Covering The Elections With BET News

ImageI have been working with BET News as a PA for social and production for the last few months, this is the department that produces current affairs and news specials within BET. Their main focus has been to create a credible current affairs model within a niche music and entertainment environment.

They have produced notable feature-length specials on the Trayvon Martin case, Michelle Obama’s mission in Africa, as well as an in-depth interview with President Obama addressing black America. Their documentary “The Curious Case of Citizen Cain” was also a recent winner at the NABJ (National Association Of Black Journalists) 2012 Salute to Excellence Awards.

Their latest two-part documentary is called Second Coming? Will Black America Decide 2012 Check out the trailer here

While working with BET News my main duties included: working as a social media specialist, editorial researcher, and producer support, as well as a control room PA and social media manager for the three LIVE broadcasts of the 2012 election conventions titled BATTLEGROUND 2012.

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Convention nights were definitely a highlight. Being a part of the control room buzz, responding to multiple script changes, live fact checking, all while trying to prepare for that thing that could go wrong at any second! It was scary, but also thrilling. As the person in charge of filling and animating the onscreen twitter board too, every night you’d find me juggling multiple device screens (this included my cellphone, two laptops and a tablet LOL!) but seeing something you’ve created go live to millions of viewers before your eyes is worth it.

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My Final Analysis:

Looking at the #BETRNC and #BETDNC the broadcasts for me were definitely a huge success! The idea that BET could put forward premium quality live elections coverage was surprising to some. But knowing how talented the force behind the scenes was, I expected nothing less.

BET News served the needs of its niche audience without compromising on journalistic credibility, which isn’t always easy when it’s an African American audience in a presidential race with a black incumbent. But in my opinion, they nailed that balance and put forth the most innovative social media strategy for TV news of the entire convention coverage cycle.

And as Jay Z said, the numbers don’t lie:

August 30, 2012 

#BETRNC was the #3 top trending topic WORLDWIDE on Twitter.

September 4, 2012 

#BETDNC was the #2 top trending topic WORLDWIDE on Twitter.

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My first NYTimes by-line!

So our final video pieces for our semester 1 writing and reporting class had to be about couples in the east village… of course my partner Laura and I found the cutest most adorable couple ever!

Despite some technical glitches and blind rookie mistakes plus this being the first ever piece of video where I got to play cameraman and editor  – it turned out super cute!

Fast forward to pre valentines day and lo and behold the NYtimes local east village blog decided to pick up on our class’ videos for a series in the run up to V-day – and today they posted ours…#whoop!

Add to that Veronica sending us a sweet email saying:

“This looks great!! You guys did an excellent job. Such a nice way to end a long week.”

This just made me smile…

check out the video and article here

The Real Goboza reel

One of the craziest and most fun challenges of my life was producing the first season of Real Goboza in 2007 which was hosted by Dineo Ranaka and Trevor Noah… and who can forget Lelo such a smart savvy woman – she cracked me up at every shoot!

I found this online…can’t believe just how groundbreaking doing celebrity gossip in prime time television was in those days…crazy that shows like Flash, Headline etc are now such a normal part of the scene in South Africa.

A snippet of the RGB report one of my favourite segments to produce because well it always got controversial…

And what would celebrity show be without red carpet reports… on this one I did the V/O too, yes because in the early days RGB was poooor!

And who didn’t love Lelo Boyana? She was SA’s first blogger turned tv personality, thanks to me because well I was obsessed with her blog and once I met her I knew she belonged on TV.  Writing scripts for her was always such a blast because she never held back…

This trip down memory lane has convinced me, it’s time to get back to making TV… one day soon.

 

Fit and curvy love for True Love magazine

I loved working on this health feature on curves and am so happy with how it turned out! As a curvy girl myself it really reaffirmed my ongoing fitness mission!

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We may love bootilicious curves but are they healthy?

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Khwezi’s story was featured on the October 2011 cover of True Love magazine

I even got a shout out on the contributor’s page – so cool!

This piece should be controversial

I’ve started freelancing again! I pitched this piece to True Love after watching family and friends go through lobola and wedding proceedings. I was so fascinated with the politics of the whole thing and decided it was worthy of further investigation, this was the outcome. Waiting for the tribalists to get on my case.

click on the permalink button in the gallery to read the article in full.