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Journalism trends for 2019 revealed during #ONA18 conference

My week was filled with networking and barbeque during the Online News Association’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. Thousands of digital journalists from around the world gathered to find out about new tools, techniques, and technologies of our ever-changing industry.

Out of all of the discussions, from reporting during the Midterm Elections to female journalists facing harassment on the Internet and in the newsroom, the most dynamic was the “Tech Trends for Journalists” session on the last morning of the conference.

The address, led by professor of the NYC Stern School of Business and founder of the Future Today Institute foresight and strategy firm, Amy Webb, led the over 2,000 register conference-goers through a journey of how some of their favorite reporting tools, like wearable tech and smartphones (that’s right smartphones), will be replaced by over 108 new trends that will start as early as 2019. Webb, who is also known as a quantitative futurist, introduced a few examples from her “2019 Trend Report for Journalists, Media & Technology” report that will help newsrooms fight against misinformation and offer alternatives for funding quality news in the near future.

Some of the trends mentioned:

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  • Natural Language Generation: Machines translating content into different languages and generate content for different mediums and in different voices or styles.

  • Immutable Records: Information records using blockchain technology that can NEVER be deleted or modified. A company to watch is Tron

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  • Token & Tekenominics: This new blockchain business model will revolutionize how media companies approach monetization and distribution. Civil is one of the companies to watch as their recent platform is the home of the podcast Zig Zag with hosts Manoush Zomorodi and Jen Poyant.

  • Faceprints: Advance computing systems that can use unique features of our face– bone structure, skin color, even capillaries– to identify us. AlterEgo, developed by the MIT Media Lab, is a closed-loop, non-invasive wearable system that allows people to converse without opening their mouth– simply by vocalizing internally.


Whew, my mind is blown just writing this so I know your brain is shook reading this! If you think you can handle more information (and I suggest you to read slowly) click HERE to read the full report.

DigiAlli EMPJ Uncategorized

Dri-Fit keeping you dry? The LilyPad Temperature Sensor can answer that

In 2014, the last Father’s Day gift I gave my Dad was a lavender polo shirt made with  Dri-Fit technology and some khaki cargo shorts for him to wear on the golf course. He loved that shirt so much that he decided to wear it while working and taking my Mom on “hot” dates. He said he loved wearing the shirt so much because it kept him cool and prevented him from sweating so much.

Now, as I reminisce those special times I spent with him, I wonder did the shirt actually keep him dry or was that because the advertising said it would? Dri-Fit fabric is a type of material that is made of a polyester and microfiber fabric. This fabric helps evaporate sweat away from the fabric surface and from your body. As developers have tons of research to support their theory, I want to put it to my own test.

Using the LilyPad Temperature Sensor found on, it will determine if the body of a person wearing Dri-Fit clothing increases or stays the same during use.

LilyPadThe sensor detects temperature changes near its surroundings.  Sewing the LilyPad on the Dri-Fit garment of a test subject,  the sensor will accumulate the data and transfer to the Arduino circuit board and translate the data to code.

Formatting the code would go to the Adafruit Feather nRF52 Bluefruit app. Developed by the woman-owned Adafruit Engineering plant, The Feather is an all-in-one Bluetooth Low Energy board with a native-Bluetooth chip called the nRF53832. app imageThe Bluefruit acts as a data pipe that can transmit information to your iOS or Android device. The “Check Arduino Temp,” IFTTT applet connects with my Google Docs spreadsheet where the determination of the material does or does not do what is advertised.

DigiAlli EMPJ Uncategorized

An idea for 3D Modeling: My Desk

This week, my intern boss and journalism sensei, Jacque Reid, allowed me to work from my NYC apartment that I am renting for the summer. Not only was it for convenience, but for the annoying sinus infection I have been blessed with.

As my weekly blog assignment was to think of a how 3D modeling can help with my work, I came to the revelation that the model should be where I work. But first, let’s go back.

My maturing friend, Wikipedia, told me that 3D Modeling (which is short for three-dimensional modeling) is the process of developing a mathematical representation of any surface of an object (either inanimate or living) in three-dimensions via specialized software to form a 3D Model.

Of course, I want to be creative and impress my professor (shoutout to Dan Pacheco) but then I thought the model should be of where I am the most creative. And until my lease is up at the end of this month, it will be at my desk.

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With a quick tour of this writing laboratory, it’s simply a table and a chair, which actually flattens my bottom if I sit there for more than an hour. Artifacts of my journies are revealed with the tote bag I received while at the National Convention of Black Journalist Convention and Career Fair in Detroit. Notebooks and papers surround the laptop or “centerpiece,” which store all of my work professionally, personally, and educationally. Living in New York I’ve found out that storage is a luxury, so I have my carry on suitcase which doubles as a file cabinet in between my travels. But to end with a sentimental finale. A picture of my heavenly cheerlead, Dad, to motivate me to keep going for my goals and my dreams. desk 2

RELATED: A loss of a father, a gain of a passion

So that concludes our tour! Make sure you stop by the Gift Shop or the comment section, since this is a blog and not an actual attraction, to give us pointers on your visit. Happy Creating Y’all!



“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!

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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 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.”


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:


  • 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, with a chance of purchasing more networks in the horizon without any precipitation.

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  • 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.