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Archive for May, 2010

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Journalism students: How to get your first news job

by Amani Channel

The good folks at Advancing the Story shared some timely ideas about how journalism students can find that first job.

The list is a good starting point for anyone looking to enter the TV news biz.

I’m going to approach this post by sharing some additional advice from the broadcast news side of things.

Before I do so, I’m assuming that you: 1) Worked as a intern during your college years; 2) You worked your butt off, and made a good impression in the newsroom; 3) If you want to work on air, you produced a resume reel to demo your reporting skills; 4) You joined a professional journalism organization; 5) You have multi-media skills including blogging, shooting, editing, photography, and writing.

So here’s my list:

1. Intern while you’re in school (that means you’ve worked for at least a semester in a newsroom getting hands on experience).
2. Know the basics of how to write a story.
3. Network with news professionals.
4. Join a professional organization.
5. Have a mentor or two.
6. Keep your ears to the ground regarding entry level opportunities.
7. Focus on getting your feet in the door (I worked on the assignment desk before I got my first reporting job).
8. Once you get your feet in the door, do your best and make a good impression even if you’re not working as a reporter (if that’s your goal).
9. Have a strong knowledge of technology including social networks.
10. Don’t get frustrated, or ever give up.

If you’re a news pro, please share your thoughts, and if you’re a student feel free to ask questions.

I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to on air reporting, but if I do, this is what I have to show:

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Why social media is important to me

by Amani Channel

I’ve been busy lately, and haven’t spent a lot of time on the blog.

I’m working on a few side projects, the full-time gig, the fam, and life in general makes me feel like 24 hours just isn’t enough time.

As I’ve been reflecting on my career, the media, and the new online communication tools, I always go back to my roots in East Palo Alto, California.

It’s amazing at how your environment can shape you. I believe that my home city helped me get where I am today professionally and personally.

As the media shifts, I know people want to know how to make money via social media, how to market, get publicity and influence consumers.

Those things are important, but to me the power is in the conversation. It is the ability to share information about what you’re passionate about. The power to change perceptions and stereotypes.

My home city received plenty of negative attention when I was growing up, and it still does.

But there are good stories in every community, which are often ignored by the media in general.

Let’s start telling and sharing them.

Why is social media important to you?

Friday, May 14th, 2010

How to get your news story on TV

by Amani Channel
Please RT! #journchat #solopr

How many of you really know how news stories make it on TV? Have you ever successfully pitched a story, or have you ever had a station contact you to be interviewed?

Getting a news station to cover your issue, or story is part science part relationships, and sometimes part luck (being at the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time).

I’ve been on both sides of the camera. I’ve been interviewed, and I’ve done a whole lot of interviewing. Up until now, I haven’t shared a lot of my news war stories, secrets, or tips, but it’s about time.

In this podcast I share some ideas about how you can pitch a story to the news and, I explain how the daily broadcast news cycle works.

I’d appreciate any thoughts or feedback, so leave a comment if you feel.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Operation “Grad School” a wrap

By Amani Channel
Pls R/T

My father always told us (the Channel siblings) to make sure we finish what we start, and I really know what he means now. On Saturday, May 8, 2010, I’m graduating from the University of South Florida with a Master’s in Mass Communications.

I don’t even have time to go into everything that I experienced since my first semester in 2004. The start of my graduate academic career was trying. While working full-time at Fox 13 in Tampa, Florida I had the pleasure of covering four back-to-back hurricanes while taking two classes. I seriously don’t know how I managed, and decided to nickel-and-dime it, one class at a time after that.

Then, in 2006 I moved from Tampa to Atlanta. Since I had already completed a good portion of required classes, I decided to stay at USF and not transfer. I took 3 classes at Georgia State University and transferred the credits back to USF. Then it was time to start working on my thesis.

Most of my research at USF focused on some form of interactive media, from Web TV to blogging. As I looked at the research landscape and my current interests, it seemed that citizen journalism would be a great area to study. On a personal level, I briefly worked on developing a citizen journalism show for Black Family Channel. I was already blogging, and producing my own independent news-ish content online via my blog.

The more and more I thought about it, CNN’s iReport seemed like a great area to study. It was accessible since I live in Atlanta. It hadn’t been studied before, and of the prior studies that focused on citizen journalism most did not examine how gatekeeping models may be changing .

I went about contacting some of my colleagues at CNN, starting with the PR department. It wasn’t a fast process, but I finally got approval, and as it turns out my main point person at the network went to the University of Florida (undergrad) with me.

Writing it up, and defending was the fun part. Then I had to get the format right. That mean headings, table of contents, page numbers, chapter titles, sub-titles… yadda, yadda, yadda.

Six years later, I’m on the verge of graduation. It is a great feeling, and I hope that my research will provide some valuable context to the media shift that is occurring.

Special thanks: to Jennifer Dargan, Jennifer Martin, and April Andrews with CNN PR. Also thanks to Lila King, and the entire CNN iReport department. I thank my thesis committee, dad Charlie for helping me get the format right, and my wife for her patience during this process.

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

A Night for Atlanta’s New Leaders

by Amani Channel
#nlc @newleaderscncl


Tuesday night, the next generation of Georgia’s entrepreneurs and political leaders had a coming out party at the Publik Draft House in Atlanta. The event brought out political veterans like former Mayor Shirley Franklin, and Georgia Senator Nan Orrock. Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, and Fulton County Commissioner John Eaves were also among those who came out to celebrate.

The occassion? The New Leaders Council Atlanta Chapter organized a fundraiser that honored outstanding young progressive role models.

It was co-ordinated by the 2010 class of Atlanta Fellows. The NLC Atlanta Chapter is part of a national organization with 11 chapters across the country. The Atlanta Chapter was just launched in 2010, and once a month over a 5-month period, the Fellows take part in an intensive day-long Institute session that devleops their political entrepreneurship skills.

As one of the founders of the Atlanta Chapter, it was very inspiring to see the response and turnout. The Fellows raised more than $6,000.00 which included $1,000.00 pledges from Hall, Orrock, and Eaves.

Thanks to everyone who donated, and helped make the event a success!

Click here to see pics.

Mayor Franklin’s Speech is below.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Tutorial: How to automate Twitter using Twitterfeed

By Amani Channel
Please R/T

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