Retha Hill, vice president of content development at BET.com, the website of the BET cable television network, will discuss online storytelling and how BET uses the web, during an appearance at Belmont Monday, April 3, sponsored by the New Century Journalism program. Hill will speak at 10 a.m. Monday, April 3 in room 117 of the Leu Center for the Visual Arts. Members of the media are invited to attend.
Hill is founding chief editorial officer of BET.com and vice president for content development for BET Interactive, where she is the executive in charge of content strategy, convergence and integration with the BET Network.
Voted “Best African American Community Site” in 2001 and again in 2002 by Yahoo! Internet Life magazine, BET.com provides a combination of online content and community tailored to the unique interests, preferences and issues of African Americans aged 18-49. BET.com, the highest-trafficked African-American site on the Internet, has robust content channels on news, health, careers, money, music, women’s issues, entertainment, romance, beauty, travel, men’s issues, books and the BET Network.
BET.com is an award-winning site, winning Best Online News Project award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2003 and two in 2002. BET.com also came in second for the coveted Scripps-Howard Online Media award and a special mention award from the Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Foundation, which focuses on coverage of drug issues. BET.com has won recognition for its groundbreaking work on the Black family, which was supported by a Pew Center for Civic Journalism grant in 2001.
Hill is an adjunct professor of journalism in the graduate school at the University of Maryland at College Park. She is active in journalism and media organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Minority Media Executives. She is a frequent guest speaker at journalism conferences and schools, including: the Nieman Foundation Program at Harvard University, the Online News Association, the Poynter Institute, the American Press Institute, the Freedom Forum and the National Press Club. Media appearances include the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Reuters News Service, Bloomberg News Service, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine and CBS Radio.
Formerly, Hill was executive producer for special sections at Washingtonpost.com, where she specialized in creating new content products. Previously, she was responsible for long-range planning for the Web site’s Arts and Entertainment coverage. She joined the Washington Post web site as content developer for the web site’s first local portal. In that capacity she oversaw all local coverage, including the Metro section; the community pages; the Federal Community; CollegePost, a webzine for the area’s college students, and local arts and entertainment.
Before joining the online division of The Washington Post Co. in April 1995, Hill was a Metro reporter at The Washington Post, beginning in 1987. She was a 1992-93 Freedom Forum fellow, where she created and ran a program to improve high school journalism in the District of Columbia Public School System.
A graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Hill has also done graduate studies at Georgetown University.
Hill’s appearance at Belmont is part of the New Century Journalism Speakers Series, which has already brought Charlotte Hall, vice president for news and editorial at the Orlando Sentinel, and ESPN News Editor Neal Scarbrough to campus.
The fourth scheduled speaker in the series Ken Paulson, editor of USA Today, is scheduled to speak at Belmont at 10 a.m. Friday, April 21, in the Bunch Multimedia Hall on the second floor of the library
Belmont University’s New Century Journalism program is designed to prepare students to work in newsrooms across broadcast, print and online media platforms. For more news on the New Century Journalism program and Belmont’s Media Studies Department, click here.