My Video Conference with Anita McBride on C-SPAN

May 8th, 2011

If Anita McBride could go back in time, and meet any first lady, she said that she would pick, “Dolly Madison –because when the president’s opponents would come to see him, she used her personality and hostess abilities to drive debate; they would leave feeling like friends,” said McBride.

McBride participated in a C-Span video conference on Thursday, April 14, 2011. C-Span was able to include college students from George Mason University, University of Denver and Purdue University in on the occasion as well. McBride answered questions from all three schools and some from Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks.

She informed us of the role and responsibilities of the first lady.

She emplesizied that the position of First Lady is “probably the most important and most demanding unpaid job in the world.” McBride was the White House Chief of Staff for the first lady from 2005-09 for Laura Bush. She also worked through the Reagan, and both Bush administrations.

The job of the First Lady is to pick a focus and an issue that she cares very deeply about. Laura Bush is passionate about reading, so it made sense for Laura to support Education Initiatives, McBride mentioned.

Currently, McBride is an avid member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and is a chair on the William J. Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She is also a consultant for the executive service firm Global Political Strategies.

As of 2010, McBride became appointed as the executive in residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies (CCPS) at American University’s School of Public Affairs.

Lecture by B.J. Koubaroulis from The Washington Post

Mason Alum! It’s not just basketball; B.J. Koubaroulis is continuing to make the Patriots look good!

“A Washington Post sports writer/producer and CEO of Synthesis Multimedia Productions/Koubaroulis LLC,” Koubaroulis’ twitter biography defines him.

He gradated GMU in 2004, “Like everyone, you expect to be covering the Yankees, and then you realize you’re covering High school JV girl’s lacrosse; kind of heart breaking. You start from the bottom but that’s how you learn,” said Koubaroulis.

Regarding his company, Synthesis Multimedia Productions, Koubaroulis said, “We go to a game and produce a package from the game. A lot of people can produce video, but what makes us unique is the fact our game packages are ready in two hours.”

Ask the Caps! BY THE WAY, The Washington Post’snew hot niche is a media ploy where readers can submit questions to players of the Capitol’s. Guess who hosts the three minute video? Koubaroulis does! Check it out, Matt Bradley, answers!

He urged his fellow Patriots to learn these different aspects of multimedia journalism. “Anybody can do what we’ve done. You just need to buy to equipment. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Get something cheap off of Craigslist,” Koubaroulis said.

Lecture by Mark Potts from

He’s here! Mark Potts is right here in front of me. About ten feet away, honestly.

Here is his site. He follows almost thirty fabulous blogs as well, see it under his Essential Readings tab.

Potts said, “I think a lot of journalists—and traditional media executives—are caught up in old ways of thinking about the industry that are being wiped clean by the digital revolution. Without radical new approaches, the old journalistic institutions are suffering through horrible death spirals.”

Regarding hyper local media. Potts said “ did an amazing job trying to get all the little blogs together. We’re going to link to you and drive traffic to your site. TBD was an incredible model. You’ll see other model’s like that spring up across the country.”

“Darwinian and dog eat dog,” said Potts. Networks of blogs in neighborhoods are becoming very important. People are proud of their community and if they don’t do a good job, the community will reject them.

Passion is what journalism comes down to in hyper local media. People who blog for their communities don’t do it for money! You want people to care about the communities. “Reporters will not care about the pot holes in the road, if it is not the town they live in,” Potts said.

The WikiLeaks founder! That got my attention. “WikiLeaks of course is journalism. You may not like his politics. But just like the editor of The New York Times, the founder is gathering information. Journalism is about disseminating information. To not afford him the same protection other journalists get is damaging to journalists,” Potts said.

He did not take too kindly to the “importance” of Twitter. Potts said, “I heard someone say that Twitter is the new CNN. Really? Too much stuff, it’s not filtered at all. But I think RSS is important.”

HERE IT IS: The quote I longed for and got my heart racing! Would you like to know? Here baby birds, I’ll feed you: “You know what the most important tool for journalists in the last five years? The iPhone!”  Thank you Potts, I now feel validated spending $80 a month on this thing 🙂

Skype session with Kevin Anderson

Courtesy of his Twitter; Kevin Anderson: Digital strategist and freelance journalist with more than a decade experience with the Guardian and the BBC. Helping create the future of journalism. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER!

On Thursday, March 24, 2011, Anderson skyped in to chat! Being half way accross the world didn’t stop him from making his 3:30 p.m. EST Skype sesh.

Valuable advice given to aspiring job-searching journalists: Go to or Tumblr, set up a blog, start writing and taking pictures. The costs of doing that is almost nothing. Use your moble phone and take pictures of videos. Think of the best ways to tell stories with graphics and data. You need to show you didn’t need that first job to make the initiative.

Anderson said, “With BBC, I did interviews with military bloggers. One of the most powerful radio programs is I got three soldiers together talking about their experiences. With a joint interview, you can usually get more out of them; you can have them talking to eachother. They all conversed and shared their stories. I still get shivers when I think of that radio program.”

Storify has been a hot topic in the Online Journalism classroom the entire semester.  He did raise caution with one aspect of the site. “Its grat to collect material, but make sure you use the text tool to add content to what youre making,” said Anderson.

Professor Steve Klein responded with, “So in otherwise, bridge the material with good old fashioned writing.”

“Absolutely,” said Anderson.

Twitter. On the topic of media giant Twitter, Anderson said talked about maps and locations. In all seriousness, he said that he includes his location in his tweets so he can map them later. Although, don’t do that in Syria because you don’t want to encourage an air strike.

Relating to online journalism and storytelling. Anderson wrapped up the Skype sesh with, “You couldn’t tell the horror without the Japanese tsunami without the videos. And that is a small example of it. You can’t tell the story of the revolution in Egypt without the voices or the people submitting their videos online.”

Briggs Chapter 10

Managing News as a Conversation

“The speed of communications is wonderful to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.”Edward R. Murrow

It began as comments on news stories and blog posts, this has mushroomed into full social networking tools on news sites.

“News as a conversation has transformed journalism in many ways, but perhaps the most significant way that is has transformed journalism is in how journalists and their communities can cover a beat better,” says Patrick Thornton, editor of

Tips for Journalists using Social Media:

  • Use sites like Twitter and Facebook becuase familiarity is important.
  • Be mindful that you represent more than just yourself.
  • Presume your tweets, status updates or other content will go further and reach more people than you intend for them to go.
  • Ask your boss to follow your twitter. It’s a good accountability measure.

Making news perticipatory was important for mainstream organizations. They did this by using Message boards, (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star); Most commented, emailed, viewed links and information; using their own social networks on their sites, TimesPeople (The New York Times),, (Star Tribune, Minneapolis).

Last but not least, keep your conversations accurate and ethical!

    RSS Online Journalism
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