the kdmcinfo weblog

Featured Fellow: Tom Murphy

Tom MurphyTom Murphy (Mar '11) is no stranger to newsrooms. A supervisor in the AP's San Francisco bureau and a correspondent for Bloomberg News, the veteran journalist was the founding editor of MarketWatch, a business newswire now a part of the Dow Jones Company. But before attending one of our workshops earlier this year, the last time he had any multimedia training, Bill Clinton had just been re-elected president and the O.J. Simpson murder trial was in full swing.

After honing basic photo editing skills, setting up Wordpress blogs, shooting video and creating maps at our multimedia workshop, Murphy created "Startup to Success," a series of his own workshops to help journalists in transition learn new job skills. In recent years, Murphy created, a news site targeted at the baby boomer generation. He also launched Newswire21, an award-winning wire service collective, and is the editor-in-chief of, a new technology website slated to launch this week. 

Murphy's is a story of understanding early the role digital media would play in the news business, and his serial entrpreneurism and attraction to collaboration have defined his career over the past two decades as the journalism landscape evolves. 

"I believe that as journalism itself becomes more social, journalists will find themselves working in varied virtual communities that often overlap," he wrote to me in an email Monday. "I've applied the skills from the KDMC fellowship in designing the training workshops for [Startup to Success] and in preparing videos for BusinessAgility."

Murphy's workshops are run through the San Francisco Bay Area Journalists Meetup group, something he also organizes. Meetups, if you're not familiar, are informal, user-fun gatherings for people who want to connect over like interests.

There have been five sessions so far of "Startup to Success," ranging from how to make and post videos to a deep dive into Twitter for journalists. (By the way, in case you didn't know, we've tried our hand at both of those things, and you can find tutorials on our site for them and a heap of other things.)

Tom Murphy, right, demonstrates photography techniques

(Tom Murphy, right, speaks with AP Photographer Eric Risberg during an SFBAJ session on photo techniques. Photo courtesy of Erin Palmquist/SFBAJ Meetup Group)

Michael Fitzhugh, an attendee of one of Murphy's social reporting workshops, left this comment on the event page: "This meetup did a great job of covering a lot of ground in a short time and providing comprehensive insight instead of disjointed tips. It was well worth the time I took to attend and totally in line with the high quality of speakers SFBAJ tends to draw."

The meetups are co-sponsored by the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, New America Media and the Bay Area Black Journalists Association, among other organizations.

"By participating in a range of activities, I've also made great contacts that tend to cross from one of my projects to another," Murphy wrote. A tech reporter he met through the meetups, for example, will now blog for him at BusinessAgility.

Over 200 journalists have attended his workshops. The next "Startup to Success" meetup will be on September 21, with potentially more to follow this fall.