Prezi – Your digital brand as a journalist 101

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Here’s a link to the Prezi.

Here’s the transcript.
Your digital brand as a journalist: Showcase your strengths, find your niche to stand out online authentically

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

That is really what a brand is about – how you make people feel. In real life and online, your brand is how people feel about you.

Steve Jobs hated the word “branding” but his brand as a creative perfectionist was iconic . The brand he created, Apple, continues to reflect his core attributes – smart, creative, genius .

To get started
Develop  one word or a phrase —  enthusiastic, passionate, energetic, confident — to express the best of who you are. Express that in all you do and say online and Continue reading Prezi – Your digital brand as a journalist 101

Branding on the Web 101 for Working Journalists

savingsChicago journalists, join me for a conversation about practical ways to move your journalism career online by building a personal brand and using the social Web.
The first step to getting found on the Web is knowing who you are and what you have to offer that is unique to you. These days, this expression of our identity, this knowing who you are, is called our “personal brand.” It’s basically how the world experiences us. Visit our event page on Facebook. 

About Working Journalists

Working Journalists is a start up by the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Membership is Continue reading Branding on the Web 101 for Working Journalists

The future of news is a rainbow

Here’s a link to a WTTW clip from March 2009. Yeah – it’s almost five years old. In it, I, Owen Youngman, the Knight chair at Medill, and Geoff Dougherty, then the founder of Chi-Town Daily News, discuss the future of news. Owen is still teaching at Medill and is busy doing what tenured professors do – teaching, researching and advancing knowledge in his area of expertise. It looks like Geoff is successfully pivoting  into the world of science. His linked in says, “I’m a social epidemiologist and PhD student in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins, with research interests in neighborhood-level determinants of cardiovascular disease, systems- and agent-based modeling and application of GIS to public health questions.”

Continue reading The future of news is a rainbow

Shop Local Chicago 2014

IMG_2815Shop Local Chicago is gaining steam so I am reposting special events here with an active link for Unwrap Chicago this holiday season in support. Here’s a post I wrote in 2011 about the Buy Local movement and not much has changed except we need our local businesses more than ever and I share local information every day through my @ChiNeighbors Twitter feed and Chicago Community Showcase Facebook page.  This Continue reading Shop Local Chicago 2014

My historic story — Government subsidy of Big Money in “education reform”

Historic story: Reporting is in the weeds on gov't subsidy of big money's goal of replacing public schools with charters, schools run as for-profits.
[Sally Duros Photo] Where’s the public dialogue? While cutbacks in schools nationwide send parents and teachers onto the streets to protest, our politicians and public officials are mum on the big picture of how they are working with big money on education reform.
In his blog today, Steve Buttry asks

“What are today’s historic stories that we will look back on and say that we missed the real story or the importance of the story?”

Buttry  cites  Robert G. Kaiser’s  story in the Washington Post Sunday: The Post nearly ignored Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech and his historic “I have a dream …” theme in its coverage of the march on Washington 50 years ago.

My answer to a big historic story we’re missing? The death of the public schools. Reporting is in the weeds on government subsidy of big money’s goal of replacing public schools with charters and schools run as for-profit businesses.  A story here, a story there is lifting the veil on the role of big money  —  businesses like Pearson and philanthropies like the Broad Foundation — in “education reform.” There’s plenty of  string to follow in the blogs of Diane Ravitch and countless others and articles like this one by Joanne Barkan that follows private philantropies involvment in K-12 education:

Hundreds of private philanthropies together spend almost $4 billion annually to support or transform K–12 education, most of it directed to schools that serve low-income children (only religious organizations receive more money). But three funders—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad (rhymes with road) Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation—working in sync, command the field.

And in this one by Lee Fang for The Nation, which is a good primer on the online learning industry:

“(Investment banker Michael) Moe ticked through the various reasons education is the next big “undercapitalized” sector of the economy, like healthcare in the 1990s, he also read through a list of notable venture investment firms that recently completed deals relating to the education-technology sector, including Sequoia and Benchmark Capital. Kleiner Perkins, a major venture capital firm and one of the first to back Amazon.com and Google, is now investing in education technology, Moe noted.

Like the subprime mortgage/Wall Street CDO scam, this Big Money story is complicated, serpentine systemic effort that could use an army of full-time reporters working it.

The big question for me is: Where’s the public dialogue? While cutbacks in schools nationwide send parents and teachers onto the streets to protest, our politicians and public officials are mum on the big picture of how they are working with big money on education reform.

It’s big stories like these that are so expensive to follow and to report  that we are missing and will continue to miss until we find a way to pay more reporters a living wage telling the stories that are at the core of our Democracy. It won’t be historic until we look back and say, “Gee! Where did the public schools go?”

Choose News over Noise: McCormick’s Why News Matters wants your ideas by May 8

[youtube]http://youtu.be/7R0MHQiUDUU[/youtube]

If ever there’s been a poster child for why news matters —and unfortunately why so often it doesn’t — it is the series of reporting events that began last week with the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and continue as I write.

In the rush to be first at each phase of the story,  we’ve seen all kinds of false and sloppy information polluting the already overcrowded news and information streams on Twitter, in newsprint and elsewhere. You can read  Gwen Ifill’s take on it:  When getting it first trumps getting it right as well as a Tweet loaded piece  by writer  for The Awl, where she called out several social journalism colleagues: Is your social media editor destroying your news organization? 

Farhad Manjoo of Slate weighed in with this sage advice in Breaking News is Broken:

When you first hear about a big story in progress, run to your television. Make sure it’s securely turned off.

Next, pull out your phone, delete your Twitter app, shut off your email, and perhaps cancel your service plan. Unplug your PC.

Now go outside and take a walk for an hour or two.

That sounds about right. That’s how bad it was.

If breaking news is broken, how do we fix it?

Journalists need to “have a filter between their ears and mouths — or eyes and keyboard,” as a colleague said on a private message board today. But the fact is all of us — not just journalists — must develop filters so we can cull the news from the noise and better understand events and issues.  To the degree that we’ve improved our ability to vet the quality of information that is presented to us, we’ll add value to the story when we make a contribution on the comments page, the Twitter feed or anywhere else on the social Web.

That’s one reason why the McCormick Foundation’s Why News Matters grant-making program is so badly needed.

How do we learn to choose news over noise?

Why News Matters seeks to heighten news literacy skills in the Chicago area and beyond.  The foundation will be investing as much as $6 million in promising innovative ideas that could make a difference in our ability to think critically about the information we are swimming in as well as distributing.

What’s news literacy?

It’s the set of critical thinking skills that enable citizens to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and information sources.

McCormick says news literacy programs provide:

  • A frame of reference to distinguish fact from fiction, opinion or propaganda

  • An understanding of the First Amendement, the role of a free, independent media and the importance of journalistic values

  • A curiosity to seek information and better understand communities, national and international affairs

  • Help in navigating the myriad sources of digital information in a more skeptical and informed manner

  • A foundation for exercising civility, respect and car ein the exchange of information

Here’s some news literacy initiatives that McCormick has been funded to date.

Do you have an idea that could fit in? If so, get with your partners soon and write a Letter of Inquiry. Read McCormick’s FAQ. Do it soon.

Letters are due to McCormick by May 8.

 

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