Tag Archives: journalism

SPJ chapter to hold Ethics Poker night

poker chips

The Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will play host for Ethics Poker next week.

Guests will learn to play Texas Hold ’Em for fun, using special decks that highlight the society’s Code of Ethics. Discussion topics include the code and how to improve it to meet the challenges of contemporary journalism.

Ethics Poker takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Desert Island Supply Co., 5500 First Ave. N., Woodlawn district in Birmingham [map]. Organizers expect the event to run 2 hours.

The free event will include refreshments, but advance registration is required.

For more information or to register, email Chris Roberts at croberts@ua.edu.

Photo: Adrian Sampson (CC)

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Media of Birmingham October Mixer

Media of Birmingham

October Mixer

  • Tuesday, October 18
  • 5:30 PM
  • J. Clyde in 5 Points South (1312 Cobb Lane)
  • Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided; drinks are on your own

Join us for an informal gathering on Tuesday, October 18 at J. Clyde. This will be a great time to meet other media professionals, discuss what’s going on in your world, and let us know what you’d like to see Media of Birmingham do this upcoming year.

Most importantly, bring a guest! Invite your friends and colleagues in media (print, broadcast, online, etc.), public relations, advertising and marketing.

Please RSVP by 5:00 October 17

Special thanks to our location sponsor J. Clyde

 REGISTER TODAY!

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Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ) Host 2011 College Workshop

You are invited to attend

The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ)

2011 College Workshop

*This event has been canceled.  If rescheduled, updated informaton will be posted. 

  • Date: CANCELED
  • Time: 11 AM to 1 PM
  • Location: Heritage Hall at UAB [map]

This workshop will give college students an opportunity to hear from decision makers in media organizations—managing editors, and news managers with the ability to hire and fire.

Take this opportunity to learn exactly what skills are needed to work in the 21st century newsroom.  BABJ hopes to assist students in maximizing their potential for success in obtaining internships and entry level jobs.

Facts about the Birmingham Association of Black Journalist

The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ) was founded in 1983 by a group of media professionals who wanted to encourage the employment and retention of journalists of color in the Birmingham area. 
 
The organization has grown from a dozen journalists who could fit around a table at the Birmingham Press Club to an organization of more than 50 members including print, broadcast news, public relations and marketing professionals.  We are affiliated with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
 
BABJ continues to promote the employment and retention of media professionals while seeking to provide opportunities for professional growth and development.  We also offer scholarships and guidance to students considering careers in the media.

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Multimedia training on Saturday at UAB

What: Parachute Training Initiative,  intensive hands-on multimedia training

Who: Online News Association and Birmingham Association of Black Journalists

When: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hill Alumni Auditorium, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1400 University Blvd. [map]. The large student parking lot next to the auditorium will be open and free.

Cost: $10, which includes lunch. Register online. For more information and to register, visit the site or e-mail training@journalists.org.

Sessions: Tailored specifically to the needs of independent, community, nonprofit, displaced and employed journalists, bloggers and students in Alabama. Session titles include …

  • Free Tools to Kick Your Site Up a Notch
  • Flip to iMovie
  • Emerging Business Models
  • Harnessing the Power of Social Media
  • What You Need to Know about Internet Law
  • Jumping from Print to Multimedia Journalism

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EXCLUSIVE: The Sword launches to provide Christian news, features

The Sword - Birmingham, Alabama

Marie SuttonA new Christian online magazine, The Sword, made its debut last week. Marie Sutton, a freelance writer and public relations consultant, is behind the publication.

She discussed her new venture with us by e-mail.

MOB: How long has the Sword been in the works? Why online? Will there be a print version?

Sutton: Actually, I left the Birmingham News to start the print version in 2003. It was a glossy mag and was well received, but I had to put it to bed after running out of money. I tell people, “I had the vision, but not the provision.”

I have been wanting to bring the book back and found the web would be more cost-effective. I do ultimately plan a print version, but it won’t be for at least a year.

MOB: What is the mission of the publication?

Sutton: The mission is to inform, instruct and inspire Birmingham’s Body of Christ. Our goal is to be the source for Birmingham’s Christian news and views.

MOB: Why did you decide to launch it?

Sutton: I decided to launch it because I feel there is a hole when it comes to Christian news and views. There is not one central source for calendar items, stories, etc. about Birmingham’s Body of Christ.

Also, I have a passion for sharing stories that will inspire but also rebuke, if necessary, my fellow believers so that we can be everything God wants us to be.

Video: Marie Sutton introduces The Sword.

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Read more Birmingham media updates.

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Kyle Whitmire launches Second Front

The Second Front

Former Birmingham Weekly columnist unveils political news site today

Kyle Whitmire, former Birmingham Weekly columnist, has started blogging for his own news site, The Second Front. He plans to cover political news and public policy as part of Weld, a yet-to-be launched local news site.

Kyle WhitmireHe left the Weekly in January. Also working on Weld is Glenny Brock, who departed from the newspaper in March.

Whitmire talked about his new operation via e-mail earlier today.

MOB: What is Second Front?

Whitmire: It’s a niche-specific blog covering political culture and public affairs important to Birmingham.

MOB: How does it relate to Weld?

Whitmire: Back in the day, Southern Progress used to have test kitchens. I was always kind of jealous of that. I suppose you can say it’s a sort of test kitchen where I get to cook and hopefully not make too big of a mess.

Already some tech-savvy friends have figured out what platform The Second Front is built on, so that will be out there soon. But that’s as good a hint as you’re going to get.

There’s something behind Door No. 3, but I can’t tell you what it is yet.

MOB: What can readers expect?

Whitmire: The focus of The Second Front is politics and public policy.

As a journalism model, The Second Front will follow the lead of The Daily Beast, Slate and many other new media startups. The site will have original content, both reporting and analysis. It will have a great deal of curation, links to pertinent stories from around the web. It will provide context when it can. And it will leverage social media to reach the largest possible audience in ways that are most useful to individual users. [The Second Front on Twitter / Facebook]

I’ve committed myself to waking up a 6 a.m. every day to compile the Frontlines, links to today’s most important stories. I’m not a morning person, so that’s not going to be a lot of fun.

I’m going to spend a lot of time in public meetings, sifting through public documents and nosing around other people’s business. All of this is much the same as I did at Birmingham Weekly, only I want to explore the blog as a new form. I don’t have to fit whatever I’m writing into a 1,000-word hole anymore.

MOB: Will it be free? Subscription? Ad supported? Something else?

Whitmire: I’ll have to dive deep into some jargon and minutia, but I think it’s important to understand the nature of the problems first.

The CPM [cost-per-thousand impressions] advertising model will not support local public affairs journalism.

To make matters worse, users are adopting “ad blindness.” Either they use ad-blocking plugins in their browsers, or they just ignore the ads altogether. As a consequence, online display advertising has a lousy ROI for the advertisers.

The other fallback option has been a subscription model, but subscription-based services do only one thing well: Prevent mass reader migrations away from print. It’s a good way to mitigate the problem, but it doesn’t solve the problem. What’s more, it goes to the Clay Shirky Principle: “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” If your job is to distribute news, you can’t do that by keeping it away from people.

What are the answers?

For the moment, I’ll have to neglect the specifics. Sorry, but that has to stay behind Door No. 3. I can share a few basic principles:

  • The digital marking solution should enhance the user’s experience, not disrupt it.
  • Users should be able to distinguish online marketing from other content, but the medium must not treat that message as if it’s radioactive or otherwise marginalize the sponsor.
  • Digital marketing should be clearly labeled but be treated as an equal citizen in the medium’s space.
  • Finally, digital marketing should be native to the Internet, and not simply an appropriation of print or broadcast forms, which we have now.

There is hope on the horizon in the form of geotagging and location-aware ads. Other kinds of micro-targeting will soon be practical. In the meantime, there are some low-tech methods to achieve the same ends, and I hope everyone will get to see them soon at The Second Front.

Why did you decide to do this site?

Whitmire: I love journalism and probably couldn’t do anything else. It has given me a front row seat to history.

The day Eric Robert Rudolph bombed the clinic on Southside, I got to get as close as the police would allow. The day they brought him back to Birmingham, I was there for that as well. I got to sit close enough in the courtroom that I could hear the chains between his feet and see his collarbone protruding against his skin.

I was there the day Richard Scrushy was acquitted and I was there the day he was convicted.

And then, of course, there was Langford. I got to cover Langford for one paper or another for nearly 10 years. It’s incredibly interesting work.

But it’s also very important work. I believe there is a reason the right to do what I do is codified in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Good journalism is a prerequisite for a healthy society. And that’s what troubles me.

While I’ve been a professional witness to history, I’ve also seen what’s happening to the media. When covering Rudolph or Scrushy, I had to fight and scrap with other reporters for stories. In contrast, all it took to prove Langford was not a legal resident of Birmingham was to pull his homestead exemption at the tax assessor’s office. No one else did that.

I’m proud of the work we did at the Weekly, but some of those scoops we got were just too easy. This never would have been the case were the (Birmingham) Post-Herald still alive.

I’m doing this because I love journalism and I love the adventure it allows me. But I’m also trying to save the Fourth Estate.

Compared to waking up at 6 a.m., that part should be easy.

Also:

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Panel discussion on journalism ethics Tuesday

Sent to us by our friend and MOBster, Dennis Pillion …

Journalism Ethics: A Panel Discussion

Ever wondered how far a journalist will go to get a story? How do news organizations decide what to cover? Should journalists live by rules of how to treat their sources and the public?

The Alabama Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is holding a panel discussion on journalism ethics.

Executive editor Hunter George of The Birmingham News and SPJ chapter president Dennis Pillion will make brief opening statements.

Archibald, Ott, Pollone, Roberts

  • When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: The Birmingham News, 2201 Fourth Ave. N., downtown [map]
  • Panel: John Archibald, columnist, The Birmingham News; Tanya Ott, news director, WBHM (90.3 FM); Chris Pollone, reporter, NBC 13
  • Moderator: Chris Roberts, assistant journalism professor, University of Alabama, and author of a forthcoming book on journalism ethics
  • Cost: Free

For more information, e-mail Dennis Pillion at dpillion[at]al.com.

SPJ regional conference in Orlando, March 19-20

The Society of Professional Journalists’ regional conference will take place in Orlando later this month.

  • What: Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Conference
  • When: March 19-20
  • Where: University of Central Florida, Orlando
  • Cost: $75, $65 for SPJ members. To register, visit the online form.

Workshops on the schedule include …

  • “The Future of Journalism (and Your Future in It)”
  • “How to Make Money Blogging”
  • “Freelancing: Strategies for Paying the Bills”

For more information, visit the conference site.

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Read more stories on the Society of Professional Journalists.

Reporter/anchor, sports anchor – WERC (105.5 FM)

Our pal Paul passed this along:

Talk Radio 105.5 WERC logoTalk Radio 105.5 WERC is looking for …

A part-time Reporter/Anchor. Responsibilities include on scene reporting, anchoring weekend newscasts and following up to get the latest breaking news. Must be a team player willing to dig up stories throughout Alabama and should understand the value of conversational writing and reporting as it plays on a News/Talk Station. 1+ years of journalism required, radio experience a must. Should possess strong organizational skills and knowledge of the Newsbuilder program is beneficial. Must have a passion for news.

A part-time Sports Anchor. Responsibilities include delivering morning sports updates and appearances on the “Steve & Leah Show.” The ideal candidate is an independent, self-starter who has a passion for sports and can appreciate the detail-orientated process of preparation required to deliver informative and entertaining sports reports. You must live, eat and breathe SEC football. Experience is a plus but we will consider passionate and talented first-timers.

Rush your resume and demo to jobs@talkradio1055.com. (Include position applying for in subject, and keep files under 5MB.)

Or mail to:

WERC (Include position applying for here)
600 Beacon Pkwy W.
4th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

• • •

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Visiting journalists needed for Alabama high school workshop

A note from Meredith Cummings, director of the Multicultural Journalism Program at the University of Alabama:

The University of Alabama’s Multicultural Journalism Program is just around the corner. Fifteen students will be on campus from June 12-21 for the annual workshop.

The annual Visiting Professionals Day will be on Wednesday, June 17. I wanted to ask if you would be interested in being a part of this day.

Visiting Professionals arrive around 9 a.m. in Tuscaloosa and spend most of the day hanging out with students in the lab, helping them figure out what they have in the way of a story, and helping them get started with the writing process. (They will have completed their reporting from the Black Belt the day before.) Each student is assigned their own professional to help them write, edit and polish their story.

Each professional also speaks to the group of students briefly about their background. Lunch with the students will be provided during the day, and the work is usually done by mid-afternoon.

If you would be interested in helping us with the special event, please let me know by e-mailing mjp[at]ua.edu or calling 205-348-2772. Thank you so much.