She may have been at The Birmingham News for nine years, but not until tonight has University of Alabama alumna Staci Brown Brooks been in the position to return to her alma with the stature of one who’s on the cutting edge of multimedia journalism at Alabama’s largest news operation.
As director of interactive content for what has historically been Alabama’s largest newspaper (recently multimedia organization), Brooks is now carrying a cross-platform message about meeting readers of The Birmingham News wherever they are giving them their news whenever and in whatever format they want it.
Like no other year, 2011 has been one where The Birmingham News has been viewed/consumed in more platforms and formats than ever before, the latest of which is a successful iPad app commemorating Auburn University’s national championship.
Brooks carried around her MacBook Pro, an iPhone and an iPad as she visited UA students in classes this afternoon and gave a talk tonight to the Capstone Association of Black Journalists.
Her visit to the same campus where she studied journalism back in the 1990s, comes just four month after The Birmingham News launched its “This is Our Story” marketing blitz.
Tonight she told that story to a multicultural crowd of students attending an organizational meeting for the University’s affiliated of the National Association of Black Journalists. Students in journalism, public relations, advertising and other areas of communication listened closely as she talked about some of the News’ latest digital successes.
As a 1998-99 Chips Quinn Scholar, Brooks is one many journalists of color who are setting the standard, often as trailblazers in their roles in the nation’s newsrooms, for excellence in our profession.
These days instead of just reporting or working on the copy desk, Brooks is spending her working hours developing concepts for iPad apps and ways to capitalize on traffic on the al.com Web site, which is The Birmingham News home on the Web.