Tag Archives: Serbino Sandifer-Walker

NABJ Twitter Chat “How to Prepare for the NABJ Conference” – Monday, May 21 8pm EST–9pm EST

You’ve bought your registration, booked a flight and hotel and are well on your way to the 2012 NABJ Conference in New Orleans. But that’s just the beginning.

The last thing you want to do is show up at the conference without goals or without a plan. And you definitely need one.

The question that should be running in your head right now is “How do I prepare for the NABJ Conference?”

On May 21, from 8pm EST to 9pm EST, the NABJ Digital Journalist Task Force will help you answer that question.

The NABJ Digital Journalists Taskforce is hosting a twitter chat on Monday, May 21 from 8pm EST to 9pm EST on the topic, How to Prepare for the NABJ Conference.

A Twitter chat (or tweet chat) is an online discussion using twitter, so every post is a tweet. Because it’s on Twitter, its open to everyone with a Twitter account. Anyone can participate, or just listen in to learn more about the topic.

Under the hashtag #nabj12prep, the @NABJDigital twitter handle will tweet out nine questions that our “panelists” will answer in 140 characters.  To insure a successful twitter chat full of information, we have invited several panelists who are “experts” in the NABJ conference and can speak on their experience in 140 characters.

Bob Butler @bobbutler7– Bob Butler is a reporter at KCBS radio and Vice President of the Broadcast. He always offers advice to first time NABJ Conference attendees and is a tireless advocate of getting more minorities into broadcast.

Kelley Carter @kelleylcarter – Kelley Carter is a longtime NABJ Conference attendee, having first attended the NABJ conference as college student. She now serves as the President of the Entertainment taskforce and can often be seen on television talking about entertainment.

Dr. Sybril Bennett @drsyb – Sybril Bennett, Ph.D. is an associate professor of journalism and the Executive Director of the New Century Journalism program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Last year she served as the program chair for the NABJ Philadelphia conference.

 Serbino Sandifer-Walker @sswalker – As a multimedia journalism professor at Texas Southern University, Sandifer-Walker has developed new social media tools for journalists, including the #twitternewschat, and the social media correspondents daily.

Ingrid Sturgis @isturgis– Ingrid Sturgis is an assistant professor of new media in the Howard University  Journalism department. She recently published the book, Are Traditional Media Dead? Can Journalism Survive in the Digital World?

Marissa A. Evans @marissaaevans – Marissa Evans is president of the Marquette University student NABJ Chapter. She’s an alum of the San Diego Union Tribune, Star Tribune, New York Student Journalism program and this year will be a Chips Quinn Scholar for The Washington Post metro desk.

In addition to these esteemed NABJ members, we’ll also have DJTF board members Melanie Eversley (@melanieeversley), Benet Wilson (@avqueenbenet and 2012 NABJ Conference Program Chair), Kiratiana Freelon (@kiratiana), Andrew Humphrey (@andrewhumphrey), and Tracie Powell (@tmpowell) on the chat as well.

To participate in the twitter chat, do the following:

1)    Use a twitter platform like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck that will allow you to manage multiple twitter streams.

2)    Create a twitter search stream for #nabj12prep.

3)    Create another twitter stream for the @NABJDigital  stream.  This is where all the questions will come from.

4)    Answer the questions, retweet and reply to the panelists (or anything you find that is good) but ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use the hashtag – #NABJ12prep

Happy Twitter Chatting!!

Tweet a Lead Using the Hashtag #TwitterNewsChat

Social Media in the Classroom

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, DJTF V.P., Texas Southern University Professor, http://socialmediacorrespondents.net/

TSU Student NewsFeed

One of the most important aspects of any news story is the lead.  It is often the most difficult for beginning news writers to learn to master.  It must be well-written, compelling and capture the reader’s attention.  The Poynter Institute’s Chip Scanlan said a good lead beckons, invites, informs, attracts and entices the reader.  If there is any poetry in journalism, Scanlan added, it would have to be in the lead. However, writing a lead that truly captivates a reader can be a daunting task, even for an experienced writer.

Because lead writing can be such a daunting task, I decided to step outside of the traditional classroom paradigm and use Twitter as a tool to teach students how to write leads.  The micro-blogging, social network has been an excellent platform for showing students how to use words effectively.  Twitter’s 140 character limitation has been a very good model to help students critically analyze how to structure the lead with precision and maximize storytelling in a few words.

The Process

Using the Hashtag #TwitterNewsChat, students posted leads daily during the semester. The Hashtag grouped the leads on Twitter into a real-time designated section and was required to be included in the Tweet [Twitter's 140 character post].  See exhibit I.

The students’ leads were generated from stories that they covered on campus, community beats and current events. Some of those stories were about Texas Southern University’s NASA center, the theater department’s production of Westside Story and the School of Communication’s Intercultural Communication Conference and the midterm elections.

The students also developed enterprise stories.  The enterprise story was one in which the student cultivated from a specialized topic.  One such topic the students focused on during the semester was the Houston Area Women Center’s Sexual Assault Awareness campaign.    The center used social media like Twitter and Facebook to draw attention to the impact of sexual assaults and domestic violence in the Houston area and on college campuses. The students tweeted leads daily about the campaign. The tweets also included multimedia such as photos, radio wraparounds, television packages and links to web-ready stories [detailed story] that the students produced for their blogs.  The blogs provided an in-depth story of the tweeted topic.

Another issue students covered was the 50th anniversary of Houston’s first sit-in. The anniversary program included a re-creation of the march civil rights leaders did on March 4, 1960.  The students not only tweeted leads before, during and after the event, they also tweeted photos and video about the program from their smartphones. See www.houstonstudentmovement.com.

Local and national Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds from organizations like the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/services/xml/rss/index.html , USA Today http://www.asp.usatoday.com/marketing/rss/index.aspx , Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/rss/index.html , Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com/news/rss/ , CNN http://rss.cnn.com/rss/cnn_topstories.rss , NPR http://www.npr.org/rss/ , ABC http://feeds.abcnews.com/abcnews/topstories , CBS http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/01/12/utility/main666437.shtml , NBC http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/  and DIGG http://about.digg.com/rss  were used as resources to help students understand the dynamics of writing an effective lead and using social media to tell the story.

Outcome

The lead tweets [a post on Twitter] helped students to develop a keener understanding of quality content and the importance of concise writing.  This exercise heightened students’ awareness of current events from downtown Houston to Soweto, South Africa.  Equally important, it helped students to weigh the value of using a social media network as a reporting tool instead of a miscellaneous social forum.

This approach to writing leads established several important benchmarks.  First, student motivation improved. They were already using a multitude of social networks. My student demographic is majority African-American.  Twenty-six percent of Twitter users are black, according to a 2009 Pew study.   Requiring them to use Twitter as a writing tool empowered them to be more insightful and creative in structuring their sentences.  Academic skill levels and performances on writing tests improved. There was a keener understanding of the writing process.  Students also learned the importance of self-branding and professionalism.  They took great pride and ownership of the #TwitterNewsChat hashtag and viewed it as their own newsfeed.  As a result of this assignment, I now reference the students as social media correspondents [use social media networks to report the news].  Several of these correspondents will be tweeting leads [post to Twitter] throughout the holidays and the beginning of the year (@MeenyMinyMoe Ameena Rasheed, @lisamantha Samantha Vallejo, @Anomaly713 Kenneth Ware Jr.) Overall, a generation of technologically perceptive students was inspired to perform at higher levels by maximizing lead writing and storytelling in a succinct manner.

(See more details on writing leads using the #TwitterNewsChat hashtag #TwitterNewsChat Lead Writing Details)

Best of NABJDigital: It’s A New Game: Teaching The Next Generation Of Journalists

Editor’s note: we are off this week, so we’re re-posting our most popular columns.  This column was originally published Dec. 22, 2009.

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Texas Southern University Journalist and Journalism Professor, DJTF V.P.

Journalism professors must be willing to step out of their comfort zones and teach their students skills they will need to compete for 21st century job opportunities.  For over 10 years, I’ve been teaching students how to merge traditional storytelling with not so traditional technology.

In my online journalism course, I’ve pushed the envelope on how news stories are covered and presented.  Students not only learn journalistic reporting and writing techniques, they also learn how to integrate web-based technology, social media and video into the final piece.

For 15 weeks, I require the students to probe their topics thoroughly. I teach them how to use a variety of research tools including virtual libraries. Then they must go into the community and spend a considerable amount of time interviewing sources.  Once the reporting process is completed, the students write the stories.

Now the story must be written for a multimedia platform. This means students must incorporate Hypertext Mark-up Language and or web authoring software like Dreamweaver to deliver engaging content, dynamic images, audio and video to the Internet and other media platforms like smartsphones, DVDs, etc.

First, I teach them how to use hypertext markup language (HTML).  I provide them with a tutorial and walk them step-by-step on how to code.  The w3schools.com http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp is one of the resources I use.

Next, I teach them how to use Dreamweaver, which is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link http://tv.adobe.com/.

I also show them how to use Photoshop. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link http://tv.adobe.com/.

I also show them how to use the iPhone, traditional video cameras and digital audio recorders to capture dynamic images, video and audio.

Additionally, I introduce video editing programs like Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe Premiere.

It is a requirement for them to tweet daily using the hashtag #twitternewschat.

Of course, there is more; however, I will share that in the next post.

I know this is a weighty schedule; however, if you guide the students every step of the way, the results can be amazing.

These skills are absolutely necessary in this changing media landscape.  If they don’t learn them now, it may be impossible for them to make the cut in the future.

In the next post, I will share several j-student multimedia projects.

Replay of Smartphone Webinar Now Available!

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

DJTF’s Serbino Sandifer-Walker, a journalist and journalism professor, was  joined earlier today by award-winning reporters Gio Benitez of CBS4 Miami and Jeremy Jojola of KOB-TV Albuquerque on producing reports using smartphones.  If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, click HERE for the reply, via CoverItLive.  And watch this space for future DJTF trainings and events.

Gentle Reminder: Smartphone Reporting Webinar June 15

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, DJTF V.P. – TSU Journalism Professor

The smartphone is becoming a must have for today’s journalists. From iPhone to Android and Blackberry, these mobiles are turning reporting into a seamless experience.

NABJ Institute and the Digital Journalism Task Force (DJTF) will host a “Smartphone Reporting”  CoverItLive webinar Tuesday, June 15, 12:30p.m. (ET) on the Smartphone Reporting blog.

DJTF’s Serbino Sandifer-Walker, a journalist and journalism professor, will be joined by award-winning reporters Gio Benitez of CBS4 Miami and Jeremy Jojola of KOB-TV Albuquerque.  Benitez and Jojola are producing groundbreaking reports with their smartphones.

Benitez was the first reporter to shoot and edit a television package using an iPhone 3GS in June of 2009.  His report garnered international buzz and set-off a global conversational about mobile phone reporting.  Click here to see the report.

Jojola is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter who uses his iPhone to gather elements for his investigative pieces, including using it as a hidden camera.  Jojola was one of the first reporters in the nation to conduct a live shot with his iPhone. Click here to see the report.

Tech-savvy college students are also making the most of mobile phone reporting. Texas Southern University journalism major Samii Noel Thompson will showcase her mobile reporting skills.  She told the story of a blind journalist using her iPhone.  Click here to see the report.  

The one-hour interactive session will include tips and highlight the pros and cons of using smartphones to report news stories.  And if you can’t make it, look for the transcript from the session here on the blog before the end of the week.

Smartphone Reporting Webinar June 15

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, DJTF V.P. – TSU Journalism Professor

The smartphone is becoming a must have for today’s journalists. From iPhone to Android and Blackberry, these mobiles are turning reporting into a seamless experience.

NABJ Institute and the Digital Journalism Task Force (DJTF) will host a “Smartphone Reporting”  webinar Tuesday, June 15, 12:30p.m. (ET) on the Smartphone Reporting blog.   

DJTF’s Serbino Sandifer-Walker, a journalist and journalism professor, will be joined by award-winning reporters Gio Benitez of CBS4 Miami and Jeremy Jojola of KOB-TV Albuquerque.  Benitez and Jojola are producing groundbreaking reports with their smartphones.

Benitez was the first reporter to shoot and edit a television package using an iPhone 3GS in June of 2009.  His report garnered international buzz and set-off a global conversational about mobile phone reporting.  Click here to see the report.

Jojola is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter who uses his iPhone to gather elements for his investigative pieces, including using it as a hidden camera.  Jojola was one of the first reporters in the nation to conduct a live shot with his iPhone. Click here to see the report.

Tech-savvy college students are also making the most of mobile phone reporting. Texas Southern University journalism major Samii Noel Thompson will showcase her mobile reporting skills.  She told the story of a blind journalist using her iPhone.  Click here to see the report.  

The one-hour interactive session will include tips and highlight the pros and cons of using smartphones to report news stories.

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It’s a new game: Teaching the next generation of journalists

By Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Texas Southern University Journalist and Journalism Professor, DJTF V.P.

Journalism professors must be willing to step out of their comfort zones and teach their students skills they will need to compete for 21st century job opportunities.  For over 10 years, I’ve been teaching students how to merge traditional storytelling with not so traditional technology.

In my online journalism course, I’ve pushed the envelope on how news stories are covered and presented.  Students not only learn journalistic reporting and writing techniques, they also learn how to integrate web-based technology, social media and video into the final piece.

For 15 weeks, I require the students to probe their topics thoroughly. I teach them how to use a variety of research tools including virtual libraries. Then they must go into the community and spend a considerable amount of time interviewing sources.  Once the reporting process is completed, the students write the stories.

Now the story must be written for a multimedia platform. This means students must incorporate Hypertext Mark-up Language and or web authoring software like Dreamweaver to deliver engaging content, dynamic images, audio and video to the Internet and other media platforms like smartsphones, DVDs, etc.

First, I teach them how to use hypertext markup language (HTML).  I provide them with a tutorial and walk them step-by-step on how to code.  The w3schools.com http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp is one of the resources I use.

Next, I teach them how to use Dreamweaver, which is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link http://tv.adobe.com/.

I also show them how to use Photoshop. Adobe TV is one of my resources. Click link http://tv.adobe.com/.

I also show them how to use the iPhone, traditional video cameras and digital audio recorders to capture dynamic images, video and audio.

Additionally, I introduce video editing programs like Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe Premiere.

It is a requirement for them to tweet daily using the hashtag #twitternewschat.

Of course, there is more; however, I will share that in the next post.

I know this is a weighty schedule; however, if you guide the students every step of the way, the results can be amazing.

These skills are absolutely necessary in this changing media landscape.  If they don’t learn them now, it may be impossible for them to make the cut in the future.

In the next post, I will share several j-student multimedia projects.