Tag Archives: 2015

Learning to be a better journalist

I can cross another goal off the list!

Attend a workshop to better myself in my career.

ABA2015 CrewSaturday, I went to the 2015 Alabama Broadcasters Association Conference over in Hoover. It was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to hear Al Tompkins from the Poynter Institute speak about all things journalism. There were four sessions that day with topics ranging from social media to mobile journalism.

We had a good showing from the station. Photographer Marlon and I stayed the whole day, while others filtered in and out. I took copious notes. Some of the information, especially on social media, I’ve heard before. It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s perspective on how quickly that medium is evolving.

Al TompkinsAl Tompkins was great! He had a lot of really great information about open records in Alabama, where to find original source information and tons of awesome apps that can help me tell a story. I’m hoping that in the next few weeks I can start to utilize these great tools.

This was the first conference I’ve been to where I walked away with a mission. I need to work hard on delivering content on all platforms; broadcast, web, mobile, social. It can be overwhelming, for sure. Reporters are already asked to do a lot. I shoot all my own stories, write and edit them and post them to the web most days. When you add in tweeting, Facebook posts, Instagram videos, Snapchats, interactive web stuff, I wonder when I’ll have time to sleep!

ABA2015 NotesThe most important lesson I learned from #ABA2015 was to be flexible. From new platforms to new technology, my job changes almost daily. All I have to do to keep up is have an open mind and willingness to learn!

What things have you learned to keep growing in your job? Have you ever attended a work conference? I want to hear about it!

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That’s Mr. Cattle Baron, to you…

Good news, everyone!

Josh Gorbutt and I have been asked to co-chair the upcoming Cattle Baron’s Ball! Cattle Baron’s benefits the American Cancer Society. It is their biggest fundraiser of the year. Unfortunately, they aren’t holding one in 2014. Instead, they are regrouping and planning on relaunching in 2015.

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Sorry for the MS Paint photo job. A rough approximation of our co-chair job.

It’s going to be a year of planning, meetings and hard work. I know that we can pull it off and make the 2015 CB Ball one of the best in Brazos Valley history. The last, great CB Ball was in 2008. They raised a ton of money for ACS.

I’m excited and really anxious. Josh and I work really well as a team. We’ve done it for nearly 5 years, in one form or another, at KBTX. He and I understand that there will be differences. We don’t have the same set of strengths. Hopefully, with the help of a great committee, we can make the most of our skills.

Our best friend Lauren is on the committee, too. We’re working with some great local business and community leaders. In the few weeks, since we were approached and asked, I’ve learned so much about ACS. The amount of support for cancer survivors is tremendous. I told Josh that my biggest challenge will be making ACS seem approachable to those who might want to sponsor CB Ball or donate. I want them to know specifically what each dollar goes towards. Accountability is key in ensuring trust with those who wish to help.

Josh and I looking a bit more professional with Dan Rather.
Josh and I looking a bit more professional with Dan Rather.

The bottom line is, cancer affects everyone. No one is removed. You will, at some point in your life, deal with cancer. The American Cancer Society is working 24 hours a day to end that battle. You want to know the really great thing? They say that they’re close. Research is going gangbusters. Progress is made every day. I’m glad I can be part of an organization that could, one day, eradicate cancer.

There’ll be plenty more about the 2015 Cattle Baron’s Ball in the future. I just wanted to share the news!