s My Urban Report
March 16th, 2012

I just made $50.00 donation to the March of Dimes to Team Rico and Jordan, and hope you’ll join my wife and me as we raise money on behalf of our twin boys.

If you want to know and haven’t seen this short documentary called, “My Boys,” please you watch it now.

If you’d like to join me and made a donation now, please follow the link, or you can keep reading. www.marchforbabies.org/amanichannel

It’s been almost six years since our first born sons Rico and Jordan were born prematurely at 20 weeks. We think about our little angels every day.

Of course, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate. We’ve been blessed with an adorable three-year-old boy, Devin. As we watch him grow and learn, we often think what our lives would be like if his two brothers were still with us.

Each year we ask for our friends and family to help us support a cause that is near and and dear to our hearts, and each year you answer by generously giving to Team Rico and Jordan. In fact, we are among one of the top fundraising teams in the Atlanta metro area .

The March of Dimes March for Babies is approaching, and as we’ve done for the past five years or so, we’re asking for your generous help.

This year, my personal goal is to raise $1,500.00 dollars, and with your support, I know that I’ll get it.

I want to keep this short, but if you have $5, $10, $25 or even $100 dollars, please take a moment to make a donation.


The March of Dimes is a great nonprofit working diligently to insure that all babies get the chance to live healthy lives, and I thank you in advance for your generosity.

Please donate now.

With kind regards,

Amani Channel

February 15th, 2012

I have the honor and pleasure to teach a fine group of students at the University of West Georgia the ins and outs of video production.

Aside from video production, I have a passion for education and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge.

Stay tuned.

October 18th, 2011

Just because you know a reporter doesn’t mean that your story will be covered.

Back in my local news days, people would ask me all the time if I could do a story about x, y or z.

Remember that reporters are always looking for their next story, but they don’t decide what they will cover.

It will help if your story is new, unusual, or affects the general population in a community.

Since my background is TV news, my suggestion is always try to develop some compelling visuals with your story. Why do you think that fires, accidents and crime scenes get so much play? Because there are usually going to be visuals with emotional witnesses or victims.

Sometimes it will take time and work developing a relationship with a reporter. Other times it will just be plain old luck, and of course when the media calls you have to be available.

In this Media Jedi installment, I share some secrets to help you understand how to get your story in the news.

October 4th, 2011

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.

September 28th, 2011

I often meet college students who are interested in working in news, more specifically, on air, but are ill equipped to really get a job.

The main reason is that they haven’t put in the work needed to become on camera talent.

As I explained in the previous post, you have to show that you are willing to go the extra mile for starters, but there is more to it than that.

If you want to be on air, you will need a demo or resume tape. This is what news directors need to see to determine if they want to hire you or not.

Whenever there is a job opening for talent, a station will receive hundreds of tapes, so yours better stand out.

Watch this video to learn how you can get one produced. If you want an example, watch mine.

September 26th, 2011

People often ask me, “How did you get into the TV or video production business? Did you go to school for it?”

Yes I did. But that’s only part of the formula. My father repeatedly told me that I had to be better than the best at whatever I did.

I volunteered while in college, and worked on-air and behind the scenes as a producer. One opportunity led to another, and in 1998, I was offered a job in Tampa at WTVT, Fox 13 News.

I probably got the job in part because the news director in Tampa, knew the news director at the Washington D.C. station where I was working at the time. “They” say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, but it doesn’t end there.

The news business is demanding. You often have to move around. The hours can be down right brutal sometimes and unfair. If you want to work in TV news, get over it.

It’s called paying your dues, and the price can be high.

Watch video on YouTube

September 22nd, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, in fact, I have had mixed thoughts about maintaining My Urban Report, or continuing to post here.

This blog evolved from my work at Black Family Channel, and the network’s goal of launching a citizen journalism show.

As I researched and learned about SM, blogs were often stated to be the back bone of citizen journalism, and to have a more complete understanding of the blogosphere, I decided to start this site. The show that I was working on was called UR TV or Urban Report TV, so you can see where My Urban Report came from.

Yes. I am The Urban Reporter, and that will probably never change. When I started blogging there were few professional journalists in the space, and mainstream media wasn’t at all on the bandwagon. Now, everyone is at the party, and there a plenty of niche sites that cater to urban news and info. TheRoot, and TheGriot for starters. Plus there are plenty of blogs that focus on family life, urban news, and info as well like, HealthyBlackMen, and BlackAndMarriedWithKids.

Yes. I enjoy sharing my perspective, and this vlog has been a great creative outlet. It’s help me brand myself, and my area of expertise. I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel and speak around the country, I’ve gotten great business leads, and landed a couple of jobs thanks my social media presence.

That being said, I’ve refocused my creative efforts of late. In February, I joined forces with Chip Dizard to create a new site that is strictly focused on sharing web video and production tips. It’s called Web Video Chefs. Since our goal is to develop and sell video training products, I’ve found myself spending more time cooking up video production recipes.

Then, the other night, I had this idea. I’ve always wanted to spit the real about my news, and media experiences. You see, there is a darker side, and uncut, raw side that I’ve always wanted to share. I’ve decided that I’m not going to hold back anymore. I want to be share the highs and lows of the media business. If you want to know how we make the sausage, I’m going to give it to you. If you want to ask me a question, please do so, and I won’t hold back. I want to introduce you to the media jedi, and this is just the beginning.

July 1st, 2011

by Amani Channel

Yes. I have been neglecting my blog. My attention has been focused on developing a video production tutorial site called WebVideoChefs.

That being said, I attended Social Media Day in Atlanta last night, which was a nation wide day to celebrate social media, that was organized by Mashable.

I enjoyed fellowshipping with Atlanta’s social media O.G.s, and also met some new faces which included the one and only Zennie Abraham who was visiting from the SF Bay Area.

I’m trying to find other video coverage, but it looks like we were the only two holding it down.

Here’s my version:

Here’s a quick snippet with Grayson Daughters and me talking about media issues.

If you have 30 minutes to spare, watch Zennie’s epic wrap up of the evening’s events.

Good times.

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