The Hotlist: October 2015
A Guide to the Web’s Most Cutting Edge New Media Content

Compiled by Elliot Feldman

If you’d like your site to be featured on the Hotlist, send an e-mail to elliotfeldman@yahoo.com.

The Hotspot
The Hotspot highlights Web content created by writers working under a WGA contract.


Ylse A Web Series for our Generacion!

Ylse -- a Web Series for our Generacion! was created by actor/writer Ruth Livier. The series is self-described as a "not-so-politically-correct dramedy." Ylse the main character is described as an outspoken Latina journalist who doesn't "have a chance on network TV." The characters speak English and Spanish (AKA Spanglish). The series has had a four season run. One of the episodes was directed by award-winning actress Elizabeth Pena.
ONLINE ANIMATION

Secret Millionaires Club with Warren Buffett
The Secret Millionaires Club with Warren Buffett is an educational online animated series featuring the voice and image of real-life billionaire Warren Buffett. In the series, Buffett's character acts as a mentor for a group of entrepreneurial kids. Also note that Buffett's billionaire friend Bill Gates makes a special guest appearance on one episode. Lessons taught include good financial decision-making, as well as basic lessons on how to start a business. The series consists of 26 short webisodes along with TV specials broadcast on the HUB cable TV network. The Secret Millionaires Club is produced by Genius Brands International.


WEB DOCUMENTARY

Planet Takeout
Planet Takeout is an interactive documentary project produced by multimedia artist Val Wang and web developer Zeega. It is sponsored by Boston public radio station WGHB and Localore, a nationwide local community storytelling initiative from The Association for Independents in Radio. Planet Takeout uses community storytelling through an unusual narrative device: four Chinese takeout restaurants in diverse Boston neighborhoods. The video interface is stunning and original. Users click on hotspots in each video interface to activate audio stories from neighborhood locals. And Boston site users can submit their own stories and photos about their favorite Chinese takeout restaurants.

PINE RIDGE COMMUNITY STORYTELLING PROJECT – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
The Pine Ridge Community Storytelling Project is an online interactive project from National Geographic magazine partnered with the Cowbird multimedia storytelling platform. The project, spearheaded by photojournalist Aaron Huey, tells the story of the Ogalala Lakota tribe on South Dakota's impoverished Pine Ridge Indian reservation. The unique project navigation is most impressive. It consists of a grid of Huey's photos of tribal people, places, and events. Click on a photo and each tribal member tells his or her own story using simple text, or a multimedia mix of text and video and/or audio as a narrative device.


DIGITAL JOURNALISM TUTORIALS

MobileVideoDIY
Print journalism is on its deathbed while multimedia journalism is gradually becoming the future. MobileVideoDIY is an educational Web site sponsored by the University of Missouri's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. The site's primary mission is to aid teachers that are integrating a video training curriculum into classrooms. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for that new world of multimedia and interactive journalism. The current curriculum consists of eight 50-minute online lessons on how to shoot, edit, and share video via mobile devices and apps. The site is curated by University of Missouri affiliate Mike Wheeler along with his team of instructors and designers.

Google News Lab
The Google News Lab's self-described goal is to "collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media" by providing tutorials on how to use a variety of available online content creation tools such as YouTube, Google Maps, research databases, consumer surveys, Google Earth, citizen reporting, and image search resources. These tutorials are primarily aimed at professional newsrooms throughout the world.

BBC Academy
Launched online in 2009, the BBC Academy is the educational arm of the British Broadcasting Company. It was created to train broadcasting employees on topics that include editorial standards, journalistic legalities, and core journalism skills. Journalism masterclasses are offered by well-known British journalists such as John Simpson, Robert Peston, and John Humphries. Currently, the BBC College of Journalism, a subsidiary of The Academy, offers free online courses to the public. And certain classes are also coordinated with the University of Birmingham, Creative Skillset, FutureLearn, BFI Film Academy and the University of Houston.

First Draft Coalition – Medium
First Draft Coalition is an online journalism information resource from Medium, a prominent multimedia content platform. First Draft offers user-generated news content from social media and other sources that are professionally screened for journalistic ethics, source verification, as well as content copyright, and protection. This resource offers a "collection of case studies offering best practice advice" that can serve as a training example for new journalists. This Coalition is supported by the Google News Lab, among others.


USER-GENERATED NEWS CONTENT

YouTube Newswire
YouTube Newswire is a YouTube channel that features eyewitness videos from citizen-journalists. It's a partnered project with social media news agency Storyful. Journalism professionals on staff at Storyful provide verification of each citizen-journalist submitted story. Besides the YouTube channel, the citizen-journalist video content is also available on Twitter and as a newsletter curated by Storyful.


JOURNALIST ORGANIZATIONS ONLINE

Hacks/Hackers
Hacks/Hackers is an international journalism organization with dozens of chapters across four continents. Their mission is to "create a network of journalists (hacks) and technologists (hackers) who rethink the future of news and information." This social community was created by Rich Gordon, director of digital innovation at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism; journalist and entrepreneur Burt Herman; and Aron Pilhofer, director of Interactive News Technologies at The New York Times.

Reveal | from The Center for Investigative Reporting
Reveal News acts as a public radio show, a podcast and a social media platform for The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). The Web site serves to educate the public on the importance of investigative journalism and powerful storytelling (online or otherwise). The Reveal podcast offers true news content from CIR and Public Radio Xchange (PRX), as well as news stories from other public radio stations. They've recently won an Emmy for New Approaches to Current News Coverage.


SOCIAL MEDIA

My Best Birth
My Best Birth is an online social community aimed primarily at expecting parents in the midst of "planning their perfect birth." The Web site started as an online extension of the bestselling book Your Best Birth and the film The Business of Being Born by filmmaker Abby Epstein and actress/producer/talk show host Ricki Lake. It offers information about pregnancy, natural birth, and holistic parenting. There is also a four-part webisode series with participation by actress/entrepreneur/supermodel parent Cindy Crawford. And there's an online store for expecting parents. But it's the information-sharing forum that's the Web site's big success.

The WGAW encourages New Media projects to respect content creators through Guild contracts. If you’re working in New Media and would like information on getting your project covered, contact Shelagh Wagener or call (323) 782-4511.

Elliot Feldman's novel, Sitting Shiva, was published in 2003 -- ISBN: 0964374064. And check out his comics at Scene4 Magazine - WARNING: Not for the easily offended.