Thinking a lot about journalists

Plan B.  That’s what they call it.  Journalists who have been downsized, squeezed out, shown the door.  They start thinking about Plan B … that is once they get over what I call the Nancy Kerrigan stage of grief:

Plan Next

Plan B makes me think of second place, also ran, a choice you really didn’t want.  I think it’s much healthier to go through life with an open mind, planning for the next adventure, learning as much as you can and keeping a close eye on the writing on the wall.

Plan Next thinkers take control. Even if they don’t manage the whole transition, Plan Next folks manage their reactions and build on what’s gone before.  Build on their strengths.

In Arizona, people sometimes say, “I didn’t cross the border. The border crossed me.” Journalists can say, “I didn’t leave journalism. Journalism left me.”

Well, if journalism leaves you. Don’t look for Plan B. Be ready with a Plan Next.


Want to know more?  

I’m thinking about all of this as I put together a session on Personal Branding for Journalists for the Society of Professional Journalists Western Regional Conference in Phoenix in late April.  Full schedule is here.  Stop by. Make it your Plan Next.

I Google+ into Tom Bigler Journalism Conference 2012

Social Media journalist toolkit

Click on the image to learn more about adding social media to your journalism toolkit.

I’m wrapping up a presentation for Wilkes University Tom Bigler Journalism Conference 2012, which is an event for high school students interested in journalism.

This is such a fun event and I’ve never even been in person. Last year, I Skyped in and this year, we’re planning to do a Google+ hangout. I can see the students, they can see me and I can share a presentation or anything I want to show them on my desktop. Ooops. Better clean that desktop.

Click the image or word “presentation” above to see my slides.  The final is full of more places to go learn more about social media and journalism.  Here they are:

• Teaching Online Journalism  – 4-part slideshows by Mindy McAdams

I saw the future of journalism today

I talked with a team of six journalism students today about the idea of branding and I’m feeling very optimistic.

Village Voice Media, in conjunction with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, is running this team through an intensive, 10-week, paid summer fellowship for minority students concentrating on Web and digital media.

These are my new friends: @Victor314, @Ujohnny, @AudioPathos, @adelehampton, @kholoodeid, and @BryScottD.

It was fun to think about branding as I prepared. I’ve talked a lot about journalists and their image on the web and the need to be consistent across different tools, but I’ve never focused on creating a brand. What I learned:

You can tell this tale short: Figure out who you are and be it.
A little longer: People have an image of you whether you like it or not, so take control.
Or in 27 slides: See below.

Beyond the basic message about Being You Online, I packed the presentation with examples of how nine other young journalists present themselves (their BRAND) online.

The Village Voice fellows could do far worse than emulating the professional images of:

Lauren M. Rabaino – @laurenmichell
Mukhtar M. Ibrahim – @mukhtaryare
Heather Billings – @hbillings
Monica Guzman – @moniguzman
Rebekah Monson – @RebekahMonson
Robert Hernandez – @webjournalist
Matt Thompson – @mthomps
Maxine Park – @maxinepark
Benet Wilson – @benetwilson

The Village Voice team members are all doing journalism and building their online images already (see slide 8). But they had great questions and were very thoughtful about what more they can do.

If you want to follow their progress this summer, they are using this hashtag on
Twitter: #vvmfellows.

With young journalists like the six fellows and the nine professionals I held up as examples all forging new ground, I’m feeling great about our future. Let’s follow them all.

You are already part of the web journalism community

I’ve been so involved with online journalism for so long that I forget we don’t all think of ourselves as online journalists.

Online? Is there any other place? Any other way?

#wjchat bio Well, yes. There still are other editions of the news: paper, broadcast, radio, print magazines. But very few of those exist without an online partner, an online edition.

I was thrilled to see this post on 10,000 Words … once I got over the surprise and erased the thought bubble above my head that asked: “What? Get involved with online journalism? Who isn’t?”:

How you can get involved with the online journalism community today

This is a great, supportive community. And the post, written by Lauren Rabaino, has some good ways to get involved, start meeting others, and begin picking up new skills and sharing old ones.

For more about the weekly web journalism Twitter chat (#wjchat), which I’m very active in, check out #wjchat archives of previous weeks.

Don’t forget. You are already part of the web journalism community .. whether you like it or not.

The birth of #wjchat

#wjchat Kate WinsletRobert Hernandez wrote a nice post about the birth of #wjchat, a Twitter-based chat for Web journalists.

We’re three weeks in .. I’ve found being involved with this group of young, energetic Web journalists fun, invigorating and a little bit exhausting.

Robert is a cool dude. He’s Professor at USC Annenberg. Worked at,, If you read closely, you’ll see that he has a little Web journo harem going here.

He tells our story well: DIY and passion give birth to #wjchat

And as I told Robert ( @WebJournalist ), I want Kate Winslet to play me in the movie.