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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Media Jedi: The average TV news day revealed

It starts with an idea… a story idea. It can be in the form of a tip, a press release, or an event like breaking news.

Normally, news management and news producers have the final say as far as what is covered or not, and the reporters are assigned accordingly.

General assignment reporters are the foot soldiers. They go into the field and gather the elements, then review (log), write, narrate, and finally the story is edited.

These days, one-man-band reporters are becoming more common, but if you’re in shop with any kind of budget, there are two man teams that are made up of a reporter, and photographer.

The goal each day is to pitch and turn a story, and make slot (deadline). Then you do it over, and over again.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Why we fell in love with his golden voice

by Amani Channel

How fast can a person go from zero to hero? In this digital age, it all depends. Some people work for years to develop a product, service, or their personal brand online. Others blow up overnight.

There were a few examples last year like the double rainbow dude, and Antoine Dodson.

In 2011, we already have our first viral sensation. His name is Ted Williams. He spent his days panhandling along a Columbus Ohio intersection. At night he slept in a blue tent smaller than the average office cubicle. That was until a print news reporter with a video camera decided to dig a little deeper into Williams’ story. Once it was uploaded to YouTube, the video took on a life its own.

Video can be powerful when a good story accompanies it. I saw it on Facebook on Monday, and shared it immediately with my network. It starts out simple enough. The reporter drives to an intersection and starts talking to a guy who is down and out. Next thing you hear is his amazing voice. Williams explains that his radio career was sabotaged by drugs and alcohol, but says that he’s clean and sober now, and trying to bounce back.

It is almost impossible not to feel some form of compassion for the dude. It appears that millions of others felt the same way I did. On Tuesday, I saw that he had been offered a job, a home, and the media train was running at full speed. Williams was featured on CNN, and CBS. He even opened the Today Show.

This is a made for TV story. Just about every broadcaster can appreciate his talent, and we as humans are all about giving second chances. On Tuesday I got teary eyed as I watched Williams being interviewed about the instant turnaround.

As much as the media is enamored with covering the crime of the day, fires, and scandals. Stories of triumph are even more powerful. Watching the Williams’ story makes you feel good. It gives you hope in humanity. It makes you appreciate the little things in life that mean so much.

Williams’ sign said that he had a God given talent which was almost squandered by bad decisions. I wonder how many people drove by him at that intersection and never slowed down to speak?

Stories are everywhere, and all it takes is capturing the moment to make someone’s day, and possibly change their life.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010


by Amani Channel
Photo by Brett Myers/Youth Radio


My Urban Report has been on a brief hiatus, however, I just ran across an excellent piece of journalism that was produced by Youth Radio, and aired on NPR.

This is the type of story that you rarely see on local TV news, however, it is giving a voice to young women who are being exploited by the game.

I’m talking about the pimp game. The life style is glorified in music, but it is hardly a glamorous life as told by Denise Tejada.

Please listen to this two-part series. It is chilling and inspiring.


Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The Pulse Network – social TV in the making

by Amani Channel
#bwe10 @maggierulli

So, you’ve probably heard of the term Web TV or Internet TV, but social TV? That’s what a relatively new online network based in Boston, MA calls itself.

The Pulse Network launched on June 14, 2010 and is one of the newest players in the online video space. It has the endorsement of people like social media guru Chris Brogan, and video blog champion Steve Garfield who host shows on the network.

According the Website:

The Pulse Network is a new alternative to traditional media,” says Nick Saber Co-Founder and President of The Pulse Network. “TV and Radio audiences are fragmenting while online streaming and consumption of video and audio content is increasing. The Pulse Network engages its audience in a rich multi-media environment. Our hosts provide smart and insightful analysis on the biggest stories of the day and use the timeliness of social media to advance the dialogue while providing a three hundred and sixty degree perspective to keep you informed.

The question is: how will The Pulse Network sustain and grow such an ambitious and robust TV platform? I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to have a live presence online, but there are plenty of “social” video destinations already, from UStream, to Justin.TV, and Livestream just to mention a few. And most if not all of the sites have some form of social functions like Twitter and Facebook integration. Then there are sites like Blip.tv, and the big daddy, YouTube which offer free video channels.

What I think this network could add is not only higher visibility, but some credibility for social TV. Since The Pulse Network is partnering with TV and social media pros, it could become a destination for quality live content.

Anyway, I caught up with Maggie Rulli at BlogWorld10. Rulli hosts a daily financial show on the network.

She is certainly excited about The Pulse, but didn’t say how or if the talent is being paid, and couldn’t offer any insights into the overall monetization strategy.

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010


#miners #chile


This story almost made me tear. I can’t imagine what these miners and their families have endured, but it has to be a good feeling to share an embrace like this.

An angel or two was watching over these guys.

CBS has live video from the rescue which continues.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

When the storm hits

by Amani Channel

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to cover a storm? The year was 2008 and I was a freelance correspondent with HDNews.

My sidekick photographer Mario Page and I stayed busy that summer covering stories all over the Southeast.

This was one of the wetter adventures.

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

#NABJ10 Virtual panelist: Helping journos with the multimedia mindset

by Amani Channel

I’ve been involved with the National Association of Black journalists since my college days, and the relationships and friendships I’ve made over the years have led to jobs in the biz and other opportunities.

Being involved in a professional org like the NABJ is priceless if you ask me. The NABJ is made up of the best of the best journalists in the business and in recent years, it has been trying to prepare its members for the digital revolution.

Here’s an example from the 2007 conference of how the NABJ has been working to educate journalists about digital media:

While many journalists are great at fact-checking, storytelling, and making deadlines, the fact is that opportunities in traditional journalism aren’t what they used to be.

When I started blogging and producing online videos in 2006, I had no idea what I was getting into. In fact, I was a little embarrassed at first because bloggers didn’t have much respect or journalistic credibility amongst traditional reporters back then.

How things have changed. As the job landscape continues to shift, journalists are more and more having to develop their digital and entrepreneurial skills to survive.

Although, I didn’t make it to San Diego for the 2010 NABJ Conference, I did get to interact with my fellow journos on a panel that helped attendees get a better idea of why they should embrace technology, develop their multimedia skills, and think outside of the box for business opportunities.

I participated via Skype along with Natalie McNeal, and Retha Hill. Dr. Syb moderated the discussion with Rick Hancock and Julia Yarbough participating in person.

If you’re in the news business and haven’t thought about life after… Wake up and smell the smoldering remnants of yesterday’s paper.

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Check Deez

by Amani Channel

SandraRose talks about Newt Gingrich’s comments about Barack Obama. Is President Obama the “most radical president in American history”? Meanwhile, Oliver Willis takes a look at Obama’s jabs at Sarah Palin who criticized Obama’s stance on nuclear weapons.

Reel SEO examines why Tiger Woods is a master of online video.

Zack Issacs is featured on the HuffingtonPost for his commentary on a recent murder that hit close to home. Speaking of the HuffPost, there are reports swirling that former NY Giant Tiki Barber and an NBC intern/assistant may be getting cozy.

If you haven’t check out my man GyantUnplugged, his blog and show is the hotness.

WorldStarHipHop keeps up with all of the hot headlines. This is bad PR for New Orleans cops.

If you enjoy the content on My Urban Report, please consider donating to the March of Dimes on behalf of the Channel Twins, Rico and Jordan. Born April 19, 2006.

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