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Archive for July, 2008

Thursday, July 31st, 2008


by A.man.I


I’m back on the HDNews wagon. This week I worked with photojournalist Jeff Moore on a story about entertainers who are being affected by high gas prices.

On Wendesday, we hung out with Jill Scott and her tour manager as she prepared for her concert in Atlanta. Although Scott isn’t having major issues, other artists especially smaller independent acts are having trouble affording tour buses. Overall ticket sales are down for concerts, but the shows will go on.

I’m traveling to Orlando FL., on Friday to cover another story with freelance cameraman Mario Page.

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008


by A.man.I

The blogosphere has been likened to the wild west. There are no rules, no regulations, and little accountability for writers, and ranters who use these public journals as their soap box. True, there are journalists who blog, but most bloggers are far from journalists, and don’t claim to be. So on one hand, there are professional journalists who are supposed to abide by a code of ethics, and there is growing and popular blogoshpere that holds writers to few standards.

With that being said, bloggers can land themselves in trouble and controversy. A recent example is Atlanta political blogger Andre Walker who blogs at Georgia Politics Unfiltered, and Peach Pundit (I met Andre a few months ago when we were asked to provide guest commentary on NPR’s News and Notes). It’s now been revealed that he’s on US Rep. David Scott’s payroll.

from Atlanta Progressive News

The Scott campaign said he’s been receiving monthly payments since the beginning of 2008, suggesting he has received additional payments since the campaign’s last filing with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

It looks like Walker wrote more than twenty posts about Scott between August ’07 to June ’08, and APN writer Matthew Cardinale notes that:

Walker wrote many positive items about Rep. Scott, including several posts which reprinted Scott’s campaign and Congressional press releases almost verbatim.

This is Walker’s reported response to questions surrounding the ethics of his actions:

…he felt the campaign finance reports filed with the FEC were sufficient disclosure to his readers, even though those readers do not necessarily cross-reference FEC reports every time they read a blog entry.

This isn’t the first time he’s taken heat for disclosure/blogging issues. He apparently failed to initially disclose to his readers that he was paid by Vernon Jones for Jones’ blog design.

I’m in no way trying to single out Walker, but this case highlights the need for bloggers to always be up front, and transparent. The truth usually comes out, and while there may be nothing wrong with being compensated for services, when someone blogs about one of their clients and doesn’t make it perfectly clear, it blurs the line between promotion, and information, which affects all of our credibility.

For more on blogging ethics, read cyberjournalist.net
For more on journalism ethics, check this link.

Monday, July 28th, 2008


by A.man.I

The question is often asked, “where are the positive role models for today’s youth”? Atlanta’s Teach One Academy has an answer, and is bringing some high profile folks together for a day long mentoring session called “Do You Know Thyself?” on Monday, July 28.

from Teach One Academy eNewsletter

“Do You Know Thyself?” forum is themed to motivate youths to let their voices be heard and to hear from some of today’s most influential role models. The mentoring session is the first of four series. The focus of the discussion will be on three specific defining attributes of manhood: 1) Self-Image; 2) Self-Perception; 3) Self-Identity.

The panelists include: CNN anchor Don Lemon, syndicated radio talk show host Warren Ballentine, CEO of The R Group and Real Street Kids Foundation Tyreal Lewis, author Joseph B. Washington, Jay White, CEO of Fishers of Men Productions, Hotep, CEO of Hustle University, and Marcais Frazier, Student Fellow Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

For more information visit Teach One Academy

Sunday, July 27th, 2008


by A.man.I

The UNITY ’08 Conference is all but a done deal. My associate Mario Page and I spent four days networking, mixing, mingling, and seeing the sights around town.

The experience confirmed what I already suspected, the profession of journalism is in big trouble. Al Tompkins with the Poynter Institute characterized it as “sick.” The digital space has been extremely disruptive to the business model of corporate media, and until a profitable advertising model is developed the layoffs and buyouts that have marked 2008 will continue.

What’s encouraging is all of the interest in digital media. I met plenty of folks who want to learn more about blogs, social media and multi-media production. The problem is is that many traditional print and broadcast professionals as well as many of the educational institutions are lagging behind in this space.

I believe this presents several opportunities, and I’m focusing my efforts to reach out to organizations that are interested in media training and education to narrow the digital media gap.

My thoughts as far as some future trends are that print and broadcast organizations alike need to shift their focus on low cost content production and distribution. This could mean contracting with more freelancers, adopting a video journalism or citizen journalism model, and utilizing some of the free and popular social media destinations to connect with the audience.

No, this isn’t the end of professional journalism, but we have entered the era of participatory media, and it will take a blending of all forms of media to help companies survive.

The reality is that readers and viewers no longer wait for the news to be delivered. Online news is on-demand, and people are re-mixing it, linking, sharing, and commenting on stories that capture their attention.

For a broadcast journalist lost in cyberspace like me, this is a fascinating time. The Internet has truly democratized the media, and I appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation with you.

I want to thank all of my friends both new and old, and the future business associates I met over the past few days. It was a tear!

Check out the photos below.

Friday, July 25th, 2008


by A.man.I

There was a protest, and some unrest at Unity 08 during a speech given by the Honorable Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senagal. Photojournalist Mario Page of EP2 Media captured everything including the arrest of one person.

Check this link for background.

Friday, July 25th, 2008


by A.man.I

Did the media get these stories right? This panel discussion is asking whether or not bloggers should be held to the same journalistic standards as journalists.

3:14PM Panelists introduce themselves. Tom Joyner, Eric Deggans, Father Pfleger, Michel Martin, Jimi Izrael.

Martin: The game hasn’t changed. The gatekeeping model hasn’t changed. Radio is 24 hours and the way information is filtered is the same. She gives the example of Shaquanda Cotton. She argues that the vehicle for organizing has changed.

Izrael: The problem with the blogospere is that the message get muddy. The story gets repeated, and the important facts get distorted.

Joyner: Everyone got it wrong. It’s the power of black radio. Black radio is the source where people turn to for information about the community. In the civil rights era Dr. King got thousands of people to march from Selma to Montgommery. He did it with the radio. Radio got all the people to Jena Louisiana. When people want to know what is going on in the black community, “We got your black.”

Moderator: The blogoshere has given rise to new voices.

Joyner: Before Jena 6 was discussed in blogs, it started in black radio. The power of black radio is still there. Black radio is taken for granted.

Deggans: The blogosphere helps get the mainstream attention that mainstream radio often does not.

Phleger: I’ve certainly learned the power of youtube, and white people who watch youtube. In major media networks there is an agenda, and we have to acknowledge there’s an agenda. People are making judgements about that. There needs to be accountablitiy.

Moderator: Question how do you consider the source when YouTube videos are used?

Deggans: The great thing about YouTube, it’s wide open. When ABC aired Rev. Wright’s comments you could go to YouTube and see the entire videos in context, and I wrote about that on my blog.

Deggans: There were people who said you need to see the entire context of the video. The problem is the huge megaphones of mainstream media were not as quick to get the point.

Martin: The blogosphere and mainstream media do different jobs. The blogosphere is an organizing tool.

Izrael: The blogosphere is a toilet of rants. These people come with these agendas, and they fortify their opinions, then they ride.

Moderator: All there filters?

Deggans: Your track record is your filter. If you like the Huffington Post or my blog or Jimi’s you know where we stand. There are no gatekeepers.

Joyner: There are more out there than just me. I blazed the path, I opened the door. Like Baisden, he played the whole thing. I do 8 million, mostly African American. Question to Deggans: How many people hit your blog. Deggans: Not that many. Joyner: Our people come to us when they want to know what’s going on.

Pfleger: People turn to you because they want to know about the information that comes to you. I’m amazed that Sean Hannity who I don’t think has any journalism background shapes journalism. How the hell does Bill O’Reily or Sean Hannity shape news?

Joyner: I’m not concerned about the news business and mainstream media. Everyone who’s gotten in trouble for stickin up for Obama has gotten in trouble. Jessie, Wright, You, Bernie Mack… I expect mainstream media to do what they do. They are in the business to serve mainstream America.

Deggans: It’s my job to be that bridge and explain things to people who don’t understand what’s going on in Black America. I love what you do (Joyner).

Martin: Father Pfleger and I spoke about this. We want our voices heard, and that is the challenge. How do we be that bridge that gets the Some bloggers are fine journalists, but not all are.

Izrael: I couldn’t get past the fact that you have Jesse and Al on and they don’t always get it right. You’re trying to dictate what people think. I’ve heard some radio talk show hosts saying you need to do this that and the third.

Martin: I think people knew the story.

Izrael: I want people to think for themselves. We have to encourage people to think for ourselves. When Jesse says jump people say, “How high” and that’s a problem.

Deggans: The problem is that the mainstream media only listens when Al or Jackson speak up. As much as we like having those guys around, it would be nice to have another voice.

4:14PM Q&A Session

Thursday, July 24th, 2008


by A.man.I

NABJ Student of the Year: Sidney Wright
NABJ Educator of the Year: Nagatha Tonkins
NABJ Legacy Award of the Year: Evelyn Cunningham
Hall of Fame Inductees: Charles E. Cobb Jr., Belva Davis, Vernon Jarrett, & Les Payne

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008


Wednesday, July 23 9PM
Black Women and the Family

Thursday, July 24 9PM
Black Men

Check out the site for more info.


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