I had the very good fortune of joining 400 attendees at the National Association of Black Journalists' annual hall of fame induction ceremony and reception Thursday evening at the Newseum in Washington. The star-studded event was co-hosted by Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of theGrio.com, and John Ridley, who earlier in the day became an Academy Award nominee for best adapted screenplay for the heralded motion picture "12 Years a Slave."

NABJ inducted seven legendary black journalists as charter members of its hall of fame in 1990. They remained alone until 2004, when one of them, Dorothy Butler Gilliam, also a past NABJ president, helped to revive the hall of fame with 13 new inductions – including 10 historical figures (Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frederick Douglass, Ethel Payne, etc.) without whom the hall of fame would not be legitimate. There have been inductions every year since but one.

This year, NABJ added eight distinguished journalists to its hall of fame. Herb Boyd, Maureen Bunyan, Jay Harris, Moses Newson and Bernard Shaw were each present to accept their awards and offer poignant remarks. Ernest Dunbar, Zelda Ormes and Lee Thornton, Ph.D., were also inducted posthumously. Also at the event, NABJ helped to bestow the 2014 Ida B. Wells Award to Sheila Solomon, a leading newsroom recruiter and diversity stalwart.

The theme for this year's induction and reception was "Honoring the Past – Building the Future." Well, after hearing so many great things about all that the nine honorees had done for the industry and their communities, it was another pleasure spending all day Friday and this morning with the NABJ board of directors as it focused on the association's present and future. After mistakenly managing to get myself quoted in Richard Prince's Journal-isms about an agenda item – Oops! to those who I didn't let know I was in town – I helped to update the board on the NABJ Constitutional Commission's progress in significantly refreshing the association's primary governing documents.

More on that progress to come. For now, congratulations to this year's honorees and those who put on a great show.
My wife, Mira Lowe, senior editor for features for CNN.com, keynoted the opening session of the 2013 Midwest Journalism Summit that NABJ-MU and the Diederich College of Communication co-hosted this past weekend. 

Mira surprised her audience, which mostly included dozens of journalism students from about a half dozen universities from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and elsewhere by delivering her keynote, "How to Be a #Fearless Journalist," tweet by tweet. She had created 20 tweets altogether in advance, each with the hashtag #fearless, and revealed them one at a time ā€“ along, of course, with plenty of inspiration and encouragement.

I have captured Mira's tweets in a Storify so you can become #fearless, too. You can view "How to Be a #Fearless Journalist" in a Web browser or the slideshow embedded above; click the play button on the left to let it move forward itself, or the arrow to the right of the numbers to soak in each tweet at your own pace. Enjoy.

Updated: Here's another Storify about Mira's presentation, "CNN Digital Editor Teaches Young Journalists to be #Fearless," by NABJ-MU Secretary Monique Collins. She did the Storify as a #loweclass assignment.
Click the image to check out Sree Sreenivasan's public list of effective Twitter bios. Make yours worthy of being added.
In a prior blog post about my interaction with recent college graduate Erika J. Glover I promised to reveal what makes a good #twesume, that is, the 160 characters (maximum) that make up your Twitter bio. Well, an aspiring sports broadcaster read the post and quickly emailed me to ask for immediate twesume help. Here it is.

I first heard the term twesume from social media guru Sree Sreenivasan at the Poynter Institute's Teachapalooza conference for journalism educators in June. "Fill out your Twitter bio so it reflects the best, most recent version of you," said Sreenivasan, Columbia University's new chief digital officer. He also said, "I tell my students: Make your Twitter bio blue." Translation: Use Twitter handles and hashtags that can help your bio appear in broad searches.

A quick Google search found this useful Web link: "How a 140-Character Twitter Resume Could Land Your Next Job." Again, a Twitter bio gets 20 more characters than a tweet. Also see "Get Your Twesume On," "Guidelines for Twitter Bios," "How Short Can Your CV Get? Tried a 'Twesume' Yet?" and "How to: Effective Twitter Bios."

Make your 160 characters count! Aspiring journalists: Do your best to use AP style and correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. Look how Erika went from "South Carolina born – Pennsylvania tested Reporter/Anchor for the @CentreCountyRep. PSU Alumna/Journalist/Travel Enthusiast" to "2012 @penn_state grad! Aspiring international #journalist seeking first TV reporting job. #NABJ member ready to shoot, edit & write! Purveying #Olympics facts." Which version is more likely to draw more eyes (from recruiters) her way via Twitter and Internet searches?

You can see my twesume at @herbertlowe. I hope you find this post helpful. Please do let me know.
Very pleased with how @ErikaJGlover is using her Twitter profile and activity to promote her journalism and personality.
I recently wrote about my wonderful opportunity to speak about blogging, digital portfolios and social media profiles to dozens of aspiring journalists at the NABJ Convention and Career in New Orleans. Well, one of those attendees wrote me an email a couple of hours afterward that touched me as much as it surprised me.

"The workshop you facilitated this afternoon was amazing. So amazing that it inspired me to instantly enhance my website," wrote Erika J. Glover of South Carolina, who graduated from Penn State University in May after studying broadcast journalism and international studies. "Of course, I understood the importance of utilizing social media and other software to expand my scope and influence. Yet, it was not until I heard you speak that I realized its actual significance." Erika also said "my dream, rather, my destiny is to become an international reporter." She added: "My hope is that I can maintain contact with you throughout my career" and "currently, my focus is on my job hunt." 

So what surprised me? I remembered this young woman seeming inattentive during the NABJ session. I asked why upon calling Erika without warning on Tuesday. She said she was contemplating what she had and had not learned at Penn State. No worries, I said. What matters is what happened henceforth. "I am prepared to invest in you 100 percent," I told her, if she was prepared to invest in me the same. Erika replied matter-of-factly, "I am."

The next day, July 4, we spoke for two hours! We discussed everything from what she learned at the convention to her creating a LinkedIn profile to her using the same portrait across social media platforms to tweeting smartly with hashtags and by the one-third rule: 33 percent information, 33 percent news and 33 percent personal. We also focused on her "twesume" – that is, the 160 characters (maximum) that make up her Twitter bio. (Here's more about what makes a good twesume.) We also talked about the importance of using AP style and correct grammar, spelling and punctuation in her tweets, so she demonstrates that she can write effectively.

Erika also shared that she was shadowing reporters at a television station in Columbia. She was happy to be alongside professionals daily and getting help with her resume tape. We spoke about creating a digital portfolio that could best present her aspirations, experience and potential to news directors and recruiters. I'm looking forward to our interaction and hope it becomes part of my independent study for graduate school. More importantly, I'm eager to learn that Erika has found her first reporting job. It will touch me, no doubt. It certainly will not surprise me.
Sixty aspiring journalists from across the country sat before me in a hotel ballroom yesterday on the first day of the 37th NABJ convention in New Orleans. These NABJ student members immediately impressed me and one another with their poise and enthusiasm during the roll-call introduction. Any recruiter sitting across a career-fair table would likely, at first glance, rush to help them along their career path. But what about weeks or months from now, when they are all back at school, or have just graduated, and there's only one job or internship available, and they must connect with a recruiter who has dozens or scores of applications and precious little time to sort through them all?

NABJ Student Representative Wesley Lowery and convention planners Benet Wilson and Monique Fields asked me to lead a "learning lab" we titled "Branding U: The Student Edition." It's an honor and privilege to present at NABJ so I quickly said yes. The convention program promised: "Sending a resume and cover letter through the mail is so yesterday. Job seekers need an electronic portfolio. This three-hour workshop will give participants strategies for using cutting-edge applications to develop a virtual resume. The session also will offer tips for using Twitter and Facebook to promote a brand, and on creating an action plan that will have recruiters banging on the door."

Basically, I sought to share what I strive to teach my journalism students in the Diederich College of Communication. My presentation focused on, among other things, blogging, digital portfolios, social media profiles, live tweeting and curating, melding personal and professional and networking. I stressed that they all must take advantage of the many ways to demonstrate electronically – preferably from one hyperlink! – their success at telling stories across multiple platforms. I also wanted to inspire them to share what they learned with their friends at school who couldn't attend.

Two points: 1) The Law of Magnetism (from John Maxwell) – Who You Are Is Who You Attract! and 2) from me, trying to capture the recruiter's mindset, How You Represent You Is How You Will Represent Me!

After my presentation, three newsroom recruiters shared awesome tips on how students and graduates can distinguish themselves and best get an interview and or that first or next opportunity. Speaking of digital portfolios, Irv Harrell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch told the students, emphasizing my second point above, "It's your mission statement to the recruiter. I want to know what you're going to be able to do for me." Walter Middlebrook of the Detroit News said: "You got 60 seconds to make an impression on someone. If I don't like what I see in 60 seconds, you've lost a sale." Paula Bouknight of the Boston Globe added that "your website should be where you further the conversation," that is, it should not merely offer what is already on or better suited for a LinkedIn profile.

I hope during the summer to offer new posts on this blog that focus on other aspects of my presentation. For now, I invite students (and faculty) everywhere to check out these prior posts: "Covering the Student Cover Letter" and "119 Tips for Journalism Interviews." Many thanks to all the students who said they got a lot out of my presentation.
As someone who teaches digital media to college students, I eagerly awaited Journalism Interactive: The Conference on Journalism Education & Digital Media. Told my Digital Journalism II class to expect to be set on fire from all that I might discover at the two-day event this past weekend at the University of Maryland.

I figured 60 to 100 journalism educators would join me on Friday and Saturday. Wrong! More than 400 people from more than 120 institutions attended. By all accounts, it was a worthwhile trip and job well done by the conference committee; the host, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and its corporate partner, publisher SAGE/CQ Press.

I won't even to try to capture all that I learned from the 75 or so great speakers in a single blog post. Hoping to share a few related posts soon. A couple of highlights, though, readily come to mind: "Emerging Tech Trends for Academia," by multimedia guru Amy Web, CEO of Webbmedia Group, and "The Social Media Teacher's Toolkit" by Jeff Cutler, social media trainer for the Society of Professional Journalists' Newsroom Training Program.

Another highlight: the Teach-a-Thon, featuring 14 journalism educators – shout out to Craig HerndonAndrew LihEd Madison and Stacy Spaulding – who each had a few minutes to share fantastic ideas and techniques they employ in their classrooms. You can find the Teach-a-Thon resources here. Indeed, their presentations are among the archived videos of those sessions streamed live during the conference.

It impressed me that some of my students back at Marquette University spent time following the conference via Twitter – even on a Saturday morning! "Loving these tweets from@herbertlowe at #jiconf. I feel like I'm there," @becca_french tweeted. @katie__doherty, a self-described "overachiever," ended up engaging Burt Herman, CEO and co-founder of Storify, after I had tweeted he was on a panel. (My #JOUR1100 and #JOUR1550 students each did their own Storify after live-tweeting the university's recent presidential inauguration. Here are my Storifys.)

From Katie: @herbertlowe Tell @burtherman I'm liking the new @Storify as I work on NY latest live-tweeting project. 

From Burt: @herbertlowe @katie__doherty Thanks for the kind words and please let us know your suggestions!

From Katie: @burtherman @herbertlowe You're welcome. @Storify has become a great tool for young journalists to utilize in the classroom.

Well, that's all for now. Like I said, more posts stemming from this great conference to come soon.

With Burt Herman, CEO and co-founder of Storify, after a media entrepreneurship panel at the Journalism Interactive conference.
As the faculty adviser for the Marquette University student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), I worry when its leadership and direction is left to its own energies and devices.

But when NABJ-MU announced it had secured Benet Wilson, the Aviation Queen and chairwoman of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force, to do a webinar on digital portfolios on a night this week I could not attend, I didn't worry. I knew that "Aunt Benet," as students affectionately call her, would ensure all went well – just as when she moderated a similar workshop, "Brand You: Creating Your Online Identity," at the NABJ convention in August.

Appreciated the live tweets from the webinar. Here's one from chapter president Marissa Evans: "Looking at best practices on using Weebly.com for digital portfolio already see ways I can improve mine at www.marissaevans.com #NABJDP"

From Erin Caughey of my Digital Journalism II class: "Students attending #NABJDP tonight walk away with some helpful tips from @NABJDigital and @benetwilson to update personal sites. #JOUR1550." 

And from the chapter's Twitter account, @NABJ_MarquetteU: "Special thanks & much love to our dear Aunt @BenetWilson/@NABJDigital for a GREAT webinar this evening #weloveyou #NABJDP."

Many thanks to Aunt Benet for sharing her wisdom with the only NABJ student chapter in Wisconsin. I look forward to seeing her produce the NABJ convention in New Orleans in June. She's the convention program chairwoman.

Does it get any better than a shout out on Twitter? A really good brother posted this tweet this week: "Big shout to my man @herbertlowe for schooling me on the site builder weebly.com. Herb, the site is now official: www.jessewashington.com." Man, amazing how someone typing 140 characters can really make your day!

Last month, I shared how Jesse and three other branding experts had wowed a crowded session, "Brand You: Creating Your Own Online Identity," at the NABJ convention in Philadelphia. Moments after the session, Jesse texted me, asking to meet so we could catch up. Minutes later, he and another friend of mine, Austin Fenner, chatted some more about branding and how to create a personal branding website. I showed them this site on Jesse's iPad and recounted how easy it was to build using Weebly.com. I could tell Jesse was feeling it.

The next week I shared the "Brand You" Storify I did with Jesse. Urged him in no uncertain terms to get a website ASAP after only finding online about him a short story on USA Today's site. The story is very inadequate considering Jesse's career. He assured me his site was soon to go live. Hence, the tweeted shout out this week!

Jesse's site looks very good, very distinctive. I really like his home page, especially how he is explicit about what he does and what he doesn't do. Looking forward to reading the articles he has posted as well as his blog. I'm sure that when I do, he'll be schooling me – and my students – about great storytelling about what he calls "real people."