Emma Carew Grovum

Journalist. Baker. Cook. Lover of pandas. Enthusiasm for the places where great print and web journalism collide, diversity in the media, excellent bagels, Apple products, Star Wars film trilogy, Korean barbecue and walking the fine line between coffee and tea. Also found at www.philanthropy.com & http://diversify.journalismwith.me
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Posts tagged "journalism"

I spent the weekend with a really wonderful organization called Chicas Poderosas, mentoring the hack sessions and soaking up the goodness of interactive storytelling, data journalism and Miami sun. 

This was the first time Chicas held a workshop in the U.S. — previous events having been based in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica. The events bring female journalists from Latin America together for an intense weekend of learning, empowerment and hacking/making. 

Chicas Poderosas is convened by Mariana Santos, and the common phrase throughout the weekend was, “Mariana asked me if I would help her, and here I am.” She has collected an impressive band of journalists, speakers, designers, hackers, and overall inspiring people.  

I was challenged by my extreme lack of Spanish-speaking abilities. “Lo siento,” was my go-to response. Every journalist who presented absolutely blew me away with the work they had been doing. I feel so fortunate to have been invited to join this community of amazing journalists and inspiring women. 

Some of the speakers challenged us to think differently about content and design, like Amanda Wilmer from ASOS. Others spoke of their work since the previous Chicas events, like the team from La Tercera. We nerded out over hardware and AR for journalism with Robert Hernandez, and iteration for interactive storytelling with Alistair Dant

During the hacktime/maker hours, I worked on a team that created a small site examining the U.S. state laws governing the ownership of exotic animals. I used Google Fusion Tables to quickly build two maps, but tinkered around with the in-line CSS to stylize the info windows a bit (above).

In addition to meeting journalists and technologists from all around the world, I also got to spend time getting to know journalists from my immediate circles: people I had either met previously but never spent extended time with, knew casually through Tech Lady Mafia, or who are already based in DC but had not met. I am as excited to continue those relationships post-Chicas too. 

Ultimately, what I loved about Chicas was the common theme of the weekend: that women should be part of technology in journalism and the future of innovative storytelling, and that it was worthwhile to empower women in those roles in newsrooms. I’ve come away from the weekend not only excited about what I can learn next, but feeling inspired and confident in the skills I already have. 

Huge thanks to Miranda Mulligan for inviting me in (shoutout to the TechLadyMafia for connecting us originally!), and of course to Mariana for having the vision to build Chicas into something bigger.

Today the John S. Knight International Journalism Fellows for 2014-15 were announced, and Mariana was among them. I’m really looking forward to seeing how she uses her fellowship to sustain and continue growing Chicas Poderosas. 

Between the two of them I learn at least one new thing every day.

A Peek Inside Kelsey Proud’s Digital Life | NPR Digital Services

So kind of my friend Kelsey Proud to include me (and Jake!) in her list of “three people you follow online regularly” for NPR’s My So-Called Digital Life feature. 

Also very honored to be lumped into the same category as social media greats Jen Lee Reeves and Luke Runyon

I love this concept, put forth by Matt Waite, a professor at Nebraska-Lincoln. He looks at educating students starting with the “minimally viable participant.” 

His list of key, minimally-required skills for anyone entering the field of journalism, now or in the future, is short and simple: Tell stories, understand the internet, learn, execute on ideas. 

Looking at my own J-school experience from 2005 to 2009, I’d say my institution fell short, focusing solely on the storytelling aspect. I’m constantly impressed and a bit envious of how quickly journalism education seemed to start evolving right about the time I graduated. 

To that list, I’d also add ability to collaborate. Journalism has always been a team effort: behind every bylined story there were editors, copy editors, page designers, graphics editors, etc. whose hands touched the story before hitting the final product. 

But collaboration now and in the future means looking beyond the confines of the newsroom and asking how you can work your leadership, business team, marketing team, and audience to make a better news product. 

The attitude of “I’m only a reporter” or “I just make the pictures” is rapidly falling out of vogue and will be of little use in the newsrooms of the future. 


In any software development project, you have a line in the sand called the Minimum Viable Product. It’s the point where you’ve got it working well enough and with enough features that the thing has a chance. Barely. It’s not a goal or a standard, it’s a marker of progress.

There’s been a

For the past 11 months, I’ve been working with AAJA’s national leadership team and programming chair to build out programming for our annual convention. 

I was thrilled to have been tapped by this opportunity, especially given my work curating a diverse web journalism speakers list. My goals from the outset were to increase the diversity of the speakers, including getting more young speakers on sessions and panels. 

Our speaker list is published here

Major caveat: being a group of journalists of color, we were at a somewhat natural advantage. Still, in years past, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of diversity represented at some of the conference sessions. 

How do we inspire the next generation of journalists to embrace diversity and become advocates when we’re trotting out panels that don’t reflect our mission?

We invited an AAJA member to lead every single session, which means we’re highlighting the amazing work our members do all year and makes them more seasoned speakers to be poached by other conferences.

In addition to racial diversity, our attendees will see an impressive array of gender and age. There are more than 27 sessions that are being led by women. At least 15 speakers are well under age 30 and more than a few are first-time speakers. 

We were clear that diversity was a priority when we invited our members to lead sessions: “While every speaker does not need to be Asian or a member of AAJA, we encourage you to consider racial, gender and age diversity as you seek panelists for your session.” 

I attended Spark Camp last year and really love their method of inviting half their guests, then having their chosen guests invite another guest to ensure they’re reaching an audience that goes beyond the pool of “usual suspects.” I’m also a fan of Deanna Zandt’s #one4one campaign to raise the profile of digital influencers from all backgrounds.

Next year for AAJA programming, I’m hoping to incorporate these concepts in our call for proposals. Maybe make it mandatory that for every session someone pitches, they would need to include a suggested speaker who is a student, recent graduate or emerging star — someone full of potential that our organization should be encouraging to grow as a speaker. 

Through this process, I’ve been incredibly inspired by the work being done by and conversations I’ve had with Jeanne Brooks and Lisa Williams at the Online News Association, as well as Tiffany Shackelford at the Association of Alt Weeklies. 

Our conference in New York City is just a few weeks away. I hope our AAJA members gain great value from the speakers we’ve assembled. I’m looking forward to getting the feedback and working again next year to make the programming even stronger for 2014. 

I’m part of a community called the Tech Lady Mafia, and this topic of diversifying conferences comes up often. This post has been adapted from emails I’ve sent contributing to those conversations. 


Resources, tips and ideas for AAJA convention go-ers: 

* Need help packing? Check out our crowd-sourced Pinterest boards full of ideas for what is and isn’t convention-appropriate. 

* Be sure to add the sched.org app to your phone and start planning out your sessions. 

* Planning to hit the job fair? Get your resume prepared with NABJ’s Benet Wilson with this webinar or listen to AAJA’s podcast with convention co-chair Brooke Camp and convention session leader Lars Schmidt about how to stand out in the crowd. 

* All that networking is sure to work up an appetite, so check out our AAJAEats page with tips from AAJA-ers and locals on where to eat near the convention hotel. 

* Prepare for George Kiriyama’s Sixth Annual Korean BBQ night, where we hope to flood 32nd St with convention goers. Do your research ahead of time for the best bulgogi, kalbi and Korean fried chicken stops!

*  Still on the fence about attending? Let AAJA past president, Sharon Chan, convince you

* More questions? Check out my post with advice for building your network, saving a few bucks, and making some new friends from last summer’s UNITY conference.


This time next week, I’ll be on my way to Las Vegas for 5 days at the UNITY Journalists convention, a once-every-four-years joint conference among AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA

My first UNITY was in 2008 in Chicago — I was still a student, looking for my next big internship, and scared as hell. UNITY is a large event and can be incredibly overwhelming. 

So, with that in mind — here’s my two cents of advice to first-time convention goers:

* Talk to everyone—but be mindful of people’s time! If someone’s group of friends appears to be leaving them behind because they are still talking to you, exchange contact information and let them be on they’re way. On the flip side, if you’re a UNITY veteran and you meet a newbie who appears to not have arrived with an entourage, adopt him or her and introduce them to your crowd.

* Bring business cards, and lots of ‘em. Good places to pick them up for cheap are Vistaprint.com and Moo.com (the former is probably cheaper, though at this late date you’d have to pay rush shipping, I think; the latter creates beautiful photo-based cards and has integration with Facebook and can pull from your cover photos album to show) and pass them out like candy. Stay organized with the ones you receive. 

* Dress professionally! My mentor, Benet Wilson, created a group "What to Wear at NABJ" board on Pinterest, which is a great resource for UNITY-goers. She also has a "What Not To Wear" board for folks who aren’t real clear on the line between classy and not-so-classy falls. Also, it’s usually freezing in conference rooms despite the blazing heat outside. Layers are key.

* Follow up quickly. If you meet a new contact that you hope to stay in touch with, shoot them an email to thank them for their time or ask a follow up question. If you meet someone who gave you great advice, invested a lot of time with you or helped you make another great connection, send them a thank you card. Yes, a real, cardstock, in-the-physical-post-office-mail thank you card.

* Socialize! If you’re young or new to one of the alliance organizations, the best thing you can do is meet people who are leaders, movers and shakers. Get to know folks “off the clock” and become part of the fold. 

* Label your gear. A thousand tech-savvy and tech-dependent folks running around a small space for 5 days? Yeah, that’s a lot of iPads, iPhones and a sea of white chargers laying about. Put your name on yours. 

* Pack snacks. If you’re watching your budget, one of the fastest ways these conferences can get expensive is by eating at the convention center every day. UNITY in Chicago was sort of isolated and there weren’t a ton of off-site, walkable lunch options. Throw some almonds or granola bars in your bag so you aren’t 100% reliant on $12-a-plate cafeteria lunches.

* Share the wealth! Not everyone can attend UNITY and once you’re there no one can attend all of the great sessions they’d love to. If you’re in a great panel, consider blogging or tweeting some of the insights you pick up (and share on the #UNITY12 hashtag, of course). 

* Please, read this: How to Ask Questions at a Panel. It was floating around during SXSW this year and I hope we can apply it at UNITY. Ask questions at panels, contribute to the discussion, but please don’t waste people’s time by self-promoting or picking fights with the panelists.


See you in Vegas!


See you in New York!

A year ago, while Paul Cheung was running for AAJA National President, I posed the question to him about how AAJA can better serve our young and early career journalists, and how we can better recognize their amazing work in the field. 

His answer involved four key strategies, three of which I think we’ve made great strides on in the first year of his leadership: 

* Using the AAJA website to showcase our members with mini profiles: this happened for photographers during AAPI heritage month, but we’re still not great about this throughout the year, and with a focus on AAJA’s rising stars. 

* Re-establish the mentoring program: Paul, working with Randall Yip and Joe Grimm, has relaunched the mentorship program this year, combining the broadcast and print/online groups. 30-minute career counseling sessions are also being offered this year—I don’t think this is necessarily new, but it appears to be newly focused on early career members. 

* Better showcase the work our members do: I’ve spent the past 10 months working on the programming committee and am pleased with the number of young members we’re featuring as speakers this year. There are at least 15 speakers under age 30 this year, and at least a handful are entry-level and first-time speakers. To me, it’s important for the “AAJA family” to be among the first to show support and good faith for these emerging speakers and experts. 

* Expand affinity groups to focus on segments of the industry: We’re not set up formally yet, but programming for this year’s convention is created around specific journalism “tracks”: broadcast, photo, social media, data/design, reporting/editing. This should make it easier for convention-goers to identify and engage with other members who are doing similar work in the field. 

So hats off to Paul for his wonderful leadership, the board for their continued support of AAJA’s young members, and Tom Huang, this year’s convention programming chair, for allowing the infusion of young members into this year’s speaker roster.

AAJA can continue to do more to recognize the talent and potential of our younger members. A few ideas I’ll toss out:

* Student Member of the Year award

* Rising Star awards (I believe NABJ has these) for print, visual, broadcast, online, etc.

* Regular Twitter chats or Google hangouts with student members and board members

* Special event at convention for members with 1-5 years experience (the pre-ELP crowd), whether it be as casual as a meetup or a more formalized program. 

When we made the decision to move from Minnesota this year, one of the biggest losses I’ve felt was that of the AAJA Minnesota chapter. I had spent six years as a member of the Minnesota chapter, five of them serving on the board as student representative and co-president. The AAJA Minnesota board became not only a source of my incredible mentors, but great friends who felt like a family. 

I’ve decided to apply my experience working on a local chapter in our new home, and am currently running for Vice President for Online within the AAJA DC chapter. 

Any AAJA DC full members, I’d greatly appreciate your vote and support. 

In the contested chapter president race, I’m backing POLITICO’s Seung-Min Kim. Her candidacy statement is included on the ballot emailed to all chapter members eligible to vote. I’ve been impressed with her leadership since moving to the area and am excited about her ideas to continue leading the chapter. 

AAJA DC is also seeking members to step up to fill positions of treasurer, community liaison and member outreach. 

20 percent of each student’s grade will be based on the number of points that his or her Klout score goes up over the course of the semester.

MediaShift Idea Lab . Klout in the Classroom: Grading Students on Social Media Use | PBS

I usually try hard to keep an open mind about new ideas, but this is on instance where I am going to come right out and say it: this is a stupid idea. 

Social media, and good social media use for journalism, is about so much more than any junky metric like Klout could ever capture. 

From today’s ThreeSixty alumni newsletter: 

"I believe a strong, connected alumni network is a show of good faith for donors. It’s a way that a nonprofit program, such as ThreeSixty Journalism, can show success." 

Carew Grovum created the ThreeSixty Journalism Alumni Network Facebook group page in hopes to give current and past ThreeSixty students another way to stay connected to the program. 

More recently, we have used the Facebook page to organize efforts around the new ThreeSixty Sustainability Initiative; posting updates and opportunities to give back and stay involved.

It is also a way for alumni like you to stay connected and engage in positive ways to show support for individual achievements and our outstanding  commitment to the program. 

Along with many of the Alumni Network Facebook group members, Carew Grovum recognizes that an active and engaged alumni network is key to ThreeSixty’s future success.

(via Charting Tweets At #UNITY12 | The Daily Viz)

Fun fact: I was apparently the third most prolific tweeter during the UNITY conference last week! Thanks for crunching the numbers, Matt Stiles