Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Burnett's Urban Etiquette: Terry Saves the Day

Want a glimpse at Indy nightlife during the conference? Wasn't much.

Then we met Terry.

Check Burnett's entry at Urban Etiquette entitled "Terry Saves the Day."

Some Numbers...

I needed some time to recoup from the convention, but I'm glad to report that the workshop was a success.

More than 60 people showed up to the hour and 45-minute session, which touched on everything from exposing personal blogs to the legal issues surrounding reader-generated blogs.

10% of the attendees blogged during the workshop. Live from Indy. You can read them below, if you haven't already.

Turns out this blogging "thing" has got journalists talking. And visiting.

So far this blog has had 450 visits, and 1153 total page views. Not bad for a temporary blog focused on a NABJ convention workshop.

That said, we could not have achieved such a useful session without the help of our panelists, attendees, online visitors, employers, and NABJ officials.

Thank you.

But we're not done. In fact, we're at a crossroads. This discussion -- about blogging, and integrating multimedia tools into traditional journalism -- needs to happen in every newsroom. More on that later.

For now, check out some of the coverage we received this past week.

NABJ online reporter Darren Sands wrote this about the workshop :

Detroit Free Press columnist Kelley Carter didn’t know that her editors knew about her blog. Imagine her surprise when they wanted to talk about what they had read.

And how they loved it.

Carter was a panelist on The Blogger Buzz workshop, moderated by Miami Herald features reporter James Burnett III. Panelists discussed how newspapers use blogs to interact with readers and also examined libel issues.

The Miami Herald’s Rick Hirsch said that the best blogs post often, must drive traffic and engage readers. Hirsch is pleased that the news of Fidel Castro’s declining health is increasing traffic on Miami’s Cuban Connection, a blog by Herald reporter Oscar Corral. "I can’t say this in Miami, but I hope he hangs on a little longer," Hirsch quipped.

A shout out goes to The Blogging Journalist who gave us a nod.

And can't forget Richard Prince. Down from Day Two. Thanks.

More later. It's late.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sounds too easy

Wow, if you're can put topics that are truly important to others or interest others online in this format is spectacular. There are so many experiences I would love to share and get feedback on: sandwich generation, new mommyhood, journalism -- just tons of stuff.


Saving Our Kids

We must challenge our children to be responsible. We must hold them to high standards and train them to reach high and achieve at great levels. Too many of our children are underachieving and black parents are too blame for allowing them to do so without consequnces. Black parents we must do better or our children will pay a deal price when they become adults.

Derrick Wilkerson

Chicagoland Politics

Remember "Renewal with Newell" for 8th Ward Alderman in the Chicagoland Area. Bringing a new spirit to politics and interested in understanding some of the issues that are important to you on a local area.

Anonymous Attendee.

Blogging at NABJ

I'm sitting in an NABJ workshop on blogging. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I have had my own blog since 2005, about whatever happens to be on my mind at the moment. If you go there now -- -- you'll see my review of the movie "Snakes on a Plane." I was among a group of 38 geek fanatics who saw it at the 10:00 pm sneak peek showing last night at the Circle 9 UA Theater in Indianapolis.

I am the airports/TSA/security editor for a aviation trade publication in D.C. I'm also a die-hard aviation/airlines geek -- my job just also happens to be one of my hobbies. I'm in a battle to let the powers that be allow me to blog about my beat, which happens to be pretty hot right now. I'm hoping that by attending this session, I can arm myself with data, information and facts that will bolster my case to write a blog attached to my publication.

The entry on my blog before the "Snakes" entry happens to be a sample of the type of blog I'd like to do -- it was a piece on a Wiki that tells business travelers where they can power up their laptops, Ipods and cell phones at airports across the world. It doesn't quite fit into my publication, but it's still something that subscribers or anyone with an interest in airports might find interesting. So I'm glad to be here in Indianapolis, and I hope that attending these sessions will be enough to push the suits over the edge and give blogging a try.

Ms. Benet Wilson
Washington, D.C.

NABJ Blogging Workshop

Up until about a year or so ago, I had no idea that blogging even existed. Then slowly I began to see more and more websites dedicated to blogging on certain topics and links on larger websites to blogs. As a televison producer, I always saw blogging as more of a thing for print journalists. It's vital for me to understand where and how people get their information on the internet. I think this workshop is pretty good, very informative, and funny.

B-more's Finest

Why I Blog

Blogging is a way for me to express myself creativel and, to give my opinion, which as a journalist, I cannot do. My friends read my blogs on Blogger or on MySpace, and give me feedback about different topics. I also have a fan-based blog for my favorite TV show. I use to post videos to my blogs as well. I have just discovered over the summer that a more productive reason for me to blog would be to market my own work and to improve my writing skills without feeling the pressure that I would feel in a classroom. I have encouraged my mother to start a blog, but she has failed to give me the link.

More people read blog than many newspaper

Thinking about this item I came across earlier this year that focussed on Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, a former American soldier who grew up in El Salvador and Chicago.

He started Daily Kos four years ago from his home in Berkeley, Calif. The site is now has some 600,000 visitors a day.

According to the New York Times: "Daily Kos reaches more Americans — albeit like-minded Americans — than all but a handful of the largest daily newspapers."

Check out the rest of the story here.

35minutes and counting...

Room 115 is empty. Except for me.

It's game time and I'm waiting. For equipment. For co-coordinators. For panelists. And guests.

I'm excited and nervous.

Why I Blog

Blogging is a way for me to express myself creativel and, to give my opinion, which as a journalist, I cannot do. My friends read my blogs on Blogger or on MySpace, and give me feedback about different topics. I also have a fan-based blog for my favorite TV show. I use to post videos to my blogs as well. I have just discovered over the summer that a more productive reason for me to blog would be to market my own work and to improve my writing skills without feeling the pressure that I would feel in a classroom. I have encouraged my mother to start a blog, but she has failed to give me the link.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

'Citizen journalists' in media's future?

Back in June, Plain Dealer Columnist Sam Fulwood III stated: "I raised the question last week of whether newspapers are outmoded, like buggy whips.

"I fretted that young people seem to prefer pixilated communications over traditional ink-on-paper and asked readers to share their opinions. Most of the more than 500 people who responded by e-mail, letter or phone agreed with me...that the Internet can't compare to a well-reported and carefully edited paper."

Fulwood's piece examines the role of homegrown neighborhood journalists in this era of the blogger.

Interesting perspective.

The Gang's All Here!

Sorry for the late post folks. So much going on here in Indy. Hotel registration, downtime, ironing wrinkled clothes, conference registration, talk with old friends, and meet new ones.

Here's the run-down so far:

1. Took a stretched limo from the airport to the downtown Hyatt. A first for me. It was cool. There were no bottles of Kristal inside the Carey limosine. Still the ride from the airport downtown was only $11.

2. Room was a little small but that's the usual. That wasn't the biggest bummer. The wireless internet set up at the hotel and conference HQ is costly. Don't know what the situation is at the other hotels but here we're charged $9.95 for a single 24-hour session. Per laptop. Not cool. Get's better. It's the same situation at the conference. Hopefully, that situation improves next year.

3. Me and Burnett walked several blocks to O'Malia's grocery store. Downtown was very clean.

4. Registration on Wednesday was a breeze.

5. The mixer at the Indianpolis Speedway last night was very cool. I've watched the Indianpolis 500 at total of 60 seconds in my lifetime (my remote control skills are remarkable). Not my sport. But being the race track and seeing the size of the complex was different. Didn't get a chance to check out the racing car video game that attracting a sizable line.

6. What the Hyatt lacks in wireless service, it definitely makes up for in breakfast. It's free and filling. The chowline features piles of eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, toast. Worth getting up before 10 a.m.

7. The game plan is coming together. Me, James Burnett and Andrew Guy have spoke with panelists. The line-up includes: online columnist Richard Prince, CBS's Matt Stanton, Detroit Free-Press' Kelley Carter,'s Dwight Silverman, BET's Pamela Gentry, and the Miami Herald's Rick Hirsch.

More tomorrow...the big day.

Come one, come all...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Chin Check

Those pesky bloggers were at it again this week.

I'm not talking about the Britain's terrorism cell busts. Not the continued lip-service given to cyclist Floyd Landis' excuses. Not even raucous premier of Flavor Flav's second season of "Flavor of Love," got the blogosphere buzzing like photographer Adnan Hajj's work on that doctored photo of the smoking Beirut skyline.

The Reuters freelancer was the topic of Charles Johnson's four-year-old political blog, Little Green Footballs, which scooped mainstream media outlets with the revelation.

The New York Times [Registration needed]and Washington Post [along with others] took time to nod then analyze bloggers continued role as watchdogs.

Friday, August 11, 2006

65% Don't See Their Blogging as Journalism

A little factoid posted at Richard Prince's Journal-isms:

"A new, national phone survey of bloggers finds that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology," the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported today.

"About 34 percent see their blogging as a form of journalism; 65 percent disagreed. Just over a third of bloggers said they engage often in journalistic activities such as verifying facts and linking to source material," Reuters added in a story headlined, "Storytelling, Not Journalism, Propels Most Blogs."

"Related surveys by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that the blog population has grown to about 12 million American adults, or about 8% of adult internet users and that the number of blog readers has jumped to 57 million American adults, or 39% of the online population," the Pew news release continued."

Check out the rest of the report here.

Question: Do the survey's results surprise you?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Snapshot of 21st-Century Newspapering

The future is here.

Don't believe me? Check out this story from about Washington Post reporter Frank Ahrens who recounted his adventures covering the Enron trial for the Web, radio, TV, and the newspaper:

"It's May 25, and the verdicts are being read in the government's fraud case against former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling...

I am listening to the verdicts being read on CNBC with my left ear and hearing the radio host's questions in my right ear. As the verdicts are reported on TV, I repeat them on the radio. Once we reported CNBC's news on our radio station, I would begin blogging. Moments later, I would appear live on CNN Headline News in the small TV studio in the Post's newsroom just behind the CND.

At some point, hours later in this day, I would write an actual newspaper story."

One Journalist's Opinion on International Blogging

Received this e-mail today:

Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 15:31:11

Subject: Journalism use of blogs in Egypt

Hi, my name is Kimberly Adams, and I am a freelance journalist working in Cairo, Egypt. I know here and in a lot of the developing world, people use blogs to rant or post news and photos about government abuses and activities. Particularly, in countries where freedom of the press is limited, individuals and organizations are using blogs to reach out to each other and to the international media.

I know that I keep abreast of what is going on in the political activist community by reading several blogs, and I know friends at the AP and at newspapers and at Fox News in London that keep tabs on various regions via blogs.

There was a survey conducted a few years ago on "elite" media's (aka, big organizations) use of weblogs in their news process. I'll try to track it down if I can...

Regards and good luck on your workshop,
Kimberly M. Adams

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How was the intermission?

My apologies, readers & colleagues.

My 10-day trip out West was a long-time coming. Got a lot of family and friends in California. Felt good to spend time with them. I'll be up front: it's hard thinking about work, blogs, and news when I'm trying to catch tadpoles with my 6-year-old daughter.

But back to work.

And don't think I was slacking. My crew has my back. We're talking about a timely subject that continues to impact the news business. So think of this entry as a marker. From this point on, expect more "plain talk" analysis of blogs and their place in this thing we call daily journalism.

Before I get to business, I've got to thank Maynard institute columnist and NABJ workshop panelist Richard Prince for holding things down while I was out. Truthfully, he's been sending me articles/columns pertinent to our discussion.

First up is this piece by Editor & Publisher writer Steve Yahn, who examines the legal liabilities facing newspapers using blogs to draw readers.

"There is a lag between newspaper publishers' rush to monetize blogs and at the same time making sure their ethics policies and internal editorial controls keep up with the rollout of new forms of technology and content," warned Seattle-based attorney Robert A. Blackstone, partner at the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Then there's this little item about NPR's Daniel Schorr who told USAToday that blogs are "fascinating and scary."

"What is good about it is people will not be able to suppress the news because you can always have a blogger who gets the story out," Schorr said. "But what we have here is a medium in which there is no publisher, no editor, no anything. It's just you and a little machine and you can make history. I find that scary. Nobody should get into print or on
the air without some kind of editor. I have an institutional belief that nobody can be above having a good editor."

Question: Has there been any interesting stories about blogging and journalism that you've found helpful or interesting during the past two weeks?