Tag Archives: Retha Hill

Going To New Orleans For #NABJ12? Check Out The Black History Mobile App

An iconic New Orleans balcony. Photo courtesy of Katjusa Cisar via Flickr.

By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF chair & freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger

Back in November 2010, NABJ member and digital journalism pioneer Retha Hill won a $12,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs program.  Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, used her grant to create the Mobile Black History Project app. You can see her presentation of the app here.

The app offers an augmented reality view of prominent black history sites in 12 cities, including New Orleans, where NABJ will hold its annual convention next week.  “When NABJers are out and about in New Orleans, they can look through the lens of their smartphone and find out about all kinds of interesting African-American history,” said Hill.  “They can discover, for example, the home of Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, the founder of the first black daily newspaper in the U.S., or the Cheval House, which was once home to the free person of color who invented a way of refining sugar.”

To access the app, download the Layar browser (available for iOS and Android devices) then search for “black history.” After your mobile’s GPS determines your location, the app can direct you to nearby points of interest, providing historic images, video and other information.  Below is a YouTube video demonstrating how the video works.

ONA 2011 Saturday Morning Keynote: Race, Gender and Technology: The Third Rail?

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

A panel of digital journalists, led by NABJ member Retha Hill confronted questions of diversity often lost in the new media technology and economy discussion: Who is online? Who is innovating? What”s the environment for entrepreneurs? What”s the history of women and people of color in digital journalism?

Above: Sam Diaz and Retha Hill.
Saturday Morning Keynote: Race, Gender and Technology: The Third Rail?

Moderator Retha Hill started off with a quiz on the history of diversity in media. Attendees barely passed. “I guess these are coming back home with me,” Hill said of some of the prizes she brought for correct answers.
@ONA11 #diversitykey panel: @bkoon, @sammyd, Joel Dreyfus of @TheRoot247 & @LatoyaPeterson, moderated by @RethaHill. Amazing group!
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
Above: Joel Dreyfuss, TheRoot.com and Bruce Koon, KQEDI, along with several other NABJ memebrs, were sitting in the front row of this Saturday morning keynote panel, whose members were Founder Joel Dreyfuss of TheRoot.com, LaToya Peterson of the Racialicious blog, along with Bruce Koon, news director at KQED and Sam Diaz, a Silicon Valley-based freelance writer, ghost writer and communications consultant.

Above: LaToya Peterson, Sam Diaz and Retha Hill.
joel.dreyfuss | The Root

Kweku Adoboli’s runaway losses leads to CEO Oswald Grübel’s departure. It wasn’t racial solidarity but racial vulnerability that made him so important to African Americans. The Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church says the case is in blatant contradiction to American ideals.
About | Latoya Peterson

A certified media junkie, Latoya Peterson provides a hip-hop feminist and anti-racist view on pop culture with a special focus on video games, anime, American comics, manga, magazines, film, television, and music.
Sam Diaz

Sam has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years, primarily in newspapers but more recently online. He has covered pretty much every facet of the tech industry over the past dozen years as a beat reporter/editor/blogger for the San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post and ZDNet.

This has been going on, it seems, forever. But the latest round was spurred in December 2010 after News Foo was held at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.  Panel moderator Retha Hill, director of the new media innovation lab at ASU — who did
attend News Foo — offered more information.  And Hill asked the bigger question — why are new media conferences lacking in minorities?

News Foo Camp: Not fully open, but certainly not secret

I tweet a lot from journalism events. I think I can say that few people tweet as much about journalism as I do. I didn’t tweet much from News Foo Camp last weekend. But other campers and I tweeted enough that our tweeps wanted more.
News Foo Campers – NewsFoo10

Twitter account lists of all of the News Foo attendees: jdunck/newsfoo (113 as of Dec 8) mattBernius/foonews (49 as of Dec 8)
So now the panel begins with a pop quiz from Moderator Retha Hill.
“We’re talking about the old days, those old days… the 1990s.” @Retha_Hill #ona11 #key #diversitykey
Maddoxnelson
September 24, 2011
“We should know this history about what people of color are doing,” says #ONA11 #diversitykey moderator @Rethahill
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
We just failed a pop quiz on diverse pioneers in minority digital media. Shame! I should have remembered Asian Ave. #ONA11 #diversitykey
ttr_the_engager
September 24, 2011
Minorities respond to @RethaHill: http://ow.ly/6DGuE Founded by @emmacarew: http://ow.ly/6DGuF #diversitykey #ONA11
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
Amazing discussion on diversity in newsrooms. Minorities make up only 13% of US newsrooms, wonder what Can. stats are? #ona11 #diversitykey
LisaWhy
September 24, 2011
“People tend to hire people who are like them” says Joel Dreyfus of @TheRoot247 #diversitykey #ona11
lisalisle
September 24, 2011
Current speaker Joel Dreyfuss of @TheRoot247 is 1 of the original founders of #NABJ. #diversitykey #ona11
benetwilson
September 24, 2011
“At some point, it’s not about goodwill. What are the metrics to get us to that point?” says @bkoon. #diversitykey #ONA11
SuziSteffen
September 24, 2011
.@sammyd uses example of death of Celia Cruz on why diversity is needed in newsrooms. #ONA11 #diversitykey http://ow.ly/6DGSh
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
Good panel about intentionally building diverse team. Need to think about it harder for iMA conf #diversitykey #ona11 #pubmedia
IntMediaAssn
September 24, 2011
Looking for diverse people for your conventions/workshops/panels? Go HERE: http://t.co/o3fhrBop #ONA11 #diversitykey
benetwilson
September 24, 2011
LOVING #diversitykey #ONA11. Things like this are exactly why I decided to run for board.
jmsummers
September 24, 2011
@kimbui Considering how the media cycle works, who “deserves” coverage is a tricky determination. Not a meritocracy. #ONA11 #diversitykey
racialicious
September 24, 2011
Online costs being lower means many more voices can be heard, says #NABJ co-founder Joel Dreyfus. #ona11 #diversitykey
theabug
September 24, 2011
Vast amount of money going to fund startups goes to white guys, says Joel Dreyfus, at race, gender, tech panel. #ONA11 #diversitykey
MaryNersessian
September 24, 2011
Joel Dreyfus speaks truth about how VCs give money out “to people who look like them from the same 3 or 4 schools.” #diversitykey #ONA11
SuziSteffen
September 24, 2011
I.e., @kimbui, the IFC Media Project did a piece on why “the media loves missing white girls.” http://t.co/I1BwKMjm #ONA11 #diversitykey
racialicious
September 24, 2011
.@LatoyaPeterson says audience for stories on @racialicious means “we have to completely disassemble our assumptions.” #diversitykey #ONA11
SuziSteffen
September 24, 2011
.@LatoyaPeterson gives great view on how @racialicious dealt w/London riots. #diversitykey #ONA11 http://ow.ly/6DH6x
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
We’re all cracking up thanks to @LatoyaPeterson’s analysis of the BLACK WOMEN WILL NEVER MARRY BLAH BLAH BLAH articles. #diversitykey #ONA11
SuziSteffen
September 24, 2011
“What companies are committed to diversity now?” Quiet for a minute, then @LatoyaPeterson says @AJEnglish. #diversitykey #ONA11
SuziSteffen
September 24, 2011
@LatoyaPeterson: “Expanding the places for where you would look for talent.” On how to identify more diverse news staff #ONA11 #diversitykey
jmfbrooks
September 24, 2011
I’m bothered by forcing diversity. Don’t put a minority on the front page bc of who they are but bc they deserve it #ONA11 #diversitykey
kimbui
September 24, 2011
Bruce Koon: we (journalists) need to go out where the communities are to build audience #diversitykey #ONA11
webcurtpsu
September 24, 2011
Dori Maynard of Maynard Institute says a lack of emphasis on diversity makes news incomplete. #ona11 #diversitykey
theabug
September 24, 2011
.@djmaynard: People of color are rarely portrayed in “nuanced complexity” and “everydayness” #ONA11 #diversitykey
NABJDigital
September 24, 2011
.@djmaynard reports on study on minorities on the Web. http://ow.ly/6DH9c Who is Dori’s father? http://ow.ly/6DHb3 #ONA11 #diversitykey
benetwilson
September 24, 2011
FYI: @NiemanReports just had a story on Maynard online diversity audit http://t.co/6k6ume6A #ONA11 #diversitykey
JustinNXT
September 24, 2011
Dori Maynard: ‘We can”t be the country we want to be if our story is told by only one group of citizens. ‘ YES. #ona11 #diversitykey
LisaWhy
September 24, 2011
Proud and lucky to work in the uber diverse @stlbeacon newsroom. #ona11 #diversitykey
nicolehollway
September 24, 2011

Finding Your Entrepreneurial Inspiration

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

I am a journalist who has never been interested in following the entrepreneur path.  I just don’t have the desire or the mindset to do it.  But I know plenty of journalists who are thinking of or actually following their entrepreneurial dreams as a way to stay in the game as newsrooms continue with job cuts.  And I feel the Digital Journalism Task Force has a responsibility to help those follow those dreams.

Last week’s layoffs by Gannett and Media General brought up the entrepreneurial discussion once again.  My good friend — and partner in crime — Doug Mitchell is about to start year two of the New U: News Entrepreneurs Working Through UNITY competitive program.  Thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation, New U helps journalists of color who want to become entrepreneurs by having them    participate in a national “boot camp”.  It offers training and one-on-one mentoring and a competition for start-up funding to assist news entrepreneurs in realizing their ideas.

This year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ annual convention and career fair includes four workshops — including year two of Sheila Brooks’ day long “Creating Wealth in an Innovation Economy” session — on entrepreneurship at this year’s convention.  And NABJ has the first Ray Taliaferro NABJ Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner.

But beyond the convention, what is our organization’s commitment to helping members fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams?  I’m inspired by the efforts of members including NABJ Secretary Roland Martin, Mike Green, co-founder of the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative, Meta Mereday, Editor in Chief of Savoy Magazine, Retha Hill, Executive Director of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at Arizona State University, Dr. Sybril Bennett, Associate Professor of the New Century Journalism Program at Belmont University, and Doug Mitchell, co-chair of NABJ’s Media Institute, co-director of the New U program and an adjunct professor instructor at the City College of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism. among others.

I thank Dr. Syb for sending me a great example of bible scripture Isaiah 11:6: The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

NABJ historian Wayne Sutton writes at Black Web 2.0 about the entrepreneurial dreams of two 11-year-olds — Marci Lawson and Ben Brown — who pitched their ideas at the recent Triangle Startup Weekend in Durham, N.C.  Clips of their presentations are below.  They can be an inspiration to us all!

Help Create The Black History Augmented Reality App

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

Retha Hill

NABJ member Retha Hill needs your help.  Last June, she was among four women who won a $12,000 grant from the McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs initiative to fund ideas.

Hill, currently director of the New Media Innovation Lab at Arizona State University, received funding for her Black History Augmented Reality app, which will layer data over real life at historical spots in six cities: Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Birmingham; Harlem; and the rest of Manhattan.  “Imagine pointing your mobile phone at a Washington, D.C., landmark and reading about its relevance in African-American history,” she wrote in her grant proposal.

But now Hill needs help to make her proposal a reality.  She’s looking for people who can provide content for the app.  She also needs at least 50 originally written records for each city, and she is paying people for their help.  She needs at least 40 records for smaller cities and 50+ for the larger ones.  She’s on a tight deadline, so she needs records by the end of February.

Each entry has to have:

  • Name
  • Short description
  • Latitude and Longitude (this is critical because all items have to have a corresponding geo-point). It is easy, just put in an address or intersection and city, state name into this map and copy the geocoordinates into the spreadsheet: http://itouchmap.com/latlong.html
  • Longer description
  • Wikimedia Commons or other Commons licensing art if applicable and photo name (plus a zip file of all the photos downloaded)
  • YouTube video if applicable (ex: Mahalia Jackson performing at a funeral or Bojangles Robinson dancing)

See what a sample entry looks like, below.  For more information, please contact Hill at hill.retha@gmail.com.

Who Are Your Digital Gurus?

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

On Jan. 26, the Digital Journalism Task Force held a joint webinar with Knowledgewebb entitled 10 Steps to a Tech-Savvy You.” Owner Amy Webb went through 10 terrific steps that anyone could take right now to enhance their work.  The notes to that session are here, and you can also take a look at the Twitter chat here.

Step #8 is Find Your Digital Guru, and this one really struck me.  I thought about how much I’ve developed as a digital journalist, and how much further I need to go to continuously improve my craft.  And I think about all the gurus in my life who have gotten me to this point.  I started my digital journey at NABJ’s 2006 convention (my first one) in Indianapolis.  That’s where I sat in on sessions with the Washington Post’s Mark Luckie (former owner of the 10000 Words blog) and Arizona State University’s Retha Hill.  It was the wisdom they imparted there that got me on the road to blogging.

But I didn’t really get into the whole package until almost a year later, in June 2007.  I was covering an airport marketing/communications conference at a beautiful resort in Tucson, Ariz.  It was the last session of the conference’s second day.  Most people had left for happy hour, pool time or a visit to the spa.  But those of us who stayed and listened to Josh Hallett of the Hyku blog and Voce Communications were given a real treat.  Hallett spent his time showing the possibilities of social media in our work and the tools available to help.  I was transformed.

And it also helped that Hallett is an aviation geek (check out his aviation-related photos at his Flickr account) like me.  We spoke the whole time after the conference.  A month later, we met up at the BlogPhiladephia conference, where he introduced me to many social media/new media folks.  After that, I spoke at his BlogOrlando conference for the next two years on how journalists could use social media for their work.  Thanks to Hallett, I was linked into a community of really cool people doing cutting edge stuff that has greatly helped me in my career.

But there are some great gurus within NABJ that are always willing to help fellow members.  You can check out some of them and other journalists of color doing cool things in the multimedia play pen here.  But some of my current NABJ gurus include:

  • Dr. Sybril Bennett, Associate Professor of the New Century Journalism Program at Belmont University and chair, NABJ convention Programming Chair
  • Doug Mitchell, NABJ Media Institute co-chair; Entrepreneurship/Career Coaching/Project Management/Media Consulting/Classroom Teaching
  • Gina Gayle, photojournalist and professor of practice, Univ of Southern Mississippi
  • Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Associate Professor at Elon University and founder, LocallyGrownNews.com
  • Mario Armstrong, Tech show Host, Commentator, Digital Lifestyle Expert, Small Biz Tech Advocate
  • Natalie McNeal, Southeastern Regional Editor AOL City’s Best; owner, Frugalista website

I have even more outside of NABJ, including Amy Webb.  But by following and befriending gurus, you only improve your own work.  And here’s a gentle reminder: you have until Wednesday to take 30% off the normal $129 year-long subscription to Amy’s Knowledgewebb site.  Use the code NABJDIGI. You won’t be sorry!!

New Media/Socia Media/Multimedia: Where Is The Diversity?

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

I was scrolling through my Google Reader earlier this month when I read this Dec. 8 post on Steve Buttry’s informative blog on multimedia.  He was writing about News Foo, an invitation-only event that was (as Steve wrote) a “stimulating and thoughtful interaction with creative and innovative journalists, entrepreneurs, digital thinkers and technology pioneers.”  The event was held at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.  When I read Buttry’s post, my first question was “I wonder how many journalists of color were in attendance?”  You can see the list of attendees here.

I sent out some Tweets to people I would guess should have been invited.  A handful were, but chose not to attend for whatever reason.  But then this post from Retha Hill, director of the new media innovation lab at ASU – who did attend News Foo – offered more information.  And Hill asked the bigger question – why are new media conferences lacking in minorities?  That, in turn, led to a spirited live Twitter chat yesterday hosted by PBS Media Shift, which featured Doug Mitchell, chairman of NABJ’s Media Institute, among other things.  You can follow the chat at the #mediadiversity hash tag.  My big takeaway was one side saying “we don’t know where you new media journalists of color are” on one side and “here we are, but you ignore us” on the other.

Here at NABJDigital, we have worked hard to spotlight and champion journalists of color who we think are doing some interesting things on the new/social/multimedia side of the business.  Below are the ones we’ve done since starting this blog in October 2009.  If you know of others, PLEASE – let us know.!

NABJ Members Present at McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs 2010 Summit

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

On Nov. 11, I had the honor of representing the Digital Journalism Task Force at the McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneurs 2010 Summit in Washington, D.C.  NMWE was created to address opportunity and innovation, recruitment and retention for women in journalism by spotlighting their ingenuity and entrepreneurial abilities.  Under the auspices of American University’s J-Lab, it helps fund pilot projects that will show what can be done.  Two NABJ members won grants from the program in 2010, and they were featured speakers at this year’s conference.

 

Michelle Ferrier/Photo by Benet J. Wilson

Dr. Michelle Ferrier opened the conference with a presentation about her grant winner, LocallyGrownNews.com, a hyperlocal website focused on allowing citizen journalists and community members to “focus on what they are most passionate about – building their community conversation through good local information and networking.”  You can read my NABJDigital profile of her here.  And you can listen to her 17:05-minute presentation here.

 

 

Retha Hill/Photo by Benet J. Wilson

Retha Hill, director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, closed the conference with a presentation about her NMWE grant for her Mobile Black History Project app. She also discussed winning a Knight News Challenge grant for her SeedSpeak effort (my NABJDigital profile of that effort is here).  You can listen to Hill’s 24:15-minute presentation here.

 

You can see the video from the summit here.  You can see the Twitter feed from the hashtag #NMWE here.  And check out Greg Linch’s Linchpin blog, which used CoveritLive to report on the summit.

NABJ Member Retha Hill Among Winners of Knight News Challenge Grant

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

Retha Hill

The Knight News Challenge presented $2.74 million to 12 grantees to fund ideas that use digital technology to inform specific geographic communities.  Among the winners were NABJ member Retha Hill and her partner Cody Shotwell, who received $90,000 to fund the CitySeed application.

Hill is currently director of the New Media Innovation Lab and professor of practice at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. When I met her back in 2006, she was vice president for content development for BET Interactive. She also worked for The Washington Post Company in a variety of capacities, including as a reporter and a founding editor of Washingtonpost.com.

CitySeed will be a mobile application that allows users to plant the “seed” of an idea and share it with others. For example, a person might come across a great spot for a community garden. At that moment, the person can use the CitySeed app to “geotag” the idea, which links it to an exact location. Others can look at the place-based ideas, debate and hopefully act on them. The project aims to increase the number of people informed about and engaged with their communities by breaking down community issues into bite-size settings.

The idea for CitySeed was a collaborative effort, said Hill.  “It started out as an idea to solve problems in the community.  You may see a pothole or a tree that has fallen down, you take a picture, and post it to a website to put pressure on local institutions to do something,” she said.  Hill cited concepts including Fix My Street out of London and U.S.-based SeeClickFix.

“After moving to Phoenix, I would see things like an abandoned lot that would be a perfect place for a community garden,” said Hill.  “I asked how can you document that, plant the seed and maybe find someone else that likes the idea and collaborate with them.”

There needed to be a news component for CitySeed, said Hill. “News outlets do stories on community needs, so here’s an opportunity to partner with news organizations to highlight ideas and add a widget to their websites,” she said. “For example, media outlets could show five great ideas, highlight them and have people continue to collaborate on the ideas.”

Hill and Shotwell sent out an RFP with a June 14 deadline to choose a technology partner to develop the CitySeed app.  “Students in the New Media Innovation Lab will also do some of the work,” said Hill.  The plan is to create a mobile and regular website, she added.

As for the future, Hill said she hopes that CitySeed will expand to cities like Seattle, Portland or Denver.  “We also hope that news partners will want to brand CitySeed for a small fee,” she said.  “Politicians running for office may want to use CitySeed to have people send me ideas on improving the community. We can charge campaigns for that.”

If a platform like CitySeed is built correctly, it can change and develop many different ways, said Hill.  “No one knew how Twitter would develop when it started.  Then developers came in and built on the platform,” she said. “I really hope it will be a free tool people can use in their community.”

Hill offered advice for those interested in applying for the next Knight News Challenge.  “Look at the grants that have won before.  Pay attention to what’s happening in innovation all over the world,” she advised. “Look at some of the other contests that offer awards, such as J-Lab, the McCormick Foundation New Media Women Entrepreneurs grant and Pepsi Refresh.”

Hill also cited the Online News Association’s prizes on the best media collaborations.  “Look and see what’s being pitched, then look at your own community. Sit with potential users and see what applications they want.  You never know if you don’t ask,” she stated.

For a complete list of the Knight News Challenge, click HERE.  And for more on the winners, including a video, go to the Mashable blog, HERE.