AFTRA”s Seventh Annual Broadcast Mentoring Program

23 02 2012

AFTRA”s Seventh Annual Broadcast Mentoring Program

Please call me at 212-863-4294 or e-mail me at


The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), a national

labor union representing over 70,000 performers, journalists, and other artists working in the entertainment news media, would like to extend an invitation to your students to take part in a free mentoring program for future broadcasters.


AFTRA represents people in different types of positions, including that of

broadcasting on many of the television and radio stations you listen to in the New York metropolitan area. It has been from colleges and universities like yours that our members have learned the skills and acquired the knowledge which helped them navigate through the broadcasting industry. To show our appreciation of these academic programs, we would like to offer the opportunity for your broadcast/journalism/communications students to learn from professionals in the fields which they plan to enter. Seminars will be held on March 24 & April 21, 2012 on Saturday afternoons at AFTRA.


Our Mentoring Program will include two seminars with members of AFTRA in

various aspects of broadcasting including news reporting, sports, weather, and radio disc jockeys. Topics will include discussions about the union, the industry, issues and changes in the industry, a discussion of resume do’s and don’ts, how to find a job in broadcasting and mentor critiquing of student’s already prepared resumes and demo reels (DVD & flash drive).


We are looking to you and your faculty to encourage your students who are

interested in being a performer in broadcasting to take part in the program. We are hoping that this year’s program can establish a relationship with your university so that we can host more mentoring programs in the years to come.


Thank you for your assistance. Please call me at 212-863-4294 or e-mail me at if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting with your students.




Helen Martinez

Broadcast Assistant – New York Local Broadcasting Department


Newark remembers Whitney Houston…

13 02 2012

Whitney Houston performing at Essex County College 2/23/1983

Blogging 101

7 02 2012

Some call it a communications revolution, others the death of journalism. Love it or hate it, however, blogging is here to stay. Blogs — in the right hands — are important media tools which can provide educators with an organized means of communicating with their students and tracking their development over the duration of a given course. Blogs are even giving traditional educational content management systems a run for their money [see the recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education at]

So, just what is a blog? Well, the term itself is actually a contraction of the more archaic term web log, which defines as: “A website that displays in chronological order the postings by one or more individuals and usually has links to comments on specific postings.”

Entries or posts, are usually displayed in reverse-chronological order, that is the more recent entries first. Blogs are usually identified with a particular theme or author. Many blogs, while beginning primarily as text-based sites, now incorporate video, photographs, and audio, as embedding rich media into blogs has become easier. As Web 2.0 has evolved into the Social Web, microblogging sites like Twitter have also exploded. So, if the whole world’s blogging, why not you?

Below is a step-by-step guide to setting up a blog. Below the guide are some links to blogs maintained by academics who focus on using social media tools in the classroom.

Some Common Blog Providers: | | | | ||

STEP 1 Come up with an idea for the blog. This is actually the most difficult part, believe it or not. You need to find a topic which you can maintain over time and keep lively and fresh — both for you and your audience.

STEP 2 Sign up for the blog. You will need to have access to your email when you do this, as you will most likely be sent a confirmation email. By signing up for a blog, you may also comment on many other blogs on that provider.

STEP 3 You are then ready to set up your blog. Customize it as you wish by selecting a template and setting up pages. I use because it allows you to create static pages in addition to posts. Pages are great places to store vital information that is not likely to change much, like the syllabus and course outline. Others find that is an easier learning curve if you are new to blogging.

STEP 4 You are ready for your first post! Usually it’s a welcome post, explaining what the blog is about and your plans for the future.

STEP 5 You can stick with text-only posts, but what really makes blogging amazing is the ability to add rich media, such as audio, photos, and video. To host your sound and video on WordPress, you generally have to pay, OR you can host the media on another site, such as,,, and, among others. You can also embed photos from your Flickr account. For more info on doing this in WordPress, go to:

Finally, once you have your blog up and running, you can focus on promotion via various social media outlets.

More Resources:

ProfHacker is a blog maintained by Jason B. Jones, an associate professor of English at Central Connecticut State University. ProfHacker delivers tips, tutorials, and commentary on pedagogy, productivity, and technology in higher education and may be found at

Here’s a sample rubric for evaluating blog entries: