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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.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Tutorial: How to automate Twitter using Twitterfeed

By Amani Channel
Please R/T

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

iMovie Tutorial: How to Create a Vlog or Video Podcast

by Amani Channel
pls R/T!

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The Best Software for Web Video Compression: Tutorial

by Amani Channel

If you’ve ever heard me speak about Web video, then you know I’m a fan of Mpegstreamclip. It’s an excellent tool for your online video activities. It rips DVDs, coverts video, and handles my favorite activity, compressing video for the web like a pro.

Video compression can be a tricky thing. You want the file to be small for quick and easy uploading, but you don’t want to lose video quality in the process. I’m not saying that my way is the only way, but if you follow the steps that I use, your video should look great on YouTube, or your favorite video sharing site.

Watch YouTube Version

If you appreciate the content on My Urban Report, please show your support by making a donation to the March of Dimes on behalf of the Channel Twins, Rico and Jordan. Born April 19, 2006.

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

How to Use Twitter: A Tutorial for Beginners

by Amani Channel

Twitter, tweets, twits, what’s this fuss about Twitter? I’ve been on Twitter since 2008 (I think), and can say that I’m kind of a Twitterholic. Back then, I was freelancing for a network called HDNews, and found that Twitter was a great tool to communicate with the community when I was on the road. I learned about hashtags while covering #Ike and #Gustav and had conversations with people in the various areas being affected by the storms.

From an information perspective, news stations should be using Twitter like an online scanner to monitor public conversations and the feeds from other news organizations. Reporters can find story leads, interview sources, and share news from the field. I also have some creative ideas about how news stations can use Twitter for internal communications. When I freelanced for the AP I even found some breaking news and ended up covering an event thanks to Twitter.

Of course, Twitter is a mainstream phenomenon now, but I still see brands, and people who don’t seem to get it. Some just use it to broadcast or blurt out messages. Some just promote their brand or services, others share private information that I personally don’t care about.

There are plenty of online tutorials that will help you understand how to use Twitter, but I was recently asked by a close friend to create a tutorial, so that’s what I did.

Twitter is about conversations, and sharing relevant, interesting information to your audience. This tutorial will help get you started, but once you get started, there are plenty of resources to help you maximize your experience.

By the way, if you’re not following me, feel free to. @urbanreporter or @visualeyemedia.

Watch Video

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Record A Video Interview with Skype

by Amani Channel

I’ve been thinking about using Skype to record video interviews for sometime now, but only recently decided to try to do so.

If you’re just hearing about Skype, it’s a service that allows you to make voice and video calls via the Internet (it is free too). I use it every now and then, and it can be used to produce both audio and video podcasts (Desiree Scales used Skype for an audio interview with me not so long ago).

A few days ago by dad (Charlie Channel) called me up and asked me if I had Skype. “Of course,” was my response, so yesterday we tested it out. I was about to start an edit session, but got this wild idea to try to record the talk back at my editor’s suite.

So how did I do it?

Here’s the recipe for recording a Skype interview:
2 Webcams
A high speed Internet connection
A Skype account (the interviewer & interviewee)
Screen capture software

First we established our video conference, then I started recording my computer’s desktop using Screen Flow which allows you to record the action from your computer. I made sure that the program was set to record both the computer’s audio from the Net (my dad), and the computer’s external mic (me) so that the entire conversation was captured.

I then I enlarged the Skype video screen so that it filled my desktop. The video quality isn’t all that, but it works. Skype is becoming a favorite service by broadcast networks including CNN, and Oprah Winfrey uses it as well. It is much cheaper than booking satellite time for talkback interviews and the quality will surely get better.

I think that Skype has many uses for media relations and journalists. It could save time from actually driving to an interview. Going back to my early days in radio, it reminds me of a phone interview with video. You have to watch the framing, lighting and audio, but with a professional set up, the quality is acceptable for broadcast or the Web.

So how did the interview turn out? Take a look. BTW if you want to Skype me, my user name is Amani Channel.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Video production 1,2,3s

by Amani Channel


ElectroVoice RE20

This is a audio podcast I created in early 2009 after my dad bought a professional microphone for my studio.

My goal was to produce these regularly, which didn’t happen.

In this recording, I share the three steps of video production.

If you have any questions, tweet me @urbanreporter or @visualeyemedia.

I’m planning to step it up in 2010.

Please share any thoughts or feedback. Thanks.

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