Male presence, social media prominent at PBMF Workshop

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The 29th run of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop was full of firsts.

There was a large representation of males, for one.

“I was really pleased with the amount of male participation that we had in the workshop this year,” workshop co-director Olga George said. “I know Mr. (Chris) Moore was extremely happy with it. In past years, we’ve always had a lot more females than guys. Definitely not the case, here.”

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PBMF ANCHORS 2012—From left: Robert Martin and Tyrell Greenwood became the first male anchor team of the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop In its 29th year.

Its 30-minute long newscast on the set of KDKA-TV displayed a duo of young men, which was a first.

“It’s was unbelievable,” workshop veteran E. Tyrell Greenwood said. “Never had I imagined it would be us two guys sitting in the anchor chairs. It was definitely an experience that I’ll never forget.”

Greenwood, a senior at Norwin High School, completed his third consecutive stint in the workshop and regained his spot on the anchor’s desk from last year.

Robert Martin, a sophomore at Noble and Greenough School in Massachusetts, joined him as the second-chair anchor.

“It sure made me smile from ear-to-ear,” said workshop founder Chris Moore. “It’s a solid, good experience to get onto the set of KDKA. To have two males land anchor spots made me feel like a college coach that won the big game.”

The Workshop’s radio broadcast was also male-only.

“We had great synergy,” first-year participant Malik Banks said. “We got a chance to have bro time and bond. It was also interesting to be in that type of environment with people who look like me.”

Banks is a junior at Pickerington Central High School in Columbus, Ohio. He, as well as Quinton Evans of Macedonia, Ohio and Troy Miles of Pittsburgh produced a 30-minute, long format news show with the help of the American Urban Radio Networks and KQV AM 1410.

“We had them in the smallest editing booth and it didn’t bother them one bit,” senior audio journalist at AURN DeSaundra Harris said. “They worked together and very quickly. There was no arguing or bickering. They just banded together and supported each other throughout the entire week.”

Social media, with its emergence in modern life and in the media industry is something that Moore believes will help the workshop’s survival.

“We need to use social media as a tool to further our workshop alumni’s involvement,” he said.

In effort to attract those alumni, there has been old newscast from as far back as 1991 posted to the Workshop’s YouTube page.

“We want them to look at their work as a reminder of some of the things that this program has done for them,” Moore added. “There are several that are coming back and stepping up and fulfilling huge roles for us. But it would be ideal to one day get some of their dollars so that we don’t have to rely so heavily on donations.”

The Heinz Endowments have been the workshop’s key sponsor for the last three years. KDKA also made a key contribution and has done so in the past.

The workshop is split into four concentrations: broadcast (TV and radio), print, photography, and the recently added social media portion.

“The social media portion was fantastic this year,” George said. “Lisa Kay Davis, a workshop alumni, has been instrumental in developing this portion and it has really turned into something that will continue to be a great thing for our program.”

Aaron Ford-Wright, a junior at T.C. Williams High in Arlington, Va was the lone student of this program.

His duties were to blog, regularly, on the workshop’s web page as well as video blogs that covered its main events.

He also drove the workshop’s Twitter and Facebook page to attract attention from its audience toward the program’s student-produced content.

His work on Twitter garnered nearly 50 new followers, including that of CNBC’s Sharon Epperson—a workshop alumni— and Arianna Huffington who is the president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post media group.

Teodora and Christian Dillard were the furthest travelers of the 2012 Workshop. They’re from Ocoee, Fla, which is just outside of Orlando.

(Malik Vincent can be reached at mvincent@newpitts­burgh­courier.com or on Twitter @malikvincent.)

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