Posts tagged aaja
Posts tagged aaja
It’s not too early to start thinking about the UNITY Journalists of Color Convention in Las Vegas next year! Save the date for Aug. 1-4, 2012. This will be the place to find a job in journalism, get the most innovative training in journalism and connect with your fellow Asian American, Hispanic and Native American journalists. Come find us at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center. To stay in the loop, join our Facebook group UNITY Convention 2012: Las Vegas.
— Sunny Wu
You are unpacking from your AAJA experience in Detroit. You have tips on all things journalism, job leads, a stack of business cards and the desire to stay connected to your journalism peers.
In the last several hours, I read several e-mails from AAJA Ford Fellows who wished they had all met at the convention together and cultivated relationships.
So I created a Facebook Group for the fellows and we now have nearly 30 fellows eager to network and discuss their AAJA experiences.
Here are some tips to nurture your new and established relationships:
— Furhana Afrid
How are you going to scale your website? What’s your revenue model? How much overhead does your startup have?
These were just a few questions and issues that were thrown out during Friday’s panel, “Journalists As Entrepreneurs: A Pitchfest.” (While I didn’t attend that morning’s “Funding Innovative Ideas Workshop,” one person who attended both said they were very similar.)
It’s notable just how panels at the AAJA convention continue to evolve and change. When I attended my first AAJA conference, panels were just starting to address the multimedia landscape. Last week, there were two panels dedicated to entrepreneurial journalists or former journalists who are focusing on their own startups.
So what kind of programming does AAJA (or Unity) need at its next convention?
How about a panel that addresses what those startup/Internet buzzwords mean: scale, VCs, angels, series a and b, etc.
How about a panel that coaches attendees how to pitch their ideas.
How about a panel that talks about how first-time entrepreneurs can connect with venture capitalists, angel investors and firms.
How about a networking opportunity with investors or firms who have already invested and launched media/journalism startups.
Those are just a few ideas as AAJA and the convention continues to stay current with the industry and times.
At the very least, the panels should make us sound better than these guys.
-Sunny Wu @skdub | @sportsandfood
David Hunke, president and publisher of USA Today, was the keynote speaker at AAJA’s gala Saturday night.
Hunke gave an impassioned speech about journalism’s core principles: justice, integrity, dignity, truth. He shared a story from his youth, when a young girl decided to “draw the line in the sand” against bullies. It seemed to resonate with all the attendees, who gave him a standing ovation at the end.
But during the speech, I thought about tweeting, “Wonder where Gannett drew the line in the last round of layoffs?”
But I decided it was unfair and snarky, especially without context.
But with a little more room in a blog post, I think it’s a valid question to ask: how will journalism be “all right” — Hunke’s words — if corporations and their executives and boards don’t draw the lines themselves?
— Just this past June Gannett laid off 700 people, many of them journalists at its community newspapers.
— Gannett has cut 20,000 jobs since Craig Dubow became its CEO in 2005
— Yet, Gannett executives were granted millions in bonuses earlier this year.
Yes, this issue is more complex than what one blog post can address. Yes, public, for-profit companies must answer to stockholders and Wall Street. Yes, journalism isn’t the only industry affected by the down economy.
But let’s not sit in a ballroom and listen to a feel-good speech and not acknowledge that Gannett has angered and alienated many journalists. It has also ended many journalism careers.
Journalism will always be “all right” because there are so many passionate journalists who value information, accountability and the truth. They’re just doing it in different ways — as non-profits, startups, bloggers, entrepreneurs.
They are drawing the line in the sand every day.
What about Gannett? If they did, that would be worth a real standing ovation.
- Sunny Wu @skdub | @sportsandfood
I spent my last day at the AAJA convention attending the “Through the Lens: Vincent Chin’’ photo exhibit and screening at the Chinese American Community Center in Madison Heights.
We were whisked from the hotel to the community center by a fleet of cars from Buick. Pretty impressive and (as my teens would say) cool. And, even more cool was the fact that right before the screening we were fed a delicious Dim Sum brunch.
It was a very informative documentary and even though I knew a lot about the Vincent Chin case it opened my eyes even wider. I am planning to find the film “Who Killed Vincent Chin?’’ so I can view it.
I came back to the hotel and took a long walk (and some well-needed exercise) around Hart Plaza. I couldn’t believe how it had expanded. In fact, downtown Detroit is so different from when I worked at the Detroit Free Press 23 years ago.
The fabulous banquet and gala was the highlight of my day. Sitting in the audience taking in all the awards and all the merriment made me realize how much journalism is an important part of my life and how AAJA is really my extended family.
As I continue to pound the pavement looking for a job I really hope I can find a way back into the industry full time. I would be very sad and really would hate to walk away from AAJA and a relationship that I have spent 23 years cultivating and nurturing.
Happy 30th anniversary AAJA! I am glad I was able to be a part of this celebration.
A special thanks to the Ford Foundation, without my grant I would not have been able to attend the convention.
— Carol Reynolds-Srot
Storyboard prior to shooting
Know the story you’re going to tell first
Avoid newspaper writing approach of stating the most important thing first - with video, build up to a climax and let it come down naturally. Answer questions by the end.
Don’t give away the story right away. Build up the surprise and interest early, add mystery, raise questions, and then wow them!
Good videos have great sequencing, content, and audio
Audio is of utmost important. Build audio story first!
If the story doesn’t make sense with the audio alone, it won’t make sense when adding in video
Get plenty of details shots
Remember to gather ambient sound and room tone
Go through your interviews, look for the best opening and ending quotes
Sequencing is the key to video!
Watch Hollywood filming for naturally flowing sequences, i.e. wide to tight, tight to tight, medium to wide, etc.
Work on the audio, then visual, then fine tune it all at the end
— Florence Low, AAJA Sacramento Chapter
On Thursday, I also attended a workshop on watchdog journalism. I initially thought the session would discuss the ethics of watchdog and investigative journalism in a digital age. Instead, a reporter, editor and executive from The Detroit Free Press presented a how-101 class.
Jeff Taylor, a senior managing editor, said that even in an age where celebrity gossip generates thousands of hits on a news site, well-written investigative stories, too, draw high readership and high reader interaction.
Investigative journalism doesn’t only mean watching City Hall. It could also include partnerships between a seasoned investigative reporter and one with an expertise in the arts and nonprofits.
Journalists often say they don’t have the time to do watchdog. Taylor said despite writing daily news, journalists must also be creative and carve out the time to stay relevant to their community. You can chip away at a story, one find at a time, he said.
For Jennifer Dixon, investigative reporter, one story led to another. She started with a basic minimal story on how much pensions were costing the city, which led to articles on middle men hired to pitch deals that fell apart, the deal on the pension lawyer and a follow-up story one year later on how pensions ultimately cost the city $480 million. Her relentless pursuit of the issue led to another infamous one about Mayor Kilpatrick taking bribes.
In honor of keeping watchdog journalism alive, the Detroit Free Press offers a yearly $5,000 award for original watchdog and digital innovation stories, open to all.
— Dominique Fong
I really enjoyed the session, “Working Abroad in Asia or Middle East,” because panelists openly shared personal, lengthy stories about cultural experiences in another country.
Panelists emphasized, first of all, that being a good correspondent means knowing the logistics of working in a rural combat zone: how to dig a latrine, building a fire with no matches, making sure you don’t step in the wrong puddles to avoid cholera.
Beyond dealing with the physical risks of working in a different country, reporters must also balance their reporting with political implications. It can be a moral, ethical and professional dilemma, panelists said. Sometimes, there are road blocks, literally, with child soldiers holding Ak-47s. Other times, being an American during tense political situations can help you across borders or land you in jail.
Then, once you get around to writing the story, often it takes extra effort to stay relevant to American readers. For example, most Americans can relate to a story about China’s emerging middle class. What could be fascinating to a correspondent could also drive away American audiences. Occasionally, however, the news value will trump that fear.
News organizations are looking for people who are culturally aware, bilingual (without an accent) and ready to sacrifice much of a personal life to remain committed to the job.
Even better, said Tomoko Hosaka, a reporter with the Associated Press, go to the country and establish yourself there rather than wait for a news organization to send you, since it’s less expensive for them if you’re already settled.
And surprisingly, foreign correspondence, though cut from many newspaper budgets, is a growing area of journalism.
“If you have those skills, it’s a booming market,” Hosaka said.
— Dominique Fong
The strange and beautiful building where we’re holding the convention this year is the Renaissance Center. This city within a city was designed by John Portman in 1976. GM bought it for less than the cost of construction, and then sank a half billion dollars into it. The effect? AAJAers feel like they’re living in a science fiction movies for four days in 2011.
— Shawn Wen