Retha Hill

Retha Hill joined the Cronkite faculty in 2007 after nearly eight years at BET, where she was vice president for content for BET Interactive, the online unit of Black Entertainment Television and the most-visited site specializing in African-American content on the Internet. Before joining BET, Hill was executive producer for special projects at washingtonpost.com. At the Cronkite School’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, Hill works with students from multiple disciplines, including journalism, to research and develop digital media products for media companies. Her students have been experimenting with virtual reality for more than a year.

by Retha Hill

It was a few days before the end of the fall 2011 semester, and a friend at a small southern university was bemoaning the lack of innovative spirit among her students. She’d built in an entrepreneurial module into her class, but only a small percentage of the students took the bait to even try to […] more »

by Retha Hill

What a difference a year makes. The Online News Association Conference in Boston looked a lot more like America in terms of diversity than last year’s Washington, D.C., gathering. People of color were included in most sessions, including timely discussions on elections and crowdsourcing. From the opening plenary with Vivek Kundra, the former U.S. chief […] more »

by Retha Hill

I attended the second annual Augmented Reality Event conference in Santa Clara, Calif., in May and it was … interesting. OK, it was a huge geekfest. The opening session was interrupted by people dressed in hazardous waste — or maybe they were supposed to be pseudo-astronaut — outfits, yelling about “free space,” while wrapping the […] more »

by Retha Hill

One of the joys of living in Phoenix, besides the winters, is the local airport. Sky Harbor bills itself as the nation’s friendliest airport and, while I won’t go that far, I love the fact that you can get in and out with minimal hassle. Even with construction to build a tram system linking the […] more »

by Retha Hill

In December in this space I asked about the lack of minorities at new media conferences — both as participants and as speakers. The blog post generated a lot of comments; a Twitter discussion, and the start of a list of wonderful experts — all persons of color — who can help make your next […] more »

by Retha Hill

It’s been a couple of weeks since Tim O’Reilly’s News Foo rolled into the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, and while I truly enjoyed thinking big thoughts with big thinkers about the direction of our industry, I couldn’t help but notice how lacking in diversity the invitation-only gathering was. The […] more »

by Retha Hill

One of the ways SeedSpeak will measure success is by the number of “seeds” that become successful projects or solutions in a community. Neighbors might suggest improvements to their community (“let’s turn a community lot into a neighborhood park” or “let’s paint a mural on a brick wall that faces a thoroughfare”), but unless the […] more »

by Retha Hill

The excitement continues to build in the Phoenix community over a new mobile and web platform that will help people sow positive change in the community. Since the June Knight News Challenge funding announcement, my development partner Cody Shotwell and I have fielded dozens of calls and emails from local people. They can’t wait to […] more »