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Posts Tagged ‘nabj’

5 Upcoming Journalism and Media Conferences


Throughout the year, there are several conferences in the fields of journalism and media for everyone from up-and-coming journalists to seasoned professionals. Just a few weeks ago, we covered a few panels on journalism at this year’s SXSW conference. Here are just a few conferences taking place through the year that will help you network, expand your skill set, and learn new topics from some of the thought leaders in the journalism industry. Feel free to let us know about other journalism and media conferences in the comments.

SABEW 2012 Spring Conference

Date: March 15-17, 2012

Location: Indianapolis, IN

» Register Online

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) will hold their 49th annual conference in Indianapolis, IN at the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex at Indiana University. This year’s conference keynote speakers are Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana. The conference will include speakers from several media outlets like ESPN, Reuters, and The New York Times. The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism will also co-present a seminar with Investigative Reporters and Editors titled “Be a Better Business Watchdog — CAR for Business Journalists”. Early-bird registration ends on February 20, 2011, and registration prices will rise after that date.

ACES 2012

Date: April 12-14, 2012

Location: New Orleans, LA

» Register Online

The 16th National Conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) will take place down in the Big Easy at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. This year’s keynote speaker is Roy Peter Clarke, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute. There are 40 information-packed sessions at this year’s conference, including “Writing for SEO, Writing for Social Media” and “Editing Maps and Graphics”. You can register up until the day of the event, but prices will rise on April 1, 2011. You can register for any of the days of the conference or for the entire three-day event.

2012 NABJ Convention and Career Fair

Date: June 20-24, 2012

Location: New Orleans, LA

» Register Online

The 36th annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair will be in New Orleans at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, and includes a film festival, an author’s showcase and bookstore, and a host of other special events. The theme for this year’s convention is #NABJ12 — New Platforms. New Directions. New Orleans, and session topics will fall under three tracks: Perfecting Your Craft (mastery of reporting, writing, editing, and other journalism cornerstones), Tech & Tools (highlighting new and emerging technology), and Innovation Station (emphasizing innovation and entrepreneurship in the dissemination of enws and information). Pre-registration prices are available until May 15, 2012.

UNITY 2012 Convention (UNITY ’12)

Date: August 1-4, 2012

Location: Las Vegas, NV

» Register Online

The 5th Annual UNITY 2012 Convention is a coalition of four alliances: the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Native American Journalists Assocation (NAJA), and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Assocation (NLGJA). The conference will include a media showcase, a career expo, as well as several 90-minute workshops. The early-bird registration deadline is March 16, 2012, and registration prices will rise after that date.

Excellence in Journalism 2012

Date: September 20-22, 2012

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

» Register Online

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association are partnering again for this year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. Registration is not open yet, but pricing and package registration details are available. Make sure to check out the Excellence in Journalism Conference Facebook page for the latest information about the conference.

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Black Media’s Next Steps: An Interview with Benét J. Wilson

Benét J. Wilson

With the current rapidly changing technological advances, traditional Black media is in a state of flux. Black media in 2010 faced the same sorts of challenges as mainstream news organizations have also faced, and many outlets have started plans to upgrade their online presence to reach out to readers and form communities. But with newspaper and magazine circulation decreasing for Black media outlets, is it too late to innovate?

I spoke with Benét J. Wilson to get an informed perspective on the matter. Benét is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the lead blogger for the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force’s NABJDigital blog. Benét is also the online managing editor for McGraw-Hill’s Aviation Week business aviation channel, and is a member of Black Social Media Professionals and the Online News Association.

Maurice Cherry: Among magazines, television, and blogging (and other forms of media), what is the current state of Black media right now?

Benét J. Wilson: I think it’s a mixed bag. There are some great examples of what’s good, like Dallas South, theGrio and The Root, just to name a few, but I also see the traditional Black press struggling to keep up technologically and financially with all the rapid changes in journalism. I see it as a lack of human and financial resources to create and maintain web sites that attract and keep those all-important eyeballs, especially when there is so much content to choose from these days.

MC: Given the fast-changing technological landscape, what should Black media do to keep up?

BJW: I say take a page from Ebony and do a redesign. After decades of dormancy, I became a subscriber again. My timing was great, because it happened to be the first issue under its new design. I found the new design to be easy to read, with many articles that related to my life. Of course, no publication is worth its salt these days without a strong companion website and an iPad app. Black media organizations need to train their existing staff on topics like search engine optimization (SEO), content management systems (CMS), social media, etc., to ensure that they are targeting the correct audience. Most importantly, they need to find a niche. “Black people” is a very broad demographic, and what a 40-year-old, college-educated, East Coast suburban working mother likes is completely different from what a twentysomething urban West Coast black man will like. Black press can no longer afford to be all things to all Black people.

MC: Are there any Black media outlets that are doing it right?

BJW: The three sites I mentioned earlier are a great start. The current state of media reminds me of a scene in the Pixar movie Up. All the dogs in the movie seem to be focused on their task, until someone yells squirrel. Then, their attention is distracted and it’s hard to get them back on focus. I see that as a dilemma faced by all media though, not just the Black media. Getting readers to focus on their publication when there’s so much out there to distract and tempt you is difficult.

MC: Do you think there is a gap between professional journalists and bloggers when it comes to Black media? Can they sit at the same table?

BJW: I do see a huge gap. I have been a journalist for more than 20 years and a blogger for more than five years. Journalists tend to focus on all the training they’ve received, which is the right thing to do. There are good and bad bloggers out there, but many of my brethren tend to lump them all together and look down on them as a whole, unless they are also journalists. But the last time I checked, unlike doctors or lawyers, there isn’t a credential that specifically identifies someone as a journalist, like Benét J. Wilson, PoJ (practitioner of journalism).

An interesting trend I see is journalists using their blogging or online platform to create their own niche content in a category I like to call newsformation (news + information). Example of this include Natalie McNeal of The Frugalista, Leila Noelliste of Black Girl With Long Hair website, Marian Anderson of Haute Travels and Greg Gross of I’m Black And I Travel.

I also look at bloggers/writers who should be sitting at the journalism table who don’t embrace the journalism title, like Kiratiana Freelon of Kiratiana Travels, Gina McCauley of What About Our Daughters, and Deanna Sutton of Clutch Magazine. They are doing great work.

My feeling is if you follow the rules of journalism and create content that readers find useful (whether you agree with the content or not), there should be room at the table for journalists and bloggers. As co-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force, this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart, and I have even submitted an amendment to NABJ’s constitution to broaden membership to include bloggers.

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the Black Weblog Awards and your efforts to promote and elevate great content by other Black bloggers. Afrobella, Kiss My Black Ads, and The Black Snob are just a few of the great content sites I have discovered.

MC: What is the future for Black media?

BJW: The future is what each publication makes it, but those that do make it will do so when they create that balance of news and content that readers find relevant. And I see that coming to those who create a particular niche among Black people, rather than trying to be all things to all people. They also need to make sure their online game is stellar, with a good website, active social networking channels like Twitter and Facebook, and an interactive iPad app. In the end, Black media will have to adapt or die.

Benét J. Wilson is the co-chair of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Digital Journalism Task Force. She also write about travel and aviation at her blog, Aviation Queen.