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Beyond Books Video

Jacob Caggiano has just completed a video of Journalism That Matters Beyond Books at MIT.

Check it out!

Beyond Books – What’s possible when librarians and journalists meet? from Jacob Caggiano on Vimeo.

THE CHALLENGE

For three centuries, in American towns large and small, two institutions have uniquely marked a commitment to participatory democracy, learning and open inquiry — our libraries and our free press. Today, as their tools change, their common missions of civic engagement and information transparency converge. Economic and technology changes suggest an opportunity for collaboration among these two historic community information centers — one largely public, one largely private. How?

Featuring community pilot projects such as:

The Public Insight Network
AllPrinceton.com
The Investigative Dashboard
MuckRock.com
CU-citizenaccess.org

More examples and information at http://biblionews.org

Activities at JTM, Home Page, JTM News

Beyond Books

Democracy in America’s Libraries

A work session for journalists, librarians and the public

April 6-7, 2011 / MIT / Cambridge, Mass.
(immediately prior to the National Conference for Media Reform)

For more information and to register go to:
http://www.biblionews.org

For three centuries in American towns large and small, two institutions have uniquely marked a commitment to participatory democracy, learning and open inquiry — our libraries and our free press.

Today, economic and political realities – or fashions – invite a thoughtful examination of their roles, and the opportunity for collaboration among these two historic community information centers, one largely public, one largely private.

Journalism That Matters, (the American Library Association,) the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, the Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst and the New England News Forum invite you to join in a work session for civic information transparency that builds from and beyond books.

With via a pre-event social network, an evening agenda-setting dialogue, a day of roundtable planning and closing action commitments, we’ll discover what’s possible at the intersection of public spaces, open documents, citizen reporting and journalistic purpose.

Among the questions we may ask:
• What might libraries do to facilitate community social news networks?
• Must free speech be absolute within a taxpayer-supported institution?
• Should librarians be more partisan than reporters? Reporters more partisan than librarians?
• Are libraries poised to become public-access media centers as cable fades?
• Should a library operate a news collective, non-profit or citizen-journalism service?
• How can libraries help preserve a free digital information commons?

JTM News

Ways to Connect and Participate

Welcome to Journalism That Matters

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Join over 1200 journalists, activists, citizen journalists, and civic leaders around the country already involved with JTM.

Connect, experience an unconference, publish your own blog, find support for a new media idea, join an initiative, follow our sessions, get inspired, develop resources, cross-pollinate ideas with community activists … there are all sorts of ways you can participate in on JTM activities.

Are you in print journalism? Online media? Television? Are you a blogger? Educator? Community activist? Photographer? Media Reformer? Check our members list to see who shares your interests and geographic area.

To be notified of upcoming unconferences, initiatives, and other events as well as to blog, please sign up!

JTM Online

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JTM Online is currently being developed to assist JTM members by providing social networking technologies including member profiles, a searchable / sort-able members directory, friend connections, and public and private messaging between members.

At the social heart of JTM Online are activity streams – one for each member and one collective activity stream for all members. Members can publish updates directly to their activity streams, reply directly to others’ updates, collect a list of favorite updates, recommend others’ updates, and so on. Activity stream updates are also published automatically to mark events such as a member joining JTM Online or two members becoming friends.

Multimedia including photos, videos, and documents can be directly embedded, i.e. viewable within JTM Online, simply by pasting a link into an update from popular sites like YouTube and Flickr. Each activity stream update has its own permanent URL, useful to people and to search engines alike, enabling direct references and a well seen architecture.

JTM Online enables members to:

  • Have a member profile
  • View all public JTM sessions and the rest of JTM Online
  • Mark activity updates as favorites and build a list of favorites as references
  • Be listed and “discoverable” by others in the JTM members directory
  • Create online sessions to discuss topics
  • Create sessions to organize and develop projects and initiatives
  • Share interests and membership in other organizations

Each online session has its own activity stream, which is both the primary means of communication within a session and a record of all that has occurred in a session. JTM Online members can publish updates to either their own profiles or directly to any session of which they are a member. Each update is given its own URL.

Sessions members can:

  • File share documents, images, audio and video files, and archives comprised of other files.
  • Categorize documents
  • Receive notifications of session activity via email, including weekly digests and receiving an email for every update
  • Create a session events calendar for meetings and other events
  • Track one or more outside RSS feeds, creating activity stream updates automatically for each new item in the RSS feeds. Sessions may thus act as virtual water coolers, created to discuss the items in one or more RSS feeds, or as official, JTM-based representations of outside organizations.
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Tom Stites’ Banyan Project: Will Co-op Journalism Work?

Tom Stites explains The Banyan Project to a group at Ivar's Salmon House

Journalism, says Tom Stites, should be: 1) relevant to people’s lives, 2) respectful of everyone, and 3) worthy of their trust.

Relevant. Respectful. Trustworthy. What’s so hard about that?

Nothing, really, but too much journalism today falls short of those goals, according to Stites, founder of The Banyan Project, a nascent national pilot effort still in the development stages.

Stites was just in Seattle for a few days to talk with people here who are trying to encourage and create more relevant, trusted, ethical and abundant journalism.

The Washington News Council invited about 25 local journalists, civic activists, public-relations professionals, academics and others to meet with Stites at Ivar’s Salmon House on Monday (Feb. 21) to learn more about Stites’ project.

Stites is currently a fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard University. He also won the prestigious “Game Changer” award last year from the WeMedia organization, in a national competition decided by online votes. He was also one of the first journalists to take our TAO of Journalism pledge for Transparency, Accountability, and Openness.

Journalism That Matters Pacific Northwest co-hosted the event, thanks to Anne Stadler and Mike Fancher. They (and I) are active members of the JTM Collaboratory that has been meeting regularly since a large JTM gathering in January 2010 at the University of Washington. Stites also met with several co-ops in this region to explore possibilities and exchange ideas.

His plan is to use the “consumer co-op” model to create a new kind of journalism built on a “bedrock of trust and integrity,” whose citizen members will support it and sustain it. The co-op plan would allow “no possibility of structural conflict of interest,” Stites said, which can be a problem with other forms of journalism that are funded by advertisers, subscribers, individual donors and increasingly by foundation grants. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: The word structural was inadvertently omitted from my original text.)

Stites envisions several Banyan “turnkey franchises” around the country, whose co-op members would practice “relational journalism” and observe a “covenant of behavior” online. He calls it a “civic networking space” where citizens would confront issues and possibly take action. They would be more engaged because, as co-op members, they would have a stake in the outcome, and a “deep sense of ‘stakeholderness,’” Stites said.

Questions from the group raised concerns about the need for such a new effort given the proliferation of hyperlocal neighborhood websites, the robustness of ethnic media outlets, and the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks that allow people to get news and information from sources they trust, including their friends.

Other questions focused on financial viability and how to “monetize” the project. Stites hopes it will be funded by coop members, advertisements, administrative fees, philanthropic donations, “crowd fueling” and ancillary sales of products or services. But he conceded that he “hasn’t yet raised a cent” to support the project. Stites acknowledged that he was formulating a “Plan C” for journalism, but stressed that we also need a “Plan D, E, F, G, and so on” until we find something that works.

So the future of The Banyan Project – as with many other new journalism efforts these days – is uncertain. Banyan is a good start, but whether it will seed, take root and grow – like its namesake tree – remains to be seen.

This article was originally published by John Hamer on the Washington News Council‘s site.

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WNC Named “Organization of the Year”

The Washington News Council has just been named “Organization of the Year” by the Municipal  League of King County. Here is their press release, sent out today to news media statewide.

This is a great honor for our little non-profit organization. We would like to thank all of our friends, supporters and donors who helped make our important work possible over the past 12 months — and over the past 12 years — to encourage high-quality journalism and media ethics.

Other Civic Award winners this year include King County Sheriff Sue Rahr (Public Official of the Year), BECU – Boeing Employees Credit Union (Business of the Year), and Susannah Frame of KING5 (Government News Reporting). So we’re in really good company!

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