Google hosts journalists for informative session


 Nicholas Whitaker explains Google tools.Nicholas Whitaker explains Google tools.

By Carmen Glover

Google’s head office in New York was a veritable hub of activity yesterday as various groups and guests came to meet with specific staff members. But the group of journalists who participated in the Google 101 for journalists session listened in rapt attention to the presentation, breaking the flow only for periodic questions.

The session was conducted by Daniel Sieberg, senior manager for media outreach and Nicholas Whitaker, media outreach lead, both former journalists at CNN and CBS respectively. The workshop was informative and the team showed the various tools that Google has developed for journalists to utilize in news gathering.

Ellen West, vice president of global communications and public affairs gave a brief introduction, informing the journalists that “There are over 3,000 employees in the New York office.” Becca Ginsberg, from the global communications and public affairs division, was the contact person for the event.                                                      

Daniel Sieberg gives insight into Google search methods.

Daniel Sieberg gives insight into Google search methods.

Sieberg began the session by explaining that “a perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you need.” He then covered Google tool such as knowledge graphs, the search tool button, modifiers, file types, images, Google Trends and Google Translate. Sieberg walked the journalists through the different ways in which those tools can enhance the researching and journalistic experience.

Whitaker provided information about Google Maps, Google Earth, Google + for Media, Hangout and YouTube. Whitaker also emphasized the importance of giving credit when the site and its images are used. He also showed the group how to obtain permission from Google and You Tube to use their information and images.

The session was very useful and timely, especially since a lot of journalistic work is migrating online, requiring journalists to navigate as many tools as possible in order to prepare concise and thoroughly researched articles with interactive components.-


“Man cannot live by sports alone,” irate speaker tells ESPN group

ESPN staff address the audience.

ESPN Host Stephen A. Smith and ESPN VP/GM David Roberts (ESPN 98.7FM & Deportes 1050 AM) address the audience at Harlem town hall. meeting. -CG.

By Carmen Glover

A modest ESPN contingent was on hand as ESPN host Stephen A. Smith and David Roberts, vice president and general manager of ESPN 98.7 FM and ESPN Deportes 1050 AM, met with journalists, community leaders and residents at a town hall meeting at MIST, a restaurant in Harlem on July 24. The town hall meeting was organized by Eric Tait and Robert Anthony, co-chairs of NYABJ’s Media Watch committee. The town hall event was convened in response to concerns expressed by the black community about the sale of KISS FM a year ago to ESPN, effectively depriving former KISS listeners of public affairs programming that was a mainstay on the station for decades.

Attendees participate in the town hall meeting.

Attendees participate in the town hall meeting.-CG.

“The changes that were made at 98.7 FM do not diminish the importance of the community. We are here to serve the community whether the FCC is involved or not,” Roberts stated,  before another ESPN voice, Bill Daughtry,  revealed that ESPN runs a one hour public affairs show “at 5:00 AM on Sundays,” prompting participants to ask in unison: “Who is listening to the radio at that time on a Sunday morning?” Daughtry mentioned his colleague, Larry Hardesty, who did not attend the forum and he lauded Roberts, saying “In my over forty years in this business, David Roberts is the first African American boss I have had.” Both Smith and Daughtry touted the fact that they are native New Yorkers, committed to giving the local residents a voice.  Roberts emphasized range. “We have made sure that there is a diversity of voices that are black such as Willie Randolph and Ray Lucas. Everyone knows of Walt Frazier as an iconic NBA sports figure but no one thought of making him an analyst until I put him on the air,” he said. Roberts also stated that while the focus of the station is sports, “every program on our air is representative of race and balance.”


ESPN's Bill Daughtry shares his ideas.

ESPN’s Bill Daughtry shares his ideas while Stephen A. Smith listens intently.-CG.

But community residents were not satisfied. “Man cannot live on sports alone,” repeated a forum participant who was unhappy with the change in format at 98.7 FM.  Smith was having none of it. “ESPN is a sports network. I grew up listening to KISS FM and when the merger happened my voice was the first one heard on the station,” he said. “But I’m confused because I never heard anyone clamoring to KISS FM for a sports network. I don’t know what would happen to me or my job if I just ignored A-Rod and started talking about housing and public affairs.” Similarly, Deon Livingston of WBLS did not mince words. “Black radio serves the community but it does not make money and you have to make money to stay on the air,” he said. However, legendary media professional and activist Bob Law was unmoved “The difficulty of selling black talk is a result of collusion between the advertising industry and radio stations,” he said, “Our concern is that we, black talk, are being forced from the marketplace of ideas.”  Both sides identified ongoing dialogue and ESPN’s continued involvement in community events such as Harlem Week as measures that will help reduce the ideological chasm that was on full display at the event.

Strong turnout for NYABJ’s pre-convention mixer

By Carmen Glover

July 24, 2013, New York The mood was festive as a strong contingent of journalists, public relations and communication professionals gathered at Pranna, a restaurant on Madison Avenue, in Manhattan last night. The mixer was organized to celebrate the accomplishments that the local chapter has made this year. NYABJ President Michael Feeney expressed satisfaction that the chapter will compete against the Atlanta and Dallas chapters for the title of chapter of the year, at the convention. “How many of you will be attending the convention next week in Orlando?’ Feeney asked as several hands went up. Feeney encouraged the attendees to network and remain involved with the organization to ensure its ongoing strength. Joseph M. Gray, the chapter’s parliamentarian, described the positions that will be available in the fall and urged attendees to consider running for office.

NYABJ President Michael Feeney interacts with attendees at the pre-convention mixer at Pranna Restaurant in Manhattan last night. CG.

NYABJ President Michael Feeney interacts with attendees at the pre-convention mixer at Pranna Restaurant in Manhattan last night. CG.

“It’s good to get out and mingle,” a few of the guests stated as old friends re-connected and new bonds were established. Among those in attendance were Matthew Scott, editor of Corporate Secretary magazine and former managing editor and Moneywise editor at Black Enterprise magazine, June Smith Bryant, strategist and former writer for Black Enterprise magazine, Kim Haas, public relations professional and Eric Tait, founder and co-chair of NYABJ’s Media Watch Committee. Tait will be hosting a town hall meeting with ESPN at MIST, located at 46 West 116th Street in Harlem. The event will take place tonight from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The town hall was organized to address community concerns stemming from WRKS Kiss FM merging into ESPN New York a year ago. ESPN New York, 98.7FM covers sports. However, the station’s FCC license requires public affairs content. For those who missed the mixer, it’s not too late to attend the town hall meeting later this evening to get some answers.

When will meaningful change materialize?

7/21/2013, New York. It was inspiring to see the nation, and blacks in particular, express collective pain and take action due to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the unnecessary shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Shortly after the verdict was announced on 7/13/2013, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous circulated a petition for an investigation by the Department of Justice. The result was the NAACP’s website crashing due to more than 350,000 people immediately responding. As the week wore on, people protested across the nation, angry and hurt about the underlying message of the verdict: that a black male life in this country lacks value.  But prominent black men are speaking out.

On the eve of nationwide “Justice for Trayvon” vigils, organized by the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), President Obama added his views to the mix. Surprising the White House briefing room on the afternoon of 7/19/2013, President Obama spoke about Stand Your Ground laws and emphasized the fact that the lives of black men and boys do matter. “Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago,” President Obama said, before disclosing how he, too, has experienced the indignity of being followed in stores and hearing car doors click as he walked by .  The message was clear: the potential of black boys to grow up and lead the nation or make significant differences in every aspect of society must be cherished and guarded unapologetically.

Singer Stevie Wonder has vowed to boycott Florida in protest, but what about the 20 other states with existing Stand Your Ground laws?  Attorney General Eric Holder said that “an investigation“ is underway but will it uncover any new information to support civil rights charges against Zimmerman? Former NAACP President and Congressman Kweisi Mfume shared his concern about the safety of his six sons while being interviewed on MSNBC, echoing an emotion that black men feel daily. So it was heartening so see Judge Greg Mathis, Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce, stand with the public at the New York vigil held at One Police Plaza on 7/20/2013. Walking next to Travyon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, her older son, Jahvaris and the Reverend Al Sharpton, they depicted a powerful showed support.

Across the country, multicultural groups came out and peacefully shared their thoughts. Tracy Martin, Travyon’s father, said his son was “a loved child” as he spoke at a vigil in Miami, vowing to fight for “all children.” Martin Luther King, III addressed the gathering In Atlanta, while the Reverend Jessie Jackson spoke in Chicago. Black men from all walks of life, and the women who love them, echoed the pain that resurfaces each time another life is taken.  Yes, President Obama expressed ideas for empowering black men and investing in black youth.  Other elected officials have spoken out and the public has reacted. Will this new burst of activism translate into meaningful results?  How much more pain and lost lives must people endure? When will the change that Sam Cooke sang about decades ago occur? When will black men and boys feel safe in this country?