DHX Media Garners 23 Canadian Screen Awards Nominations for its Outstanding Programming

first_imgDHX MEDIA:THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (5)DHX-Hour Productions XXIII Inc.Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or SeriesMichael Donovan, Peter McBain, Steve DeNure, Mark Gosine, Jenipher RitchieBest Direction in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or SeriesVivieno Caldinelli, Michael Lewis – “Episode 6”Best Photography in a Variety Program or SeriesIan Bibby – “Episode 6”Best Writing in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or SeriesMike Allison, Mark Critch, Bob Kerr, Greg Thomey, Jon Blair, Tim Polley, Heidi Brander, Adam Christie, Scott Vrooman, Jeremy Woodcock, Dean Jenkinson, Cathy Jones, Mary Walsh – “Episode 3”Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series (Individual or Ensemble)Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Susan Kent, Shaun Majumder, Meredith MacNeillDEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS (3)DHX MediaBest Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or SeriesLinda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinksi, Matt Huether, Stefan Brogren, Stephanie WilliamsBest Direction in a Children’s or Youth Program or SeriesEleanore Lindo – “#ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin’”Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program or SeriesAlejandro Alcoba – “#YesMeansYes”THE DEEP (2)DHX Media & A Stark ProductionBest Animated Program or SeriesAsaph Fipke, Avrill Stark, Steven Wendland, Chuck Johnson, Ken Faier, Chris Rose, David Whealy, Robert ChandlerBest Sound in a Variety or Animated Program or SeriesJonny Ludgate, Jeff Davis, Melanie Fung, Ray Zhao – “Here Be Dragons”INSPECTOR GADGET (1)DHX MediaBest Direction in an Animated Program or SeriesPhillip Stamp, William Gordon – “Gadget 2.0 Part 1/2”MAKE IT POP (1)DHX MediaBest Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or SeriesThomas W. Lynch, Nick Cannon, Steven DeNure, Anne Loi, Tracey Jardine, Jim Corston, Mark PurdyDHX TELEVISION (PARTNER SERIES BROADCAST ON OUR SUITE OF KIDS’ CHANNELS):FANGBONE! (4)Radical Sheep Productions Best Animated SeriesMichelle Melanson-Cuperus, John Leitch, Michael Rex, Simon Racioppa, Richard Elliott, Susie GrondinBest Writing in an Animated Program or SeriesMike Kiss – “The Polluted Light of Destiny”Best Writing in an Animated Program or SeriesRichard Elliott, Simon Racioppa – “The Field Trip of Mayhem Part 1/2”Best Cross-Platform Project – Children’s and YouthFangbone: The BillbariansPietro Gagliano, Michala Duffield, Joshua Manricks, Todd Feaver, Michelle Melanson CuperusBACKSTAGE (2)Fresh TV Inc.Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or SeriesBrian Irving, Lara Azzopardi, Jennifer Pertsch, Tom McGillis, George ElliottBest Cross-Platform Project – Children’s and YouthBackstage: Too Much KeatonRyan Andal, CJ Hervey, Michala Duffield, Todd Feaver, Brian IrvingTHE NEXT STEP (1)Temple Street Productions Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or SeriesBrittany RaymondLOST & FOUND MUSIC STUDIOS (1)Temple Street ProductionsBest Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or SeriesJeni RossGAMING SHOW (IN MY PARENTS’ GARAGE) (1)B-MinorsBest Children’s or Youth Non-Fiction Program or SeriesScot McFadyen, Sam Dunn, Jesse ShamataWE ARE SAVVY (1)B-MinorsBest Children’s or Youth Non-Fiction Program or SeriesScot McFadyen, Sam Dunn, Adrienne Reid, jeni b.JUSTIN TIME (1)Guru StudiosBest Direction in an Animated Program or SeriesHarold Harris – “Babushka’s Bear”About DHX MediaDHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com) is the world’s leading independent, pure-play children’s content company. Owner of the world’s largest independent library of children’s content, at more than 11,800 half-hours, the Company is recognized globally for such brands as Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Make It Pop, Slugterra and the multiple award-winning Degrassi franchise. As a content producer and owner of intellectual property, DHX Media delivers shows that children love, licensing its content to major broadcasters and streaming services worldwide. Through its subsidiary, WildBrain, DHX Media also operates one of the largest networks of children’s content on YouTube. The company’s robust consumer products program generates royalties from merchandise based on its much-loved children’s brands.Headquartered in Canada, DHX Media has offices in 15 cities globally, and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (DHX.A and DHX.B) and the NASDAQ Global Select Market (DHXM). DHX Media (or the “Company”) (TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B; NASDAQ: DHXM), the world’s leading independent, pure-play children’s content company, has received 23 nominations for the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards, as announced earlier today by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. With nominations for both live-action and animated work, in categories ranging from writing to performance to digital media, DHX Media series nominated in recognition of their contributions to Canadian television include, This Hour Has 22 Minutes; Degrassi: Next Class; The Deep; Inspector Gadget; Fangbone!; Backstage and The Next Step.“Congratulations to our amazing and ingenious in-house production team, and to our brilliant Canadian production partners, whose collective creativity has secured 23 nominations for DHX Media,” said Steven DeNure, President and COO, DHX Media. “We are thrilled to have five of our original series and seven of DHX Television’s series recognized across a number of categories for Canada’s most prestigious television, film and digital awards.”A full list of DHX Media nominations include: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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Digging Deeper

first_imgLast month, ABM’s Business Information Network reported b-to-b ad pages fell 27 percent in January 2009 compared to January 2008— the largest single drop in a year (representing nearly 30 straight months of decline for b-to-b magazines). One week later, the Magazine Publishers of America announced that consumer ad pages fell 25.9 percent in the first quarter. Executives who at this time last year confidently claimed, “We’ve been here before,” now say, “We’ve never seen anything like this.”With plunging revenue the norm for many publishers, controlling costs and reexamining revenue opportunities is essential. At the FOLIO: Growth Summit in March, Kerry Gumas, president and CEO of Questex Media, offered a presentation on productivity, efficiency and a new look at evaluating costs. Some of it included steps publishers have used all along—but Questex has managed to leverage them to identify missed opportunities and areas of potential exposure.That doesn’t mean Gumas has come up with a magic bullet. In 2008, Questex enjoyed double-digit revenue growth through the first three quarters of the year, but with the majority of its events occurring in the first part of the year experienced a rough fourth quarter that left the company with overall single-digit growth. “We’re coming off a strong year but in the second half, the print business in particular slowed down significantly,” says Gumas. “As we come into 2009, we are experiencing across-the-board declines in ad volume. A small number of our titles are experiencing year-over-year growth through March but most are experiencing a decline. This has the feeling of us being the last guys to show up at a party that we didn’t want to be at in the first place.” Last month, Questex laid off more than 40 employees, with cuts coming across a variety of different functions, due to the economic slowdown and to the decision to expand outsourcing in certain areas such as production and creative services. In March, Moody’s Investors Service listed Questex among a list of 283 companies most likely to default on their debts. Still, this could be the resume of almost any publisher right now. While Questex is having to make hard choices in terms of headcount and business direction, the company has come up with a formula that is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in certain areas, and revealing revenue opportunities that could be worth millions. “Print is under significant pressure and we’re doing what we have to do to readjust the size of our business,” says Gumas. “An assessment of the long-term view is important—we don’t think this is just a couple quarters of decline and then the market will bounce back. This is a fundamental change.”In the story that follows, Gumas examines how Questex is re-assessing metrics in profitability, production, customer, sales and content and audience metrics. Profitability: Make It PersonalQuestex weighs a number of profitability measures (many of which are used by other publishers), such as process productivity and profitability, contribution margin, EBITDA and net income and free cash flow. But the key for Questex is to make sure all managers are on the same page. “The starting point is we make a concerted effort to make sure managers at all levels understand their responsibility for profitability measures within their control as well as their contribution to overall company profitability,” says Gumas. “That is pretty important—if you just use the word ‘profit,’ that means so many things to different people.”Questex establishes a baseline of understanding for what people’s personal responsibilities are—which ultimately affects their compensation. “In terms of specific measures such as contribution margin, we track it on individual business units,” says Gumas. “That’s part of the compensation plans for senior managers such as the publisher and editor-in-chief in each group. It starts with basic access to numbers. The more access, the more visible they are, the more people work to manage them.”Controllers work with each group on budget planning but managers generate the budgets themselves, rather than the company applying a top-down budget from corporate. “We always began our planning process from the business unit up rather than corporate level down,” says Gumas. Questex takes revenue forecasts and adjusts costs accordingly on a routine basis. That includes focusing on some metrics that publishers haven’t really weighed that heavily in the past. “Take something very traditional like the ad/edit ratio. At some places it’s reported more as a consequence of people’s individual decisions,” says Gumas. “We use it as a real tool to drive the number of pages from the beginning of the cycle. When you’re producing many magazines, a deviation off the edit ratio can lead to a lot of incremental costs.” Profitability Metrics• Process Productivity and Profitability• Product/Property Profitability• Contribution Margin• EBIDTA• Net Income • Cash Flow  Customer/Market Metrics: Saving $100K+ on the Rate Card Evaluating customer and market metrics is a multi-tiered process. Questex uses traditional approaches, such as looking at existing customers and prospects in terms of what they’ve spent with Questex properties in the past and the client’s market share, which the publisher can equate into spending that’s part of their marketing budget.But the company also employs some non-traditional methods such as an active survey process (both formal survey and dialogue) of its customer base about spending allocations, including whether they are allocating more money to print or digital (and what part of digital, such as e-mail or search). “We try to build perspective and understand where their priorities are to develop the right product line and put solutions in front of them,” says Gumas. “From a cost standpoint, this helps allocate resources where there is a real demand right now.”That process can yield some unexpected opportunities for savings and revenue. An example is the unit analysis that Questex did on its rate cards. “We had many options for fractional pages on our rate cards,” Gumas says. “When we looked at the marketplace over time, we learned that many of those options are not transacted very frequently. Why should we have them on the rate card at all? It sounds very simple but that means fewer steps for setting up the billing templates, it means fewer one-off ad orders, it means less  requirements from the classified department or even creative services. The one-off costs that tend to get lost in the equation, they go away.”Using this approach, Questex’s Home Media magazine saw that 10 key accounts drive 80 percent of its revenue. Optimizing the rate card meant compressing more than 140 different rate options to a dozen. “Dollars, market share and customer renewal rates have all gone up,” says Gumas.Rate card optimization has enabled Questex to save significantly on production and creative services across the company. “Simply from rate card optimization, we saved a couple hundred thousand dollars over a one-year period,” says Gumas.Customer/Market Metrics• Customer Objectives• Customer Satisfaction• Customer Renewal/Churn Rates• First-Time Customer Renewal Rates• Mix: Allocation of Marketing Budget• Share: Customer Buying Trends• Media Channel Preferences & Plans• Customer ROI Benchmarks• Media-specific MetricsA LOOK AT QUESTEX’ RATE CARD ANALYSISSales Metrics: When the Little Guys Really Add Up In recent years, Questex titles enjoyed growing advertising revenue. However, a closer examination of the sales side revealed how a rising tide can hide significant inefficiencies.“We had a magazine that grew its revenue consistently over a three-year period,” says Gumas. “But when we did the analysis, specifically of renewal rates and retention over that period, we saw there was a significant loss experienced. Although it looked like we were improving, what was really happening was a significant loss of economic opportunity.”As Questex extended that analysis, the danger became even more apparent; the company had lost smaller accounts that totaled $3.4 million. “By taking the renewal retention analysis and revenue per account metrics and ad unit analysis, one of the conclusions was that we had a sales force performing extremely well at the major account level where the ad buy was significant premium pages or run-of-book,” says Gumas. “If the advertiser was smaller and buying smaller units, that was where we had exposure. Over time we had developed a sales force that was field sales oriented with not enough focus on mid-sized accounts.”Questex began shifting sales resources to a more balanced in-house and outsourced approach. “In Cleveland, we have a sales center where we have people doing nothing but selling to that middle market,” says Gumas. “From a cost standpoint, that allowed us to reduce the cost of sales, and from a revenue standpoint, it gave us capacity to increase revenue.”Sales Metrics• Number of accounts existing and new• Number and dollar value of missing accounts and non-renewals• Sales and revenue• Cost of sales• Dollar value of orders, transactions• Total activities• Face-to-face appointments/Call-meeting activities• Proposals and IOs sent• Ratios • Number of activities and proposals• Number of activities/IOs sent• Number of activities/deals closed• Revenue Per Rep (per time period)• CoS/repCHURN ANALYSIS AND LOST REVENUE Production and Distribution Metrics: Digital GrowthToday, most publishers are grappling with the fundamental issue of print economics versus digital economics. “We’ve established over time a broad range of metrics for helping us manage print economics,” says Gumas. “In our case, we’re going through a managed process of taking costs out of print business, doing so in manner that we hope would produce efficiency without a decreasing quality of the product.”The goal for Questex was to deploy savings into the digital businesses. “We’re moving all of our brands from reliance on single platform data to multi-channel data,” says Gumas. “The strategy is to provide customers the ability to reach the audience. We let the audience consume information in whatever format makes sense for them and give the advertiser as many different platforms.”  That means significantly increasing total audience delivery by increasing the digital reach—whether that’s a digital edition, subscription newsletter, Web site or Webinar. “The economics of digital distribution are clearly less expensive than print and we’re going back to the market metrics at the beginning and asking our editorial and publishing teams to rethink what audience segments are the most attractive,” says Gumas. Production and Distribution Metrics• Press run• Number of copies• Prepress• Printing• Paper• Postage (domestic and international)• Number of copies mailed• Book pages printed (ad, edit, revenue, NR pages)• Magazine pages mailed (domestic, international, show/office/Fed Ex copies)• Magazine pages printed (mechanical costs per page, prepress, printing, paper, postage)Content & Audience Metrics: Creating an SEO ScorecardMost publishers are scrambling to build out their digital products but most are also less than scientific about it. However, Questex has developed an approach that not only monitors the online progress month-to-month but holds individual staffers responsible for certain tasks. “All of this in my mind, gets to the effectiveness of the content being produced, which translates directly to the cost and revenue side of it,” says Gumas.   The process began with Questex search manager Alison McPartland educating the entire portfolio—from publishers to editors and techies—on SEO best practices, including organic and paid search.  “The way the CMS was set up, a lot of editors created content then shipped it off to someone else rather than being hands-on with the site itself,” she says.  McPartland launched an internal wiki and a blog to aid group training efforts such as Webinars. She also created a Search Engine Optimization Task List with more than 100 functions but narrowed the list to five key responsibilities—indexability, linking, accessibility, keywords and meta tags—that can be weighed via an SEO Scorecard. “Hundreds of factors go into a search engine’s algorithms but we’re looking at five main factors that can be tied to a specific role, whether that’s editorial or the site manager or someone else,” says McPartland. Indexability: The amount of pages indexed in the search engines versus the actual pages in the CMS. “We need to make sure that the pages indexed are ones that we want indexed and not just our comments page getting indexed 5,000 times,” says McPartland. “If 20 percent of the pages Google is reporting are PDFs, that’s not the quality pages we want. If we get 10,000 links, that’s great. But because Questex is a portfolio and we have so many sites, maybe 5,000 links are from other sites. That’s not really a negative for ranking but it means we’re not reaching the right audience or not getting as many as we thought we were.” Linking Ratio: “If we identify certain areas of a site that we want to sell or have people read, what is that ratio versus the homepage or sub page?” says McPartland. “We want to see a good balance of homepage versus sub page sources for links.” Accessibility: This measures the spiderability of the site. “We look to make sure nothing is keeping search engine spiders from indexing our pages,” says McPartland, who adds that Questex uses an internal crawler to go over the site before it’s presented to the major search engines. “If there is a road block, we want to identify that and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”Keywords: The ability to track the number of keywords the site is optimized on, and measure ROI.Meta Tags: Meta tags can boost a site’s visibility with specific key terms. “Do we have unique meta tags across the site?” says McPartland. “With CMS platforms, there’s a lot of omission and a lot of times things get duplicated.” Checking meta tags can be incredibly time consuming, so Questex looks for red flags, such as descriptions that might be too short. “If something is short, we pull a report on it to check,” says McPartland. “That may be a sign that it isn’t unique enough to be optimized for the search engine.”Content Metrics• Circulation/uniques subscribers• Edit cost per audience unit• Edit cost per page, copy, issue• Ad/edit ratio• Edit pages/editor• Page views• Open rates• Clickthru-rates• Openers• Forwards• Audience Comments/Posts• SEO ScorecardBUILDING AN SEO SCORECARDMaking It Clear to the StaffAssigning responsibility and day-to-day tasks in terms the staff could understand was key to growing the Web sites. The goal was to create a quick-access benchmark system for publishers. With Cadalyst.com, McPartland identified three core roles—Web producer, editor and development team—for managing the five main SEO factors. Each factor is weighted and assigned a performance score.  “That way people can say, ‘If there’s one thing you do for SEO, it’s your title tag,’” says McPartland.Each SEO Scorecard is also color-coded (green is good, red is poor, yellow is fair) to offer a quick reference on which SEO factors the staff is handling well and which need immediate attention. “The idea of green, yellow and red was to say ‘Okay, meta tags are green so they’re pretty good but linking is red, so that’s what we need to focus on,” says McPartland. “We can hone in on who’s responsible for that, whether that’s a Web producer who should be doing something about accessibility issues or whether it’s an editor who should be rewriting their meta tags or keywords because there are duplicates. We can run a report and say to the groups, ‘The Web producers are doing a great job but the meta tags are still a problem, which means we’re not getting through to editorial, so we need to work more with them.”McPartland has recently started running reports against editorial identifying Web performance trends such as the Top 25 articles across all Questex sites, specific keywords that drove traffic and the author that the story is tied to. “We can go to them and say, ‘Here’s what you did right, here’s what can be improved,” says McPartland. “SEO results can take two or three months and by that time the ranking and indexing has lost the editor’s interest. Now we’re going to run quarterly SEO Scorecards for each site but also generate monthly reports on the top articles for that site, indicating who that the author was and what keywords brought readers to that article.”last_img read more

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Journey to Dhaka begins

first_imgHolidaymakers are returning home after enjoying Eid vacation. Photo: UNBA crowded Dhaka looked somewhat deserted once people started leaving the capital city to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha at their village homes.The holidaymakers have already started returning to the capital after celebrating the Eid with their families in their hometowns, reports UNB.They are coming back as the weekday begins on Sunday.On Saturday, moderate crowds of people coming back to the city were found at Railway stations, bus and launch terminals.However, the pressure of the returnees is still low, said witnesses and authorities.Alamgir Hossain, ioint director at Naval Traffic, said 70 launches reached Sadarghat Launch terminal from 23 routes from around 7am to 11am on Saturday.He said the number of returning passengers is not that much high yet, but it will increase on Sunday.Trains were running about half an hour behind their schedules on average, causing delay to the departure of the outgoing ones, said Mizanur Rahman, a sub-inspector at Kamalapur Railway Station.Shahidul Islam, a banker who returned from Kushtia by train, told UNB that he along with his family members had to return today (Saturday) as his office and the schools of his kids reopen on Sunday.”There was a less crowd. So, we didn’t have to suffer much except the delayed train,” he added.Meanwhile, ferry services on Shimulia-Kathalbari route were disrupted for two hours from around 4am to 6am due to poor navigability in the Padma river causing immense sufferings to passengers.Ten small ferries are in operation while more than 300 vehicles waiting on both sides of the river, said Khandaker Shah Khaled Newaz, assistant general manager of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).The dredging worksare going on to solve the navigability problem and soon the ferry services will get back to normalcy, he added.He also said 87 launches and 400 speedboats are transporting passengers on this route.Farhana Dolly, a resident of Shahjahanpur who was returning from Feni, said, it took lesser time to reach Dhaka this time as the highway was relatively free of traffic.As the festive mood of Eid vacation has not lost its charm yet, those who did not leave the city for Eid celebrations enjoyed the city free from traffic jams, noise and crowd.Zarif Rafiul Haque Iraz, a Dhaka city dweller, said Dhaka remains free from traffic only during long vacations, especially during Eid holidays.”This is the reason I along with my friends decided to roam around the city to enjoy crowd-free and traffic-free Dhaka experience,” he added.This year, along with the three-day Eid holidays, most of the holiday makers got additional two days off — Friday and Saturday.Dhaka is expected to get back to its usual bustle on Sunday when people will be returning to the capital in their thousands from Saturday night.last_img read more

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Study Bipolar Depressed Youth At Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

first_imgTeens who have a history of bipolar disorder and depression are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, according to a new study released by the American Heart Association (AHA).While the connection may seem vague at first, scientists say the shared risk factors and side effects make the link very clear.“There are a number of possible biological bridges between mood disorders and cardiovascular disease. One of the most likely bridges is inflammation. Inflammation is part of the body’s response to a host of problems including infections and injury,” said lead author Dr. Benjamin I. Goldstein, a child-adolescent psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto in Canada. “Mostly this is a helpful process, but excessive inflammation can be damaging to the body, including blood vessels and the brain.”Dr. Goldstein said that while studies show the number of a child’s “mood episodes” correlates to greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease at an earlier age, the statistics for African-American youths are not clear.“We really need to learn more about specific sub-groups, such as African-American teens and also teenage girls,” Dr. Goldstein told the AFRO. “Some studies have shown that, among youth with mood disorders, African Americans are more likely to have heart disease risk factors such as obesity. The combination of a mood disorder plus obesity places one at especially high risk for heart disease.”The new research hopes to increase access to awareness, preventative screening, and intervention for teens fighting to stay mentally healthy.Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that 610,000 deaths each year occur from heart disease in America, with non-Hispanic Black Americans making up 23.8 percent of heart disease fatalities.Risk factors include diabetes and obesity, which also disproportionately affect African Americans. Symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, nausea, physical pain in the chest or upper body, and cold sweats.“As of now, we can’t say for certain whether mood disorders take a while to impact blood vessels and other cardiovascular risk factors, or whether these differences emerge together with the onset of mood disorders,” said Dr. Goldstein. “There is some evidence of greater inflammation in early-stage versus late-stage mood disorders. So it’s not simply a matter of longer time with mood disorders, it also seems that the [recentness] of onset, and as mentioned earlier, the age of the person, is important.”According to Goldstein, preventative measures include routine physical activity combined with “good sleep routines, healthy nutrition, and minimizing alcohol and substance use.”“This type of heart-healthy leaving is especially important for youth with mood disorders,” he said. “Both because they’re at risk for heart disease and because heart-healthy living is also mood-healthy living.”Read the entire study here.last_img read more

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DCs Whittier Education Campus Celebrates 90 Years of Service

first_imgOne of the District of Columbia’s oldest public schools will celebrate nearly a century of existence with a series of events highlighting the school’s journey.Whittier Education Campus, located in the upper Northwest section of the city, will fete its nine decades of operations starting with a Nov. 14 “Jersey Day” and an open house for former students, staffers and the general public on Nov. 15. “It’s a nice way to bring everyone back together while teaching children the history of the school,” Tenia Pritchard, the school’s principal said. “Teaching children history gives them a sense of pride.”Whittier Education Campus, one of Washington D.C.’s oldest public schools, will host a celebration marking its anniversary. (Courtesy Photo)In 1923, the Manor Park Citizens Association passed a resolution requesting a new elementary school be built in their neighborhood because there was widespread dissatisfaction with the existing Brightwood Elementary School and its perceived unsanitary conditions. When a Brightwood Elementary School student was struck by a car in 1924, the citizens association threatened to take students out of the school until the District government agreed to build a new building.With the support of D.C. Schools Superintendent Frank W. Ballou and the school board, and a congressional appropriation, the school was built and opened in 1926. The school was named after noted abolitionist and journalist John Greenleaf Whittier.What makes Whittier’s founding so unusual is that it is the product of a grassroots effort. In the 1920s, citizens had to go to the U.S. Congress for funding of any public building in the city, even though the District was governed by three commissioners. The school board at that time was largely advisory.The neighborhood surrounding Whittier was predominantly White and the District’s school system was segregated by race. More Blacks began to move into Whittier’s immediate area, starting in the 1950s, and now the Manor Park and Brightwood neighborhoods are overwhelmingly Black.Whittier’s student population is 79 percent Black, 17 percent Latino and the rest White, Asian, and Native American, according to statistics from the D.C. public schools.The school educates students from pre-school to the 8th grade and serves as a feeder to Calvin Coolidge High School. It is a STEM (Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics) institution with activities such as a debate club and boys and girls basketball teams.Whittier does have its challenges. On the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) test administered during the 2014-2015 school year, 30 percent of all students didn’t meet student proficiency levels in English and language arts, and in math, 38 percent only partially met those standards. Nevertheless, Angela Stribling, a 20-year teacher at the school said it is a productive place for young people.“I am very happy to be working in a wonderful place where students can grow and learn in a positive environment,” Stribling told the AFRO. “I am now educating my second generation of students where I am teaching the children of my former students. We have established great connections that way.”Pritchard said the celebration events are designed to showcase the school to the community.“I thought it [the celebration] would be an opportunity to not only inform students about alumni and their achievements, but also a way to bring the community together as a whole,” she said.On Nov. 17, there will be a “Glow Birthday Party” for students and a spaghetti dinner for families in addition to contests for poetry, posters, and essays. From 8 pm-midnight Nov. 18, there will be a gala at the V.I.P. Room, 6201 3rd Street., N.W. Pritchard said alumni, current and former staffers, elected officials, and friends of the school are expected to attend.last_img read more

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7 Habits of Highly Hackable Employees

first_imgJanuary 6, 2017 7 min read Old habits die hard. And as a consequence, trusted employees are putting organizations at risk every day by performing seemingly innocent acts on their computers.A recent Intermedia report found 93 percent of employees engage in at least one form of poor data security. And 23 percent of respondents admitted they would take data from their company if it would benefit them. Equally alarming is the fact that IT teams, tenured employees and C-level executives all exhibit bad habits and expose organizations to security threats. The CEO of Austrian aerospace parts manufacturer FACC is all too familiar with this scenario. He was fired after a fake CEO email scam cost the company $47 million.Before investing in new security tools and technology to protect against external threats, companies should place higher priority on identifying and fixing internal risks. Here are a few of the most common employee traits that expose businesses to potential harm.1. They lack education and training.When a new employee joins an organization, he or she typically gets a computer, a company email address and access to a suite of applications to carry out daily duties. But training on how best to use these resources often falls by the wayside. Businesses must provide upfront education to safeguard against sophisticated threats that prey on unsuspecting employees.Company leaders who are serious about keeping cyber threats at bay understand that a single training session during onboarding isn’t enough. Regular IT and security updates are essential. These important measures help establish good habits from the start and supplement that baseline with periodic information and training sessions. Related: 4 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Organization2. They choose weak passwords.According to SplashData, the most common passwords used in 2016 are still “123456” and “password.” It’s easy to be lured by convenience rather than opt for security. Creating and remembering new passwords undeniably is a pain, which is why so many employees stick with the same password across multiple accounts. But this, of course, makes for a wide-open target. In one fell swoop, all of an employee’s accounts can be compromised.Related: 4 Foolish Cybersecurity Mistakes Robert Herjavec Is Shocked People Still MakePeople working in the tech industry typically have access to more applications and services than might people working in other industries. Without a Single Sign-On (SSO) service, there are too many passwords for a normal human to remember. SSO provides users with a single portal to access all their web applications. The employee logs in to the portal, and SSO logs him or her in to all apps for which that user has permission — no need to rely on sticky notes and Excel spreadsheets to manage all those usernames and passwords. Because users have to remember only one password, it typically can be longer and stronger than they’d normally select.3. They share login credentials.Here, too, employees fall victim to convenience. When colleagues want to quickly and easily access certain information, businesses often rely on sharing credentials instead of creating a unique personal login for each user. Nearly 50 percent of respondents in a recent survey of office workers have shared credentials with multiple users. This leaves the company vulnerable to a data breach.Ideally, each employee joining the company should receive a checklist of the services and applications needed for her or his daily duties. Human Resources and IT departments should work together during onboarding to create a separate account for that user and software set.But this is the real world, and shared accounts are almost impossible to avoid. For example, multiple people are likely to have access to the company Facebook or Twitter account. Some SSO services support secure sharing of credentials, linking the use of a shared account to an individual but hiding the actual password from these same users. In most cases, only the IT administrator knows the password. This makes it easy to revoke access as people join, move around and leave the organization.4. They install web applications without consulting IT.“Shadow IT” is a persistent issue in today’s workforce. It happens when employees download unauthorized applications to their work computers or mobile devices. It also can occur when they subscribe to Software as a Service (SaaS) applications without IT approval.Many employees are glued to their work computers eight hours or more a day and start to think of that workstation as their own personal device. Their intentions may be harmless — perhaps they want to download a popular music-streaming application or a consumer file-sharing tool to store and coordinate information. But doing so without first consulting IT contributes to the problem and puts the company at risk.Related: The Good, the Bad and the Careless: Insider Behaviors That Cause Data BreachesThere are good reasons why businesses should allow certain applications and not others. These include keeping up productivity, ensuring consistency across the office and its departments, protecting against malware or other security threats and keeping risk at an acceptable and understood level. Ultimately, people want to work the way they want to work. IT’s role has changed such that teams now advise the business rather than act as technology gatekeepers. If IT decides that consumer-grade products are not secure enough, they must offer an alternative — or a choice of alternatives — that work across the range of devices people want to use.5. They upload company files to personal cloud storage.Mixing business with pleasure always has been risky. Technology issues are no different. Saving company files to personal file-sharing applications highlights a more recent concern in the age of cloud computing. While file-sharing applications such as Dropbox and Google Drive have helped streamline communication and version-control of shared documents, these services often lack security protocols or audit and compliance features. In short, they were created with consumer convenience front and center.A dedicated employee might upload work files to a personal file-sharing application so he or she can work remotely after hours or over the weekend. Despite the individual’s commendable motives, this is a high-risk behavior. Making a spur-of-the-moment choice to use a consumer-centered solution might save them a few extra seconds but could cost the business much more. Employees must keep the company’s best interests in mind and be cognizant of potential consequences. Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Install Your Own Private Cloud6. They access company data after changing jobs.When an employee resigns or is terminated, the very first step the business should take to protect itself is identifying and immediately revoking the employee’s access to all platforms and web applications. Research has shown that after leaving a company, 89 percent of employees still have access to at least one application or to proprietary corporate data.People also will need access to different applications as they move around within organizations and fill different roles. Companies must develop a strong Joiners, Movers & Leavers (JML) process to ensure company data is safe from unauthorized access.Related: Nokia Sues Apple for Allegedly Violating 32 Technology Patents7. They’re not careful enough with email.Most people have experienced a close call or a heart-stopping “reply all” horror story, even if they don’t want to admit it. One wrong click of a mouse can share information with an undesired receiver and — even worse — jeopardize an entire organization by putting highly confidential information in the wrong person’s hands. This type of mistake now extends to file sharing services as well. The modern faux pas is granting access or accidentally sharing files with the wrong people through services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.Related: Be Careful, Next Week It Could Be Your Email on WikileaksNot all data breaches or cyber threats are preventable. But a business that arms its workforce with the education and resources to break bad computer habits can operate with greater confidence that the company and its data are safer. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 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