SOURCE: Marketwire

April 17, 2008 09:00 ET

Connecting to Communities of Color Online: Focus of Upcoming Journalism Education Seminars in Washington, DC and New York City

The Society of Professional Journalists Sessions Help PR Practitioners and Journalists Better Understand the Burgeoning Ethnic Online Media Landscape

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK CITY, NY--(Marketwire - April 17, 2008) - The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) continues its stimulating Journalism Education Series with two sessions devoted to the increasingly powerful online presence of ethnic populations. Journalists and online social networking marketers provide insight into the rapidly growing online communities serving Hispanics, African Americans and US Asians at "Leap the Digital Divide: Communicating to Communities of Color Online." The breakfast sessions at The Washington Post on Tuesday, April 22 and the Associated Press in New York City on Thursday, April 24 are designed to help communications professionals more effectively connect with their ethnic audiences. Marketwire, a full-service newswire and communications workflow solutions provider, sponsors SPJ's inaugural Journalism Education Series.

Panelist Kay Madati, vice president of marketing at Community Connect and the driver behind the success of AsianAvenue.com, BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com, GLEE.com and the recently launched Faithbase.com, will begin the program at each venue by providing an overview of the ethnic media landscape. Washington, DC panelists also include Bruno Lopez, vice president/general manager of Univision Online, Tariq Muhammad, director of AOL Black Voices, and Lynette Clemetson, managing editor of TheRoot.com. The New York City event features panelists Kay Madati, Lynette Clemetson, and Peter Rivera, senior vice president of AOL Latino. Award-winning reporter and writer Sally Lehrman will moderate both events.

"Professional communicators often don't realize the powerful Internet presence of ethnic populations and why they are drawn to certain websites," said Terrence G. Harper, SPJ executive director. "Our panel discussions will shed light on the growing popularity of ethnic online media and give attendees the insight they need to reach and resonate with their ethnic audiences."

Representative topics covered at the April 22 and 24 sessions include:

-- Online media and the role they play in news and engagement
   -- What audiences they serve
   -- How they reach and engage ethnic populations
   -- Which sites are the best fit for different types of news and stories
-- How journalism can enhance dialogue in a social networking environment
   when users are generating most of a site's content
-- How to frame news and stories when targeting ethnic audiences online
-- Whether community-specific sites deliver richer analysis and more
   relevant new coverage than mainstream outlets
-- How professional reporting complements community journalism
   online -- and the role of journalism when users are generating most of
   a site's content
-- The ethical issues that are arising about pitching and advertising to
   online sites and bloggers

"At Marketwire we've recognized a growing need to distribute news to the increasingly powerful ethnic populations in North America. In response, we enhanced our African American, North America Hispanic and US Asian newslines, which now reach more ethnic media, more web sites and more opinion-leaders," said Jessica Strange, Marketwire executive director, media relations. "These SPJ seminars advance our commitment to helping public relations professionals effectively communicate to their influential ethnic audiences. We're grateful to SPJ for helping us make this happen."

For more information about the Washington, DC and New York City sessions, click here. To register, please visit the Journalism Education Series website at https://www.spj.org/jes-form.asp.

SPJ's Journalism Education Series is a first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to inform the general public about the core principles of good journalism, the standards under which respectable news organizations operate, and the challenges journalists often confront when gathering the news. SPJ is working exclusively with Marketwire within the newswire industry to help communication professionals, as well as community and civic groups, gain a better understanding of the tenets of responsible journalism and the profound importance of a free press. The series focuses on SPJ's core missions including the free flow of public information, journalism ethics, and the importance of diversity in the news-gathering process. Experienced journalists and experts in media ethics and media law devise the series' curriculum and instruct all programs. Marketwire sponsors and presents the series to professionals working in investor, media and public relations, while SPJ delivers it.

About the Society of Professional Journalists

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information, visit us at www.spj.org.

About Marketwire

The only fully integrated North America-based global newswire, Marketwire, Inc. is a full-service partner to IR, PR and MarCom professionals seeking top-tier news distribution, media management, multimedia and monitoring solutions. Marketwire's customer-centric corporate philosophy focuses on being the best by infusing every aspect of its business with the following core attributes: precision, adaptability, innovation and simplicity.

Marketwire delivers its clients' news to the world's media and financial communities, fulfilling disclosure requirements in North America in compliance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), and serving as Primary Information Provider (PIP) with the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA). With a reputation for technology leadership, Marketwire offers innovative products and services -- including Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Dashboard Mobile Financial, News Dashboard coverage reports, exclusive access to networks such as the Canadian Press Wire Network, Easy IR and Easy PR workflow solutions, and more -- that help communication professionals maximize their effectiveness while ensuring accuracy and best practices. Having merged companies (Market Wire and CCNMatthews) in April 2006, and enjoying a combined history of 25 years of service, Marketwire is now majority-owned by OMERS Capital Partners, the private equity arm of one of Canada's largest pension funds. Marketwire distributes the majority of press releases issued by publicly traded companies in Canada and serves more than 8,000 clients worldwide through 18 offices on four continents. For more information, visit us at www.marketwire.com.

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