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Posts Tagged ‘Journalism’
23 Jun

Sign up for the Unity 2012 journalism conference!

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Friend and colleague Mekahlo Medina, who is the NAHJ Unity board representative and who is also running to be on the NAHJ national board of directors, has created a series of promotional videos to get people excited about this summer’s journalism conference in Vegas.

I’m Unity’s co-program chair (along with AP‘s Paul Cheung, who is running to be AAJA‘s next president), and one of our goals was to truly take advantage of the conference’s diversity and have a fully integrated and progressive convention.

Here’s a video Medina produced after a quick interview with me yesterday:

Unity 2012 Las Vegas Robert Hernandez from Mekahlo Medina on Vimeo.

In case you don’t know, the Unity conference brings the Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalism Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Association together for a MEGA convention that happens only every four years.

Clearly I am biased, but take my word for it… this will truly be a progressive, diverse conference. Cheung and I did a BlogTalk radio discussing why you should attend UNITY12.

For the lastest Unity 2012 news, make sure you check out the conference Tumblr: http://unity12convention.tumblr.com/

12 Mar

My proof, my metrics, my ROI on Social Media: #WJCHAT

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It happens on occasion (okay, with this friend it happens a lot), but I battle with a friend over Social Media’s role in our lives and relationships.

I’m not a fan of the outsider, knee jerk reactions to Social Media that say we are getting dumber, we can’t focus and we are so lonely.

All those things may be happening, but it’s not because of Social Media… not solely anyway. These are, in fact, the same claims that have been preached about with every new development ranging from radio, TV and, I believe, even books.

So, I’m not a fan of those re-occurring, blame-the-newest-thing-for-our-bad-thing argument.

Nor am I a blinded super fan of Social Media… there’s crap out there (lots of it) and “gurus” making money by ripping people off.

I am, however, a fan of the true connections that have been made possible because of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These platforms are just the latest evolutionary step from mail to telegram to telephone to Internet to e-mail, etc.

And, as you may have guessed, I am a SUPER fan of communities like #WJCHAT, that support and educate each other by harnessing these platforms.

The two-year anniversary of our little community was in February and, in my hopes to gets some attention to it, I asked a couple journalism sites to do a write up on us. To be honest, I didn’t really make a hard pitch.

Naturally, as good journos, the question led to why… but more importantly, what has #WJCHAT done? Where’s the proof?

I don’t have those metrics.

While we often talk about analytics, ROI and such, for me, I don’t really care about those when it comes to #WJCHAT.

All I care about is that people know that they are not alone in their struggle to find their place in journalism, that they are getting educated on how to improve journalism and that they are sharing their knowledge and experiences so we collectively “save” journalism.

My latest reminder of this was today’s ONA featured member piece on Tauhid Chappell.

I remember Chappell popping into the #WJCHAT stream and meeting him IRL at an ONA event. But I didn’t know that our little community played a role in his journalistic development… but it was enough that he felt compelled to mentioned #WJCHAT in his profile piece.

That is my proof. He is my metric.

Tonight I will be meeting “strangers” for the first time IRL at our now annual #WJCHAT meetup at SXSW.

I will be seeing old friends and making new ones (once we get over the awkward oh-yeah-I-know-you moment after we connect the avatar or handle to the face and name).

That is my proof. They are my metric.

Do you know that I have only met, maybe, half of the people who volunteer each week to run #WJCHAT. Never meet them outside of email, a collaborative document or Twitter chat.

These folks are my colleagues. They are my friends. They, too, are my proof… my metric.

Everyone in this diverse community is my argument proving that Social Media is an undeniably positive element in our modern lives.

And, my goal when Twitter life and real life merges later today, is to be present with this community of friends… and, on occasion, awkwardly look at my phone to see if I need to tweet out something.

Thank you for being part of this community. < cheesy >It’s been a positive element in my life.< /cheesy >

06 Mar

Horizontal Loyalty: Video of Robert Krulwich’s 2011 UC Berkeley commencement speech

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The moment I read the line — a line that was almost lost in a list of things — I knew I had found the words that captured my career and it’s challenges… in fact, my colleagues’, generation’s, students’ careers and their challenges.

It became my mantra.

It has become my religion.

“Horizontal Loyalty” has because the gospel I preach to colleagues to keep them and myself going as we try to change (and, yes, save) journalism.

That term, that phrase came from the 2011 UC Berkeley commencement speech given by RadioLab‘s Robert Krulwich.

And, thanks to my friend Jeremy Rue, the words come alive with the power of video:

You can find the text of the speech posted on the Discover Magazine blog: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/05/12/%E2%80%9Cthere-are-some-people-who-don%E2%80%99t-wait-%E2%80%9D-robert-krulwich-on-the-future-of-journalism/

23 Dec

Introducing Forbes to Media Diversity

You can see more diverse journalists of color — of all ages — in this spreadsheet: http://diversify.journalismwith.me/. You can read about how this came about here: Crowdsourcing ‘web journalism rockstars of color’

20 Dec

My 2012 prediction is Credibility

NOTE: Originally published on Nieman Journalism Lab: http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/12/robert-hernandez-for-journalisms-future-the-killer-app-is-credibility/

Granted, this will make for a weak lede, but allow me to start this piece with a disclosure: I, like many of you, am not a fan of prediction posts.


Ten predictions that will change journalism

QR codes will finally die
The world will realize we already have an existing infrastructure and start using traditional barcodes.

Augmented Reality will dive into mainstream
I’m talking mobile GPS + Camera + Internet technology. It will be baked into our mobile devices, bypassing the need to install multiple apps or plug-ins. (Remember, by predictions I really mean wishes.)

Groupon will cease to exist
Come on? Do you actually even doubt this? How can they survive with all the competitors? More than likely they will be acquired for cheap… by MySpace.

MySpace will attempt to bring the sexy back
But fail.

More people will join Social Geolocation networks
Either by force through Facebook or by general exposure. People who are hesitant to explore this social space, claiming ‘who cares,’ ‘what’s in it for me,’ ‘it’s useless,’ ‘only narcissists join this,’ will realize those were the same concerns/claims about Twitter and Facebook. Oh, also the same arguments about blogs.

A social, geo-location check-in will make news
Some politician or celebrity will check into a strip club or brothel… and earn an ‘idiot’ badge.

Androids will expand their dominance in the mobile marketplace
But no one will care because the iPhone 5 will come out. Oh my gosh, did Apple release it in white too?! My precious… my precious!!

Clouds will become our main media managers
No need to have the DVDs or Blu Rays on our shelves. No need to have MP3s take up space on our computers or phones. All media will be accessible via the Cloud. Yes, you will have to re-purchase your movie collection again.

George Lucas will release another enhanced version of Star Wars for the Cloud
He will change it back to Han shooting first, but instead of Gritto it will be Jar Jar. Nerds have wishes too.

List articles will be the top five story formats on the Web
Journalism is saved! Here’s proof: http://bit.ly/journalismsaved

Typically, they aren’t based on anything real and are often used to make grand statements we all roll our eyes at… and don’t get me started on how often they’re wrong.

That aside, here’s another piece to roll your eyes at.

But here’s a tweak, this is not really a prediction… this is, to be honest, more of a hopeful wish.

Okay, ready? Here goes.

We know that Content is King. There is no doubting this concept. If you don’t have ‘it,’ no one is going to engage with you.

We know that Distribution is Queen. In this modern age, what’s the point of having ‘it’ if no one will find it?

My prediction is that this ruling monarchy will be augmented by… a prince. Perhaps a duke? Whatever. And it’s called Credibility.

In the age that we live in, content is relatively cheap. Anyone can create it. If not through their computer, everyone’s phone can basically do live shots, record newsworthy sound clips and file stories. Some can do interactive 360 videos or augmented reality presentations. Really cool stuff.

And everyone can distribute their content in 140 characters, their own livestream network or their blog (how traditional).

With technology empowering everyone with the ability to create and to distribute, I predict — and wish — that in 2012 the new dominating factor will be Credibility. Actually, earned Credibility.

What will stand out from the sea of content will be the voices we turn to time and time again. Trusted sources of news and information will transcend their mastheads and company brands…and become their own brand. Brands that are solely based on being known for the quality and reliability of their work.

Just to make Gene Weingarten angry, brands brands brands brands brands. Look, that’s all marketing speak for the most important quality journalists have to offer: Credibility.

And, sure, some of us get a head start by being associated with the Washington Post, NPR, CNN, etc. But I predict — hope — that in the coming year, individual journalists will be valued more than their distribution companies. More than the media format of their story.

Judged by the content of their character. (Wait, that’s a different dream.)

Many news consumers are tired of the political left and the political right fighting, and making journalism — or I should actually say “journalism” — the fight’s platform. Hell, I’m tired of it, too.

We want people who will cut through the spin and tell us what’s going on, how it will affect us and what can we do about it. We want transparent news. We want news that, while it may not always achieve that goal, honestly strives to be objective.

We want to trust journalism. And to do so, we need to trust journalists.

And bypassing the blogger-vs-tweeter-vs-media company-vs-journalist debate, it is going to come down to one thing: Credibility.

Can I reliably trust you to tell me what is going on? If the answer is yes, then I don’t care if you work out of a newsroom or out of your garage.

Let’s see what the new year brings, but that is my predication…that is my wish.

Okay, roll your eyes. Or post a comment. Share your thoughts.

15 Nov

An inside look at Unity Programming

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While it sooner than you think, the deadline to propose a UNITY 12 workshop is this Friday, November 18. All proposals are welcomed, but to help solicit strong submissions co-program chairs Paul Cheung and Robert Hernandez interviewed themselves to create a collaborative Q&A blog post.

Q: How is this Unity programming different from previous years?
RH: Well, for me, we’ve reached a point in journalism that feels like we’ve risen from the ashes and are hungry to push journalism forward. I think the programming needs to reflect that by being progressive and diverse in every respect.

What it will be: Our sessions will include a lot of hands-on skills training; some crowdsourced best practices; some controversial panels that make us uncomfortable; some discussions that lead to practical take aways.

What it won’t be: Routine discussions about the lack of diversity. Routine PowerPoint slideshows where the presenter talks and the audience only listens. Complaining and harping that the “good ol’ days” are behind us.

This is an exciting time for journalism and this conference will not only reflect that, but prepare you for it. I will admit, Paul and I were disappointed with the past programming. That’s why we signed up. UNITY 2012 is for me and all the like-minded journalists that want to advance journalism in this exciting digital age – together.

Q: Talk about your experiences running AAJA’s and NAHJ’s conferences. What do you hope to bring over to the UNITY 12 convention?
PC: It’s important to be think demos and not memos. Instead of speakers telling us how great their project are, we want them to show us HOW it was done. At the AAJA conventions, we look for experts from within and outside of our industry. In UNITY 12, you can expert us to raise the bar in presenters.

RH: For the last six years or so I’ve been running the New Media track for the NAHJ conference… if you’ve attended, you’ve seen how we’ve doubled hands-on sessions and really have pushed to prepare our attendees with some great skills – from intro to advanced. I’m proud to be on the Online News Association board, where I know they were “inspired” by my NAHJ workshops and brought those types of sessions to its conference. I organized and was proud of the pre-conference workshops offered at ONA11. Paul and I will bring these types of workshops front and center to the conference. That said, we want thought-provoking sessions as well, not just skills and tech… but these thought-provoking topics need to be framed and presented in a more engaging way. And, because we are UNITY, we want every panel to reflect diversity as much as possible. Side note: There will be the Geek Out session.

Q: What advice do you give someone who wants to submit a panel/workshop/session for UNITY 12?
PC:

  • Be specific on a problem or a question you want the workshop to answer and not to be too general.
  • More speakers does not equal better panels.
  • Keep the tracks we have in mind.

RH: I agree with Paul. Also, like the modern news consumer, no one wants to be dictated to so make sure you factor in true engagement with the audience. Don’t re-hash old debates, but bring the topic and discussion forward. Offer practical take aways. Be passionate about the topic. Remember, this may be the only training a journalist gets in a year… make your session well worth it!

Q: Can you elaborate on the tracks (Current News/Hot topics, Multimedia, New Media, Platforms, Professional developments and Personal developments)? For example What’s the difference between new media and multimedia?

RH: Well, let’s try to answer the second half of the question first. We look at Multimedia as cross-platform storytelling. Something every journalist — regardless of whether they mainly work on print, broadcast, pixels, etc — needs to be able to do.

  • Examples: Photography for non-photographer, Producing an Audio Slideshow or How to shoot video with your pocket camera

New Media, for me, is about technology and how it advances our journalism. Its applying the latest technology to our daily jobs.

  • Examples: Real-Time Reporting through Social Media, how to use free webtools to do datavisualizations, the latest hardware and software or apps that help you simplify your life.

PC: Platforms, for me, is about development and topics that is specific to the platform.
Examples: How to you transport your skills from print to broadcast, the art of one person anchor / TV producer

The other tracks I feel are somewhat self-explanatory. While these are somewhat ‘traditional’ tracks to help organize our conference, we expect and will be looking forward to those progressive sessions that truly advance the discussions and lessons.

  • For professional developments: A session on how to write a business proposal or the reality of start-up business
  • For personal developments: A Rachel Ray like demo on how to eat healthy on deadline or financial planning
  • For current news: Ten innovative ways of reporting 2012 US Elections or the London Olympics.

Q: This a lot of work for just the two of you? Who is helping you organize and shape this conference?
We are not alone in this. The programming committee is comprised of a diverse group of journalists from AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA.

  • AAJA: Ted Kim and Victoria Lim
  • NAHJ: Elizabeth Aguilera and Hiram Enriquez
  • NAJA: Tom Arviso and Rhonda LeValdo
  • NLGJA: Sarah Blazucki and Barbara Dozetos

If you have specific questions, concerns suggestions… please join us for a Google+ Hangout Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 3:30PM PT / 6:30PM ET. Go here: http://bit.ly/unity12-hangout

To submit your proposal go to: http://bit.ly/unity12-proposals // The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 18, 2011

20 Oct

J/i Conf: Three CEOs, a president and me

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[Posting this late]

I played moderator for an impressive CEO panel during the inaugural Journalism Interactive Conference. It was a cool, informal conversation with Burt Herman CEO of Storify, founder of Hacks/Hackers; Edouard Lambelet CEO and Co-Founder of Paper.li; Evan Ratliff Co-founder, editor of The Atavist; Warren Webster President of Patch Media.

Here’s the video:

24 Sep

Getting on WBUR’s On Point

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[Posting this late]

During ONA11, I was a guest on WBUR’s On Point show along with Derrick Ashong and Mandy Jenkins.

This was my first time on live air on a national show… um, and I had a cough.

The topic was Crowdsourcing And The Future Of News. Awkwardly, here it is:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

09 Sep

Internet Evolution interview

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Posting this late, and reset publishing date

I had the honor and privilege of getting interviewed by Internet Evolution Radio.

Listen to internet radio with IE Radio on Blog Talk Radio
02 Sep

NiemanLab’s Journo Ipsum generator: I love it and cringe at the same time

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Inspired by the Lorum ipsum, which is a random collection of Latin words often used by designers as placeholder text, Nieman Lab created the Journo Ipsum generator.

In a few paragraphs, you get randomly selected journo-buzzwords mashed up with every refresh/page load. Thanks to the randomizer, you get things like:

hyperhyperlocal plagiarism trolls TBD 5%”

Patch stupid commenters”

Jeff Jarvis prostate do what you do best”

election-night hologram media bias”

the medium is the message if the news is that important”

Aron Pilhofer Android”

if the news is that important, it’ll find me dead trees”

layoffs put the paper to bed”


It’s useful for dummy text, but also as a good lesson on how taking words out of context and randomly mashing them together is unintentionally hilarious.

While I love it, is a generator potentially a bad idea?

My gut tells me, this was a good idea on paper… but not such a good idea in practice… especially because it’s connected to journalism.

These are real people, companies and brands that are being randomly paired with words they most likely want to avoid.

I guess I’m sounding like a wet blanket… I know. But there’s a reason why we use Lorum ipsum: It’s to avoid awkward phrasing and taking random words out of context!

If it were me, I’d unplug the word generator/randomizer portion and just display a dozen or so paragraphs of Journo Ipsum text … I’d even edit some awkward ones out. You’ll still offer the awesomeness of the concept, without having the, for the lack of a better word, liability.

But hey… that’s just me. What do you think?

Also, join the unintentional hilarity of the randomizer by tweeting out your finds, using the #JournoIpsum hashtag!

Well, what I can say for sure is that I’m glad I’m not a big enough name to be in that randomly mashed up mix!

π