahead in their careers.

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.

Doug-Mitchell4. There are employers who want to do better. We had more than 20 hiring managers attend year three of “Workshop for Inclusive Recruitment, Hiring and Retention.” Led by Doug Mitchell, speakers (including me) discussed trends and tips on creating and maintaining diverse newsrooms.

Amy jpg

5. Amy Webb STILL rocks with her “10 Tech Trends For Journalists” session. We all know that you need to get there early if you want a seat. This year, Amy handed out free copies of her book, “The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream” and Google set up their coffee bar to have us caffeinated for her talk. If you saw her presentation at NABJ Philly in 2011, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Click here for access to a Dropbox with all her data for the trends. And click here to watch the one-hour presentation.

Sketch jpg
Tiffany Lew, me and Ayumi Fukuda Bennett, left. Ayumi’s sketchnote of the #ONA17 opening keynote address.

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.

Midway jpg

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.

Benét J. Wilson is the board secretary for Online News Association. She is the immediate past VP-Digital of NABJ. She is an independent aviation journalist and content writer based in Baltimore. 

Posted in journalism, Social Media

“Retwact” Allows Users To Retract Wrong Tweets

By, Denise Sawyer

We’ve all, at some point, tweeted out the wrong information during breaking news in a rush to be the first to post on Twitter. But in the wake of a social media meltdown, after misinformation regarding the shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard Monday morning went viral, journalists might find the new Twitter tool “Retwact” helpful.


Here’s how it works. “Retwact” lets you share a corrected tweet with anyone who retweeted the initial tweet with misinformation.

But to do so, you have to log into your Twitter account, select one of your five most recent retweets – which would look something like what’s below- then you would write what the tweet should have said.


Screen-Shot-2013-09-16-at-5.14.52-PM-1024x614Sounds like a great tool, right? But you can’t search pass the five most recent tweets, and for the sake of saving characters — some may find the “via @retwact,” which can not be deleted, hard to squeeze in. Nonetheless, it is a tool worth trying during heated moments in the breaking newsroom.

Posted in Education, journalism

Journalism Professor Uses Crowdsourcing To Track Patch Layoffs

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

The rumors about layoffs at AOL-owned hyperlocal network Patch had been growing and stories started appearing on Aug. 9. But when the announcement was made on Aug. 16, Michelle Ferrier was already on the job with a Wiki and a blog post to encourage people to help document the job losses.

 Ferrier, a professor at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication has had a long-time interest in hyperlocal sites, seeing them as an antidote to media deserts and media organizations that tend to neglect the news of diverse communities. She created the wiki because, she said, it was hard to tell who was let go and what websites were being shuttered.

“My ultimate goal is to find sustainable models in journalism for low-served areas,” said Ferrier.  “I’m trying to validate that with data from the wiki. We’re using it to find out which sites were cut and editors were released and match that to local demographics to see how media deserts are created.”

Ferrier, creator of,  is hoping to use this and other data to research what journalism models can sustain hyperlocal ventures. “We put together a database that has more information that’s on the wiki,” she said. “We wanted to list all the Patch websites, then go back in a month. If they haven’t been updated, we will assume they have been shut down.”

The project started on Aug. 9,  when Ferrier started using social media to find laid-off editors and the names of decommissioned or consolidated Patch websites. “The wiki itself just went up on Aug. 20. We have about 1,000 sites on the list. We created the list so that folks could add information and offer a layer of transparency,” she said.

The goal is to let people know there was a source available to offer information on which Patch sites have shuttered. “We also wanted a place for those affected by the layoffs to tell their  stories,” said Ferrier. “I have already spoken with some Patch editors,who are telling their stories.”

Ferrier said she hopes she can see patterns in how things functioned, how things were out of whack with what was being asked and how communities have lost a local news source. She is looking at data including what the affected communities look like, their demographics, and possible solutions.”The Patch layoffs address a critical issue to democracy,” she said.

The wiki is using existing news sources and offering links on specific sites and former editors who lost their jobs, said Ferrier. “Our goal is to then compare these news reports and go back in a month to look at all the sites and see if they’ve been updated,” she said. “At this point, there’s still shuffling going on and AOL is still consolidating, but we want to capture what we do know.  We’re also trying to see if journalists of color and those communities were affected.”

Ferrier is using Facebook, Twitter, journalism and hyperlocal news groups and word-of-mouth to get the word out about the Wiki. “We want to get the word out, and we hope that people will spread it across their own networks.”


Posted in Education, Innovation, journalism, multimedia journalist, Technology

Friday Fast Five – Your Guide To New Media

By Ameena Rasheed, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force intern

1. CopybloggerHow To Build An Audience Using Gameification

2. Mashable50 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

3. Adam Westbrook10 Common Video Storytelling Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

4. Read Write5 Top iPad Photo-Editing Apps

5. Mashable10 Apps You Need to Dominate Your Work Day

Posted in Uncategorized

Technology And News Headlines – Monday, 3/15/2010

From Andrew Humphrey, CBM
Founder & Co-Chair, NABJ’s Digital Journalism Task Force

Click here for full Technology And News stories.

“.com” Is 25 Years Old
Source: BBC News | Author: Maggie Shiels
The internet celebrates a landmark event on the 15 March – the 25th birthday of the day the first dotcom name was registered. In March 1985, Symbolics computers of Cambridge, Massachusetts entered the history books with an internet address ending in dotcom. That same year…
Broadcast Show Premieres Online B4 TV
Source: The New York Times | Author: Elizabeth Jensen
PBS’s “American Experience” has sent its documentary “Earth Days” on a film festival and 40-city theatrical tour for the last year, before its television broadcast in April. Now the 102-minute film about the origins of the American environmental movement, from director Robert Stone, is planning for another outlet, a presentation on the social networking site Facebook. Users will be able to watch communally and interact with the filmmaker and the “American Experience” executive producer Mark Samels in real time. The April 11 event, eight days ahead of the film’s television broadcast on April 19, will be the first time a major broadcaster has introduced a full-length documentary on the site, according to…
Baltimore Wants Google Fiber
Source: The Baltimore Sun | Author: Gus G. Sentementes
Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake turned Thursday to civic leaders and athletic apparel maker Under Armour Inc. for help in luring a high-profile Google pilot project to Baltimore. She also appointed a “Google Czar” to spearhead the effort. Baltimore is one of many municipalities vying for Google’s attention. The Mountain View, Calif., company recently launched a project called Google Fiber for Communities and plans to develop ultra-high-speed broadband networks in one or more locations across the nation. Rawlings-Blake said the Greater Baltimore Committee, a group of more than 500 businesses and nonprofits, and the Economic Alliance of Baltimore, the region’s main marketing organization, will…
The Van Gogh Blog
Source: AP Via The Detroit Free Press
One of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous paintings, “The Bedroom,” has been taken away for restoration, but art lovers don’t have to miss it. They can follow the cleanup on a blog on the Van Gogh Museum’s Web site. The 1888 painting of Van Gogh’s room in the French city of Arles, with its brilliant lavender walls and pine-colored bed, was one of the artist’s favorite works. Museum spokeswoman Natalie Bos said…
Web News Readers View 5 Or Less
Source: The New York Times
The audience for news online tends not to stick to a single site — that much has been known for years. But a new study says that even with a vast array of digital choices, “promiscuous” news consumption goes only so far. Only 35 percent of the people who go online for news have a favorite site, and just 21 percent are more or less “monogamous,” relying primarily on a single Internet news source, according to a survey by…