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“It’s a great time to Journalists but it’s a hard time to be a Journalist.” A living testimony from my friend

So I had a homework assignment which was to explain if this is an exciting time for journalism in my next blog reflection. To be honest, this subject overwhelmed me. As I was thinking and thinking, I decided to ask my good friend and freelancer, Don Champion.

Don and I go back since 2003 (and yes that is a long time) when we were both selected to work in the Student Multimedia Project during the National Association of Black Journalists’s annual convention and we’ve been friends ever since!

Image result for don champion

Unlike myself, Don has been working as a journalists since the NABJ convention and he has worked for many TV stations and was even a National Correspondent for CBS. So when I was stumped with this assignment, I knew he would be the right person to ask.

“I’d say it’s a good time to be a journalists,” said Champion. “Our country needs our work now more than ever.”

He’s right about that. I know you look at all of the cable news channels and you see a 24-hour news cycle of POTUS and his tweets, which is needed, but it makes us have to find other sources to find news about other issues that are important to the public.

Local news stations sometimes compose their shows that have stories that are only related to their market. I think that is a great idea and it gives the station the opportunity to find more “feel good” stories that are going on in their city.

Going the digital route to find news is starting to be more common. Last year, D.C.-based website Politico.com would post about events the White House would do but didn’t get publicized like sending bills to Congress or signing Presidential Proclamations that were signed without media attention.

Don would go on, “the stories are so plentiful out there. In this world of social media and Internet there are still a lot of stories that don’t get enough attention,” and he’s right. I have so many story ideas that I want to write about, but scared that I may not be taken seriously or that no one cares. He goes on to say that he enjoys digging for stories that aren’t getting covered right now and giving a voice to the voiceless.

But with every upside, there is a downside. “I will say it’s getting HARDER to be a journalists,” Don continues, “wages are going down and newsroom numbers are dwindling.” He’s right about that. Now that I am pursing my dream of being a journalists full-time, I am having to come to grips with “finding the job of my dreams” over “finding the job that will pay all of my bills.”

“So it’s a great time to be a journalists but it’s hard to be a journalists these days.”

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UPDATE: The White Man’s Club: Media Ownership

It has now been a year and a day since I wrote a blog about the almost “Whites Only” party in the media business.

READ MORE: The White Man’s Club: Media Ownership

When I brought this to your attention, your favorite TV, and radio stations were majority owned by Caucasian men. Now, a short time later, the needle is slowly moving in a direction that is closer to balancing the demographics that we have represented in America today.

It may come to a surprise, but some of your favorite cable channels, websites and magazines are now owned by people of color.

Here are a few examples that have happened this year in minority-owned media ownership:

byron-allen-weather-channel

  • The Weather Channel: In March, Entertainment Studios purchased the parent group Weather Group  from its previous owners NBCUniversial. Entertainment Studios’s owner and former comedienne, Byron Allen, acquired the cable network for $300 Million. Allen’s company also own cable networks Pet.TV and Comedy.TV, in addition to web-based African American news outlet TheGrio.com, with a chance of purchasing more networks in the horizon without any precipitation.

Urban One Logo

  • Urban One: In the beginning of May, Urban One sold its Detroit-based radio station WPZR-FM (102.7 FM) to Educational Media Foundation, of California, for $12.7 million. In addition to funds, Urban One acquired 3 FM translators that serve the Detroit metropolitan area and the translators will be combined with its existing FM translator to multicast the Detroit Praise Network.                                                             CEO, Alfred Liggins, said in a statement, “This is a good deal for Urban One, as it enables us to monetize an asset at a very attractive multiple, while at the same time allowing us to continue to serve our community of listeners who value our new Detroit Praise Network of stations.”
  • Essence Ventures: The lifestyle magazine Essence started out as a black-owned publication in 1968. After a few corporate shakeups in the past decades, Time Inc., who owned the magazine for 18 years, sold the African American targeted publication to the 100% black-owned LLC earlier this year. Essence Ventures first order of business was to appoint an all-female executive team which is being led by Michelle Ebanks, who is serving as President and also member of the board of directors.                                                                            Essence                                  “This acquisition of Essence represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multi-generational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” Ebanks said in a statement. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”

When I first wrote this blog last year, I ended by saying that “everyone deserves a seat at the table.” Today, there is a slight improvement on minority-owned media companies, and it’s going in a direction that is full steam ahead.

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The future of social media? A never-ending rainbow!

I know! Social media is awesome! I would agree myself. Now this medium that’s gone from “new” to “norm” is still growing, and eventually, it’s going to bust out of its shell.

My case in point is the Conversation Prism. The Prism is a map of the social media universe which lets us know how we use social networking sites, in addition to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and how that changes over time.

conversation prism 5.0

Developed by digital analysts, Brian Solis, the prism has gone through several enhancements since its development in 2008. The most recent image above (version 5.0) shows all of the social networking sites that is available for people to use and it correlates the sites into categories which shows the variety of the platforms in a colorful way.

Eventually, if not very soon, the prism would not be able to maintain its present state and will have to take another form. My prediction is that it will turn into a digital rainbow.

Think about it, Dictionary.com defines rainbow as an arc of prismatic colors, and unlike the fantasy of there being pot of gold at the end of it (sorry kids 😬), a rainbow is never ending. And by the way social media is going, it has possibilities of never ending too.

I’m sure Solis would agree with me. I’ll have to ask him the next time I see him.

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Punctuation Marks were the First Emojis ;)

*NOTE: My punctuation artwork were automatically changed into emojis. Stupid code 🤬

IKR 😮 my mind was blown when I realized it too! It happened at work, a nameless co-worker was filling out a survey one day and I noticed that he was giving the restaurant high marks, but was not as enthusiastic in his descriptions of the fantastic service that he was given.

Me: You should put an exclamation point at the end of your sentences.

Co-worker: Oh ok

Me: See! it makes it more exciting like an emoji. Punctuation marks are like emojis but really old. LIKE THEY WERE THE FIRST EMOJIS!!!!

And there you have it 🤯 If you really think about it, we were using punctuation marks before the smiley face days came along in the mid-2000s.

keyboard designs 4

The transition from punctuation marks to emojis are an example of technological convergence- the combination of computing communications and content around networked digital media platforms. This form of digital convergence, helped different mediums like telecommunications, cable TV, and computers together making it easier for viewers to see and read from their favorite magazines, newspaper, movies, and TV shows, by using alternative devices like tablet, smartphones, and laptops.

I am so putting this on a t-shirt 😂