Business Wire New York Hosts Howard University Journalism Students

December 2, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

Howard University Association of Black Journalist (HUABJ) hosted their third annual Multimedia Tour November 11-12, 2010 in New York City. The journalism students visited several news organizations for a chance to tour their offices and speak with professional journalists.

The students were divided into two groups. The broadcast group visited media outlets including ABC, WBLS, WABC-TV, and Radio One Interactive. The print group visited NYU Graduate School of Journalism, HarperCollins Publishers, The New York Times, Amsterdam News, The Wall Street Journal and Business Wire. Both groups visited CBS Interactive and CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

HUABJ Print Group

Overall, the students learned so much from the professionals on their visit. “Seeing the tour turn out so well was such a rewarding feeling,” said Mary Godie, President of HUABJ. “It was evident that the students got more out of it than they expected. We changed a few elements up this year so that students were able to get a well rounded view of the industry. And, I know they got that and so much more.”

Business Wire was very excited to be a part of the tour this year. Led by Mike Maguire, Northeast Editorial Supervisor at Business Wire, the students were given a step-by-step overview of Business Wire’s news distribution process. Following the presentation, the group witnessed the day-to-day operations of the editorial newsroom and saw how press releases are formatted and transmitted over the wire.

HUABJ Broadcast Group

“Business Wire has always had an interest in educational efforts that are happening at universities across the country,” said Maguire. “One of the ways Business Wire gets to show off what we do and act as teachers has been hosting students and faculty members at various colleges and universities. The students of Howard provided an audience that was keen to take in the opportunity we presented.”

HUABJ is a student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ). HUABJ was chartered in 1998 with a mission to cultivate, teach and prepare students for careers in journalism.


NABJ at 35: The Power of Change

August 10, 2010

by Nikelle Feimster, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/New York

I recently attended the 35th annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair held July 28 to August 1 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, CA. The sold out event was a huge success, drawing more than 1,600 media professionals from across the country. The convention was packed with a plethora of workshop and training sessions, forums, plenary ceremonies, and networking opportunities.

Dr. Mehmet Oz at the opening ceremony of the NABJ Convention

In keeping with this year’s theme, “The Power of Change,” a new initiative was introduced: Healthy NABJ. The opening ceremony featured television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz and veteran broadcaster Rene Syler. According to Dr. Oz, in order for journalists to do their jobs effectively they have to take care of their health. In addition, journalists can spark change in the black community by spreading awareness of health issues that affect African-Americans including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

The most talked about panel discussion was “Context and Consequences: Conversation with Shirley Sherrod.” Sherrod was animated as she talked about how she was forced to resign from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because a conservative blogger posted video excerpts from a speech she gave at an NAACP meeting. Sherrod claimed her words were taken out of context and she was accused of being a racist.

During the conference, workshop and training sessions were held to provide journalists with the skills they need to stay current in the industry. Some of the sessions were:

  • Advanced Multimedia Training
  • Power Writing for the Web
  • Google for Journalists
  • Internet Etiquette: Being “Socially” Responsible

Benèt Wilson and Nikelle Feimster

I really enjoyed the workshop called “Public Relations and Journalism – The Intersecting Highway.” The room was filled with reporters and PR professionals who were eager to know how they can build better relationships with each other. During this lively discussion, one of the attendees asked if the reporters thought press releases distributed through wire services were useful.  Not only did the reporters find them useful, but one of the panelists, Benét Wilson, Online Managing Editor of Business Aviation, said that “Business Wire is great.” She praised Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager at Business Wire Chicago. Raschanda helped Benét  create a custom newsfeed with Business Wire’s PressPass tool. With PressPass, Benét receives only the news she needs at her convenience. This free media service is a valuable resource to journalists’ news gathering and it makes their jobs a lot easier.

Swayne Hall, AP photo editor, and Nikelle Feimster

Other heavy hitters in journalism who attended the convention were CNN contributor Roland Martin, Soledad O’Brien, and JET senior staff writer Clarence Waldron. Soledad was named Journalist of the Year, and Clarence received the NABJ Legacy Award.

Next year’s convention will take place in Philadelphia. To learn more about NABJ, visit www.nabj.com.


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