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Archive for October, 2009

Monday, October 26th, 2009


by Amani Channel

Here’s a news demo from an aspiring journalist in Atlanta named Jerry Askin. He’s looking for feedback, so if you’re a professional in the news business, leave a comment with some helpful advice.

Monday, October 26th, 2009


by Amani Channel

I haven’t discussed my graduate research very much because it’s still a work in progress, but I believe that it is significant for scholars and individuals who are interested in the participatory news movement.

My research specifically is focusing on CNN’s iReport platform and how content is shared, vetted, selected, and then distributed. Several scholars have taken steps to examine this subject with mixed results. The research generally shows a lack of consistency across news organizations regarding participatory practices. In other words, some outlets allow the public to participate, others haven’t gotten on board.

CNN is a major exception. Since 2006, the network has allowed the greater public to engage in news conversations through its iReport brand. It’s a user-generated content platform that allows any one to post anything they think may be newsworthy. My research specifically is examining how iReport may or may not be following traditional gatekeeping norms. I’m not trying to get too technical with scholarly theory, but gatekeeping is a long standing theory that describes how news is selected by ‘gatekeepers’ who traditionally are editors, reporters, and managers.

The Internet is challenging this theory because in some ways it is opening the ‘gates’ to everyone. As a journalist, I believe there still needs to be a mechanism for filtering out the fact from the fiction. My study documents how CNN is using technology to identify newsworthy user-generated content and the process that insures that vetted stories are accurate and true.

Today CNN took anther step in the participatory news movement by integrating iReport with its main website CNN.com.

from CNN news release:

The CNN iReport section of the new CNN.com will share the site’s breakthrough design, folding the social media features of iReport.com into CNN to create a seamless user experience across CNN’s online news and user-generated platforms. CNN iReport will feature a curated section front, programmed by CNN producers to ensure that the best, most interesting iReport content is easy to find and share.

Additionally the CNN iReport section front features direct quotes from iReporters who are in the middle of unfolding stories across the world.

iReport submissions will be clearly labeled when vetted and cleared for reporting on CNN. Vetted iReports now feature comments from CNN producers, who add CNN context to the iReporter’s first-person view. Unverified submissions will be designated as such to provide the most complete context for users.

Although my research won’t focus on the recent changes that have occurred with iReport, it provides interesting information related to mainstream adoption of participatory media, the gatekeeping process, and presents possible areas of future study.

I look forward to sharing my findings.

Monday, October 19th, 2009


Guest post from Absolute Presence

I have to admit, I was a faithful Basecamp user for about 4 years. In my opinion it offered the best web project management solution on the web. After reading many reviews and testing many online project management services I decided to try Deskaway, and I am glad I did.

The customer service, prices and features is excellent. I can manage multiple projects, and training my client to use it has been very easy. Check out the 10 reasons why you should switch to Deskaway.

Google Apps

What did we do before Google? From GMail, Docs, Reader,and Bookmarks, you name it Google has a solution. It seems kind of scary that a company that can compete on so many levels. The Google suite of apps is truly a lifesaver. What would we do without the big G?
GoTo Meeting
This is an application that I use to schedule demos, trainings, and for tech support. I love it because it is a truly cross platform service and I rarely have any trouble. It’s easy to conduct on-the-fly or scheduled presentations with a prospective customer, perform live demonstrations in real time, collaborate on documents with your colleagues and provide training to customers and employees.

If you have a business like me you want to send email newsletters, there are so many companies to choose from. I have tried almost all of them, and I have found that iContact based out of Durham, North Carolina, has a great feature set at an affordable price. At one level all the email services can start to look similar, but the customer service and response time of iContact makes them a clear winner in my book.

Log Me In
About a year ago when I started my new job I had a dilemma, the television server kept crashing and I didn’t want to run down to the station to fix it. And to make matters worse when they installed the TV server it was running Microsoft Vista (major fail). A friend told me about Log Me In, I have told my colleagues, and we all are raving fans. I use the pro version of this software which allows me to login from anywhere 24/7 to make changes and better yet, I can even use the app on my iPhone.

Mobile Me

This is a service from Apple that integrates well if you are a Mac user, and even PC users can back up and upload files to Mobile Me. It can get rather expensive, but I use it for hosting files and backups. iDisk makes it easy to store and share files online so you can access them anytime from any computer, or even from your iPhone. iDisk also lets you share files that are too big to email.

You Send It
Let’s face it, the more we work, the larger our file sizes become. Most corporate email accounts limit 5MB sending and other services like GMail have a 25MB sending limit. This is where You Send It comes in. It is a rock solid application that has various plugins that work from applications. You can even set up a drop box for people to send you large files.

What are the web applications that you can’t live without? Or the applications that if you didn’t use it would make your workflow more difficult?

Monday, October 19th, 2009


Friday, October 16th, 2009


by Amani Channel

If you’re looking for a free personal branding bootcamp, then please attend this event on Tuesday, October 20 at Morehouse College. The AABJSC (Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Student Consortium) is sponsoring “Tweet Your Way to the TOP.”

I’ll be speaking on a panel along with some Atlanta Twitter folk. Allthough the focus is about Twitter, tweets will be only part of my social media conversation.

Sure it’s a tool great took to share links, gossip, and news, but if you really want to brand yourself you should think about starting a blog, and engage in conversations where your audience gathers.

There are of course some cool tools like Splitweet, Tweetchat, Twitterfeed, TweetDeck that I’ll be talking about.

You can follow me @urbanreporter or @visualeyemedia.

Hope to see you there.


Monday, October 12th, 2009


TheSexyGeekFiles provides a nice recap of the Blogalicious Conference held in Atlanta over the weekend.

Kevin Johnson, a candidate for the Georgia House District 58 seat keeps an eye on the business practices of the credit card industry at NewCreditRules.

Atlanta news reporter, and blogger Doug Richards shares the back story of how he broke the news about Senior Superior Court Jim Oxendine’s link to a land deal scandal and his forced retirement.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


from New Leaders Council

Mark your calendars for Wednesday October 14th, and join the New Leaders Council Atlanta chapter, business leaders, and special guests to celebrate the launch of its N. Georgia Institute.

The mission of the New Leaders Council (NLC) is to train and support the next generation of progressive political entrepreneurs – those who are leading industries, setting trends, and building institutions that support robust civic and political life in a global America.

The program puts these highly selective college seniors and young professionals through a rigorous 5-month training program that focuses on campaign work, advocacy, and leadership training to mold what NLC has termed progressive “political entrepreneurs.”

Air America Founder and NLC Chairman Mark Walsh will deliver the keynote speech at the event. Walsh will be joined Atlanta City Councilperson C.T. Martin, and other special invited guests.

Where: Manuel’s Tavern
When: Wed. Oct. 14
Time: 7-9pm
$25 general
$10 students


Monday, October 5th, 2009


by Amani Channel

I’m starting my day at Broadcasting & Cable’s New Technology Summit where I’ve been asked to speak on a RTNDA panel about ethics and new media, then I’m off to Columbus Ohio for business.

It’s an honor for me to speak to this audience. I got my first break in the news business through the RTNDA way back in 1997. I was accepted into a news management internship program, and worked at WJLA-TV (ABC 7 Washington DC) for then News Director Gary Wordlaw.

The business has certainly changed. Since I’m speaking about new media, I figured that the video below would be a good way to start the conversation. I produced it for a journalism panel at Georgia State, but it applies to this conversation as well.

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