Tag Archives: video

Mental Floss nominated for National Magazine Award

Mental Floss

Mental Floss is in the running for a National Magazine Award. The American Society of Magazine Editors released a list of nominees last week.

The Birmingham-based publication is competing in Special Interest Magazines against the Harvard Business Review, the Hollywood Reporter, Inc. and Texas Monthly. Mental Floss also earned a nomination in 2013 in the same category; Outside won that year.

Magazines in Birmingham have been finalists over the years, but none have taken home the Ellie.

Mental Floss publishes nine times a year offering a mix of facts and trivia with a humorous slant.

The National Magazine Awards take place Feb. 2 in New York.

Mental Floss

Video: Mental Floss explains the meanings
behind common last names.

ADVANCE CRISIS: The insanely obsessive guide to the Birmingham News/al.com implosion

By Wade Kwon

Birmingham has seen one of its most tumultuous years in its media landscape. The last 365 days have brought layoffs, departures, closings and a few victories among local outlets.

It was 1 year ago today that the New York Times scooped New Orleans’ venerable Times-Picayune on its own impending upheaval: layoffs, a drop to publishing three times a week and the formation of two new companies.

Before that explosive announcement, Advance’s online portal al.com joined nola.com and mlive.com in a drastic and comprehensive site redesign. Reaction by readers nationwide — as Advance switched all its sites over to the 2012 look — was overwhelmingly negative.

The following day (May 24), owner Advance Publications announced hurriedly what Times-Picayune staffers had already learned online. In addition, the New Jersey-based chain rolled out a similar Alabama-wide strategy for the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Press-Register of Mobile.

See full coverage of Advance Publications.

Before reviewing the Advance Crisis of the last 12 months, just look at the other major events on Birmingham’s media scene during the same period …

A look at the ups and downs since Advance’s restructuring of its Birmingham operations …

May 2012

May 24: Birmingham News reporters tweet the stunning morning announcements on publishing schedule and company reorganization.

At the same time, the media release appears on al.com, similar to the one on nola.com and that would appear in coming months for other Advance properties.

Naturally, layoffs were part of the deal.

I threw in an appropriate hashtag.

Birmingham News staffers (and others) weighed in via Twitter.

While New Orleans felt the ire of a large, loyal readership, Birmingham faced a more muted response. That afternoon, New Orleans residents spring into action with a Save the Picayune campaign. No such reaction in Birmingham.

May 25, 2012 newspapers

Mobile finds layoffs ‘exciting’ for its May 25, 2012, edition.
[larger version]

May 25: Print editions across the state splash the announcement across the front page.

May 30: Our special Media of Birmingham report details worries about layoffs and the new model for the Birmingham News.

May 31: Another Media of Birmingham report shows one key company, al.com, seemingly lost in the shuffle. While the newspapers would fire hundreds, al.com would fire only one employee.

Continued on page 2 …

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.

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

News + comedy = View of the City

A new Birmingham-focused news and comedy show debuted in April called “View of the City.” Hosted by comedian and artist Christopher Davis, the weekly half-hour satirical program features interviews, reports and miscellaneous segments on current events, newsmakers and oddities.

The program airs at 6 p.m. Sundays on Charter Cable channel 21 and online on the official site. But you can watch the first two episodes below.

Video: “View of the City,” April 25

Video: “View of the City,” May 2

Related stories:

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

Photos(!) from Video Made Easy

Vodpod videos no longer available.

We had a fun time early in the morning learning about video for the Web at our November meeting at Shift Workspace. Thanks to Jeff Book for the photography.

Learn more in our Video Made Easy wrapup.

Andrea and Haley

André, Dennis, Andrea and Matt

Andrea, André, Dennis and Matt

Dennis and Matt

Networking before the workshop at Shift Workspace

Andrea and Wade on coffee/muffin duty

Wade, Andrea, Dennis and Matt checking on the wi-fi

Bryan, Andrea and Lisa

More networking

Dennis, André and Matt

André, Lisa and Emily

Matt, Andrea and Dennis


Wade, Matt and Dennis

Lisa, Cherie and Wade





Video Made Easy wrapup

Thanks to everyone who came out Tuesday morning for our video workshop!

A few special thank yous:

If you couldn’t make it, a few takeaway tips:

  • Matt and Dennis often use a Flip camera, one of the more popular and less expensive options out there.
  • You can use a digital still camera to shoot video, but keep in mind that the quality won’t be as high, since it’s primarily designed for photos.
  • Before going out on a shoot, check two things: battery life and available memory. You can’t shoot if your battery is dead or your memory is clogged with older videos. (The Flip has no accessible memory card — you must dump footage to your computer to free up space, delete it or no shoot.)
  • They use basic video editing software that usually comes standard with computers: Windows Movie Maker and iMovie for the Mac.
  • With the Flip, proximity is important for good audio. The model Matt showed off had a mono microphone (Flips have no audio input jack).
  • Besides YouTube and Vimeo and other video sharing sites, you can also post your videos to AL.com to reach the hometown audience.
  • Breaking a long video into a series of shorter ones (around 2 minutes or less) can yield higher numbers of views.
  • To have a home for each video, embed it on one of your Web pages or within a blog post. Then, you can write a headline and some explanatory text for maximum search engine optimization (how users find it through Google).

Also, MOBster Lisa Isbell shares her insights from the presentation.

What should we present at a future seminar or workshop? What do you as a media professional want to learn?

Commercial to feature former ABC 33/40 reporter Chris Osborne

Red Cross officer lost part of leg to motorcycle accident

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Video: Chris Osborne’s aha moment
for Mutual of Omaha commercial

Chris Osborne lost part of his left leg following a 2004 motorcycle accident. Instead of slowing down, he went to physical therapy and learned to use a prosthetic leg. Osborne also visited other amputees in the hospital to help them in their recovery.

His story is featured in a new series of commercials for Mutual of Omaha to air in the spring. The insurance company visited 25 cities, including Birmingham, to record inspirational stories for its aha moments campaign. Osborne’s commercial made it to the Top 10.

Osborne is chief branding officer for the Birmingham chapter of the American Red Cross. Before, he worked as a reporter for ABC 33/40.

He told the Birmingham News:

“I’m extremely honored that so many people thought enough about me and my story to vote. There were some really incredible ‘Aha Moments’ from people here in Birmingham and around the country.”

• • •

Read more Birmingham media updates.

Have a news tip? Let us know!

Using video for your site

Learn how to do Web video the right way (unlike the example above) Tuesday morning.


Event details


Video from Recycle This Event!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our April event at the Barking Kudu.

Be sure to check out the video, and if you’re in it, let us know! (Or tag yourself in the Facebook version, if we can ever get it to upload.)