Tag Archives: Multimedia

Bravos for Social Media Bootcamp

Tons of transformational ideas, tools and Twitter tips highlighted the AAJA Seattle Spring Training Social Media and Self-Branding Bootcamp on March 28. Sona Patel, Lauren Rabaino and Brian Rosenthal of the Seattle Times did a dynamite job dishing out info and inspiration (plus a tour of the newly consolidated Times newsroom).

The talented trio asked us to blog about our five top takeaways. My list:

Interact. Subscribe to blogs. Follow people who are doing what you want to do.  Comment on their posts. Lauren shared an anecdote from her student days how she posted on a Big-Shot Journalist’s blog and he responded, much to her delighted astonishment. It marks you as someone who contributes to the discourse and helps establish you as a credible source of information.

Use your name or a consistent alias across all platforms. To build the brand, you need a unified naming convention on Twitter, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Tweet where you’re at. Beaming out that you’re at a school board meeting, tech conference (or AAJA event!) builds credibility that you’re covering what’s important, doing the footwork.

Don’t sweat the SEO. People will find you if you write well about what matters to you, said Lauren. Brilliant strategy.

Always have visuals – makes posts more shareable. To wit: Fueling up for the drive home to Bellingham, I stopped afterward at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream for a triple hot fudge sundae (salted caramel, Scout mint and vegan coconut chunk!). Noticed they had a map showing their ingredients’ origin. Noticed their milk and cream come from the Edaleen Dairy in Lynden. Realized this would make a fun post on my Blue Ribbon blog about local food, farming and fairs. Also, realized, with regret, that a photo of the little thumbtack on “Lynden” would’ve made the post 10 times cooler. Hit home that I need to take my camera everywhere — even the malt shop.

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What’s in Your Backpack, Journalist?

If you’ve been looking for your next journalism position then you know your journey has probably been painfully bumpy against the backdrop of the lingering recession, newsroom cut backs, leaner paychecks, scarcity of jobs and scores of unemployed journalists eager to get back to another newsroom. Many others have even jumped the journalism ship in search of other opportunities.

Want a journalism job? Carry more tools to get hired, survive and thrive in the news industry. (Photo by Furhana Afrid)

You may have invested the last few months or years doing everything you could possibly do to help secure that next job. You’ve sent out hundreds of resumes tapes, relentlessly telephoned news directors to tell them why you are the “One,” hit the journalism conventions running and networked until you are blue in your face. You tweet and follow the who’s who on social media, and perhaps you accomplished all that on a very tight budget. It’s no wonder that your backpack feels heavier with discouragement and doubt about your future in journalism.

You thought you paid your dues by busting your rear end when you were trying to break into the journalism industry and then working yourself to the bone at your first or next job. Now it seems you are back to ground zero. Not really. You are a backpack journalist! (also known as a video, multimedia, multiplatform, digital or one-man/woman band journalist). You are accustomed to producing several stories a day under deadline. The tools in your backpack and your story-telling skills make it all happen. And with so much versatility at your fingertips you can do it all over again even if you are not working in a newsroom right now.

So journalist what’s in your backpack that can turn that long or short spell of unemployment or underemployment into an opportunity to innovate, explore and keep your skills sharp?

Three Tips to Strengthen Your Job Search Backpack:

Create Web Footprint: Employers are looking for creative self-starters. Your website is your broadcasting channel to showcase your multimedia skills. It’s your story-telling portfolio for video/online/audio stories, photographs and news writing. Many journalists are using WordPress.com or WordPress.org to create their sites and tell their stories. The good news…website design credentials are not required to own your own piece of real estate on the internet. You can also use other website developers like Tumblr, Drupal or Joomla. Plus free online tutorials will show you what to do. I’ve been using a WordPress tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center. It’s an easy to follow, step-by-step approach. Try it.

Practice Super Story-telling: Jobs will come and go. So will tools. But your story-telling skills will be yours to keep and nurture. NBC multimedia journalist Thanh Truong told me at a recent AAJA convention that many journalists can shoot video, edit and deliver the news. But it’s how well you capture the essence of a story that differentiates one storyteller from another. As a master story-teller your chances of hitting a home run to your next journalism position improve significantly. So put your video gear to work. Check out Poynter’s News University online courses. These courses are affordable, sometimes free and will really help you craft compelling visual stories.

Nurture Strong Relationships: The journalism industry continues to shed jobs. CNN is reportedly one of the latest casualties with some fifty out the door. You know that you are not the only one. But when times are tough it is easy to spiral down into the abyss of pessimism, low self-esteem and isolation. So don’t turn into an island. Reach out to your trusted family, friends and peers. They will help you weather the storm and encourage you to stay afloat. Stay active in your community. Start groups with like-minded people. Volunteer your skills for a worthy cause. You have the ability to help change lives and your circumstances.

So journalist what else is in your backpack?

Furhana Afrid is a backpack journalist and social media manager.

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Writing the next chapter of AAJASeattle.org

A group of chapter members is working on making improvements to AAJASeattle.org so that it serves your needs even better. The site was launched in 2008 during the UNITY conference in Chicago. It runs on the WordPress platform and is hosted by DreamHost.

We’d love to get your feedback on the site and what you would most like to see in Version 2.0.

Please fill out this survey and send it to your friends who come to the site!

(more…)

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AAJA Seattle student summer updates

In today’s recovering job market, I know firsthand as a recent graduate how competitive the news industry has been. So it is great to hear how fellow AAJA Seattle student members are still able to land opportunities in journalism.

Rachel Solomon is a print reporter turned radio broadcast journalist who was recently hired as a morning news producer for 97.3 KIRO FM.

Solomon received a Bachelor’s in Communication from the University of Washington in June where she spent time writing for the college’s student newspaper, The Daily. Her interest in radio led Solomon to produce a monthly This American Life-inspired radio podcat focusing on campus-life.

Her work has ended up in The Seattle Times, National Native News, KUOW, KPLU and KPBCS.

Listen to episodes of Solomon’s program “The Bark & The Bite” online.

Joanna Nolasco snagged an internship this summer at The Oregonian covering Washington County news after spending six months interning for The Seattle Times.

Nolasco was the recipient of the 2011 Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship. The NJC scholarship program awards students in Washington state demonstrating talent and commitment in journalism.

She has also interned for The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the summer of 2010.

Nolasco studies Journalism and Political Science at the University of Washington and is expected to graduate in 2012.

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Thanh Tan of The Texas Tribune headlines this year’s NJC scholarship reception

Posted on by sbhatt

Thanh Tan

Thanh Tan is the keynote speaker for this year’s Northwest Journalists of Color awards reception, which will be June 7 at KING TV.

Get your free tickets at EventBrite!

The reception, which marks the 25th anniversary of AAJA Seattle’s flagship program, brings Thanh Tan from Austin, Texas, to share her experiences with this year’s scholarship winners.

Tan, a three-time NJC scholarship winner, is a multimedia reporter/producer for The Texas Tribune.

She previously worked at Idaho Public Television, a PBS station that serves a statewide audience.

While there, she was an Emmy award-winning producer/reporter/host for the longest-running legislative public affairs program in the West, Idaho Reports, moderator of The Idaho Debates, and a writer/producer for the flagship series Outdoor Idaho.

Prior to joining IdahoPTV, she was a general assignment reporter at the ABC affiliate in Portland, OR and a political reporter for KBCI-TV in Boise, ID. Her work has also appeared on the PBS NewsHour and This American Life.

She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with degrees in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism.

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