Putting the Human Face Back in Public Policy

Submitted by cfields@langhum… on Sat, 06/05/2010 – 2:24pm

Session Convenor: Cheryl Fields, Brian O’Connor, Kwan

Session Reporter: Cheryl Fields

Discussion Participants:

Kwan got the participant list

Everyone shared their interests, which were varied, as was the composition of the group. Some are journalists (print, broadcast, digital), some community activists, others funders and students. Overall, the focus was on how media can do a better job of informing people about public policy. We talked about the degree to which media can be a catalyst for making public dialogue happen. How do we go about helping to create the communications ecosystem we need?  Some said the old model of journalism seeking objectivity seems in appropriate to the times. There were varying opinions about the need for balance in reporting. We agreed that journalists should be working toward the public good. Should we be creative about melding the reporting advocacy process. Maybe provide a checklist at the end of every story (print, radio, digital) giving the community a list of things they can do to learn more or get involved. Also point them to local resources.  Journalists should also hold the community accountable when they do not engage.  Perhaps media should incorporate gaming into the conversation in some way. And we talked about polling and the need for journalists to do a better job of helping readers interpret poll results. Perhaps even engaging readers to interact with each other more about poll results. And we talked about media outlets serving as convenors of events and other opportunities for the community to learn more about local issues and other state, regional and national public policy issues that affect them.

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Strength In Numbers: Multi-media collaboration from Blog to TV to Mobile

Submitted by ericgalatas on Sat, 06/05/2010 – 12:20pm

Session Convenor: Eric Galatas

Session Reporter: same

Discussion Participants:

Arthur Leggett
Remarketable Solutions

Aracely Vasquez
Student, Kalamazoo College

Barry Lewis
Student, Wayne State University

Juanita Anderson
Professor, Wayne State University

Sonya Bernard-Hollins
Editor, Community Voices

Bill Densmore
Director, Media Giraffe Project, U Mass

Eric Galatas
Program Director, Free Speech TV

Example of multi-media collaborative event.  Free Speech TV collaborative coverage at US Social Forum:  Free Speech TV wants to collaborate with journalists covering the US Social Forum.  Our goal is to amplify important untold stories through our television and internet channels.  Journalists would be teamed up with camera operators for live reports throughout the conference.  Live reports would be streamed live online, and available on-demand, through Livestream platform.  All video content would be available to all participants, to post to social media sites, blogs, either through embed codes (for the live players) or on-demand files.  Some of the programming would also be televised on satellite and cable channels.  Trainings at USSF for using smart-phones as live television cameras.  Students from Wayne State documentary production class might pre-produce stories that would be rolled-into the live feed.

What makes collaborations work?  Shared interest, individual and collective gain.

What do we get from collaborations?

One on one interactions

Contributing to coverage around an event, becomes a unifying factor.  Individual interests can be served if you can share tools.  Limited in scope, particular time frame around specific goal that make sense to pool resources, shared contributions and shared benefits, regardless of individual interests.  How can those principals apply to projects with broader less defined parameters.  Time Magazineproject should die.  Maybe there should be Detroit Story, blog for peoples stories that can find their way to various news platforms, brings authentic voices.  What’s the organizing principal, and how can it be sustained.

Third entity, community centric, how to court people usually relegated to the comments section.

What are obstacles to collaboration

Discussion about Time magazine Assignment Detroit model.  Questions about what was disturbing in presentation.

Arrogant to think community would gather around non-representative voices, old gatekeeper model

Outside perspective can be valuable.

Is there an opportunity, to seize the name and the infrastructure (the house), to help AOL/Time Warner, turn it into a service to community PR win for them?

How to bring Detroit media community together.  If goal is to get community to participate, how do you communicate to community the value and to participate.  What vehicles?

Perhaps some of the processes used at Journalism that Matters conference (Open model)

Idea: Bring in High schools, universities, journalism, English and social studies as a citywide project, training to become future journalists.

Knight Foundation possible.  Creative Corridor, Mark Denson.

Goal: two parts, one has to do with redefining image of Detroit.  Self-defining one’s own image.  Second, genuiniely, people are looking for solutions and opportunies to solve problems that are really humongous problems, and are looking for forums for solutions not coming from above.

Incorporate Detroit Hero, citizen journalist reports and access.

How can community have real buy-in?  Should offer vision of what is possible, where we’re going.

Assignment Detroit: we have an assignment here, and it’s to add more pixels to the picture.

Next steps solicit a team of professional media leaders and independent journalists to recruit them into the concept.  Present overview of vision, or let these groups articulate the idea themselves.  Room for WXYZ to do stories, big umbrella. Pitch project tomorrow, plan on creating pitch.

Is there a timeline, or does into continue?  Birthday Detroit works because it’s limited.  Success for this project would mean that citizens of Detroit claim it on their own.

The old forms of gatekeeping was inspiration for outrage and this new idea.  Space for creative storytelling.  Challenge is to make it a forum where people’s voices can be heard.

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Social Media Gaming: Part 2, 3

Submitted by mcwflint on Sat, 06/05/2010 – 4:11am

Session Convenor: Mary Ann Chick Whiteside

Session Reporter: Mary Ann Chick Whiteside

Discussion Participants:

Harold Shinsato, John Kotarkski, Kaari Tassu, Maria Rojas, Sally Duros, Melissa Cornick, Christina Xu,

An evolving discussion, mapping of ideas from the morning session of Social Gaming, centered around the energy of creating round one of a game focused on journalism.

(will add schematics later)

How do we create a game that allows people to easily add their own stories to the game?

How do we reward people who move from one level to the next?

  • Gain points for collectiing # of contacts
  • Gain points for number of stories published
  • Points move you to different levels; perhaps allowing greater access to sources – ie. it costs you less to call the mayor beause at level 10 he returns your call; level 1 he doesn’t

What would we gain from shifiting the focus from a traditional “Big J” story to storytelling, embraciing diverstiy that comes from many people adding pieces of what they know to a “finished” product?

  • Example: Five people ask the same five questions to discover what an award at a sewage plant means. When group gets back together, what story can they put together

Next session:

  • Blue Sky
  • Pick one angle to develop
  • Proposal:
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How Can Public Radio Include All People?

Submitted by keith woods on Fri, 06/04/2010 – 3:46pm

Session Convenor:
Keith Woods

Session Reporter:
Keith Woods/Davar Ardalan

Discussion Participants:
Ruth Seymour; Sonya Bernard-Hollins; Linda Jue; Annie Shreffler; Lou Rutiglino; Ryan O’Toole; Matt Renner; Lori Robinson; Kwan Booth; Latoya Peterson; Peggy Holman; Frank Witsil; Maureen Federo; Cheryl Fields; Blake Roberts; Kat Aaron; Chris Rabb; Sono Hashisaki; Andrea Silenzi; Chris Smith; Davar Iran Ardalan

There were several themes that emerged; some questions, some challenges, some suggestions:

— Black communities are losing coverage in newspapers and are losing black-oriented commercial radio. Can public radio share its content with some of the commercial stations that are small and hardly competitive? Would that introduce people to public radio and drive audience there?

— Public radio needs to go beyond its content comfort zone; cover and include people who will come to radio when it looks/sounds more like them. We discussed whether this “build it and they will come” philosophy holds up.

— Connect with people like Farai Chideya who can bring younger, hipper audience to public radio. Find voices who don’t sound like more of the same on NPR.

— Can you go beyond content and programming? Can you host events — lectures, forums, sponsorship of events in communities; concerts, etc.? (Example: Singles nights held by WNYC). Get community relations people to make connections between the programming and the audiences we seek.

— Bring greater diversity to the ranks of those who decide who’ll get interviewed, what will get covered. Are they representative of the people you’re trying to reach?

— Lori: Is the commitment there among NPR leadership to follow through and make something happen. Keith: Yes. But there are many ways that commitment at the top is undone below. Change will come if momentum and critical mass push the effort forward.

— There are three ways public radio can make a difference re: diversity:

1. Improve opportunities for entry into public radio (internships)

2. Create “artists in residence” to bring in more talent;

3. Support the work of independent producers via AIR

— NPR needs to put marketing/outreach support behind programs for people of color; needs to make it possible for people of color to step beyond the “urban” shows.

— Go into communities and cover local events that have national resonance — community forums or conversations  that deal with big issues shared by communities across the country; post-produce the events, maybe put content around it and give it back to the public;

— Report on events that all people share — family reunions, life transitions (Bar Mitzvas, Quinceaneras, etc.), proms, etc. — that allow people access to diverse ways common events are experienced.

— Tell listeners, users, people in social networks what you’re working on and ask them what questions they want asked; infuse all of journalism with voices, ideas, questions with this diversity of voices;

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information/news by/for young people @ school or @home with innovative platforms such as games

Submitted by Bill Densmore on Fri, 06/04/2010 – 2:32pm
Session Convenor: Emilia Askari

Session Reporter: same

Discussion Participants:

Maria Rojas, Narjis Rahman, Ross Neal, Carmen Lee, John Kotarski, Eric Galatas

coding isn’t geeky — it’s creative, like writing. everyone will have to learn the grammar of coding. we should start in kindergarten with computer etiquette. by middle school, students can be creating apps. we need a curriculum to teach students how to create apps and onlne games.

how do we get kids excited about news? connect it to things that excite them, such as music an sports.

news U site has great tutorials. wish there was one on how to create a game. classes at Wayne State require students to complete the News U tutorials and reflect on what they learned.

Boys and Girls Clubs — really good at teaching people how to create in-person games. This same skills may be useful to people planning online games. Would be interesting to relate in-person games to virtual games and vice versa.

someone should create a game-building template, a wordpress of games

what appeals to people about games like foursquare varies from person to person. element of conquest is important.

webkinz — very popular with very young kids. we should create a news-related or civic-related counterpart.

educational computer games can help motivate older kids to stay in school

graphic novels — base them on news rather than history and make them interactive

makebeliefscomix.com is a good way to create manga

Flash — important for building games — can learn Flash on Knight Digital Media Center website

need to campaign for policy change — people who create state graduation requirements and benchmarks should let journalism or story-telling count as an English class

John had success creating a news program with high schoolers in Mount Clemens. he had them interview five different people on the same topic for cable tv. different perspectives on the same topic made the story stronger.

Elliot Soloway – UM professor who’s a great resource on mobile phones in schools

Henry Jenkins at USC — another resource person

sandboxgamemaker.com — web site with game template

qik — app that lets you use a mobile phone as a camera livestreaming to the web — will use this at the US Social Forum coming to Detorit June 22- 27

signature practices vs best practice — signature practices can be adapted for each location

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How do we create Journalism that spurs public action?

Submitted by boothism on Fri, 06/04/2010 – 1:20pm

Session Convenor:
Kwan Booth

Discussion Participants:
Kwan Booth

  • Does journalism as it is now inspire action?
    • Should it
  • What kinds of journalism inspires action?
  • What kinds of actions can be expected?
  • How do we inspire readers to become activists
  • What types of content does this?
    • Passive nature of news
    • Take action boxes
  • Do different types of content inspire action more?
    • Story, then video, then SMS action messages
    • Ethical issues involved
  • Examples:
    • MAGnet/Neutrality/Digital Divide
      • Campaign working to enlist media into policy shaping initiatives
      • Mix between journalists, advocates, activists and media makers.
  • Where does the public dialog happen?
  • How much do journalists stay “on the street” and keep the ear of the people?
  • Kat: There’s an implicit idea that if people receive the info people will act, but that’s not necessarily the case.
  • Are we talking about individual journalists or structural changes? Should we address one or the other?
  • Make the reporting more concrete and tie in details that resonate with individual communities
    • Focus on Bread and butter issues
  • Funders have been focused on funding direct services around community interactions.
  • We need to address the fears that journalists have around working with advocates.
  • Think about the extent to which an individual personality (ex: Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin) can push an agenda and change the public understanding of issues.
  • One problem is that the right breaks issues into sound bites while the left addresses the nuances of the issue.
    • But the nuances don’t really inspire action. Emotion inspires action.
  • Where does the public discourse happen and how do you place the information there?
  • Are we covering the news from the perspective of the groups who would be effected?
  • We should work to Integrate the community into the reporting process and get them more involved.
  • There needs to be a way to measure and track public interaction spurred by action.
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Transitioning legacy community journalism to new tools and concepts

Submitted by Bill Densmore on Fri, 06/04/2010 – 12:48pm

Session Convenor: Brian Steffens, National Newspaper Association

Session Reporter: Mark Anderson

Discussion Participants:

Mary Ann Mohring, Mark Anderson, Jeff Brown, Mollika Biernat, Jacqueline Burau, Michelle Story-Stewart, Robert Shimkoski, Vivian Sanders

Mary Ann Mohring, Mark Anderson, Jeff Brown, Mollika Biernat, Jacqueline Burau, Michelle Story-Stewart, Robert Shimkoski, Vivian Sanders

With more than 8,000 community newspapers, there is already a base of established community journalists in this country. How can we move them toward the new media landscape?

Local markets will need to open up soon, as the younger generation grows up.

Newspapers can use online, videos, Twitter, Mashable…..

We need a new media literacy as a component of civics classes. Kids have never heard about media as the fourth estate.

Do we need more random sampling, or bigger community-wide conversations?

Do we use technology more as a conversation platform or as a delivery mechanism?

“We know what’s best for them.” Flawed motto of automobile companies, newspapers shouldn’t make the same mistake.

Newspapers are risk averse.

Community newspapers are worried about change, they need a tool box to help them decide which direction to take.

Right now most online tools are for quick information sharing, not for in-depth news stories.

In a community, conversation is free, information is free, opinions and comments are free. What do we get people to pay for? People will pay for insight, depth, truth, connecting people with the issues that impact their lives, making connections that others cannot make, and solving community problems.

Alternative business example: Model D (modeldmedia.com) – free online newsletter in Detroit. Covers individual communities and markets. Has paid journalists and underwriters. Concentrates on positive news coming from specific communities. Audience has moved from email to Facebook, using Google analytics.

Is it different for underwriters to support journalism as opposed to ads supporting journalism? Business model example: All Headline News – syndicating to companies, companies can decide if they use the news.

Newspapers should form partnerships with bloggers.

There will always be a need for newspapers.

Most start-ups are free papers.

Need to share markets, share content, share success stories.

Send headlines by cell phone – text alerts, weather, sports scores…
Send newspapers out through wi-fi with free access

Print product vs. online product – do both.

Small communities are still behind, but the gap is closing.

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Impact of Images

Session Convenor:
Alice A. Tait
Discussion Participants:

Luther Keith(Arise Detroit), Sue Ellen Christian(Western Michigan Univ.), Peggy Holman,Bill Densmore,&Stephen Silha(Journalism That Matters), Victor L. Marsh,Sr. & Kapri J. Banks(City of Detroit), Brenda G.Price(John S. and James L. Knight Foundation)

From Bill Densmore:

Images of Detroit(Dateline Coverage)

Diversity and Media Couses(simulcasting)

Journalism That Matters(finding a home)

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The “Fifth Estate” of participatory news, media, and civic change

Submitted by inge on Wed, 06/02/2010 – 7:50am
Session Reporter: Ingeborg Endter

Conversationalist 1: Ingeborg Endter

Conversationalist 2: Melissa Cornick

Melissa has an impressive background in mainstream journalism. She worked with Murrow, Cronkite, 60 Minutes. She’s now working on a Master’s in Strategic Communication at Columbia and she runs a social responsibility web site in Bucks County, PA: http://www.oneifbylandbuckscounty.com/

Her concerns are now about the workings of the Fifth Estate and protecting Constitutional rights. People really do care about their rights and need advocates to give them information to help protect those rights. How do investigative reporters behave differently than regular news reporters? How does the public promote ethics in news standards? What happens if one is blacklisted by the Fifth Estate?

Melissa’s looking for technical advice to help her use social media tools on her site. She has attended several JTM meetings and we can rely on her to help us get conversations started.

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Create or Die: Pre Conference Conversation Summary

Submitted by cfields@langhum… on Tue, 06/01/2010 – 8:21am

Session Reporter: Cheryl Fields

Conversationalist 1: Cheryl D. Fields

Conversationalist 2: Brian Steffans

Brian Steffans is a problem solver. He’s had a long and exciting career in newspapers and magazines, having worked as a reporter, photographer, editor and media manager. He’s trained journalists in the US and abroad, has worked for several trade associations and even served a short stint with the New Directions for News media think tank. His commitment to and enthusiasm for journalism was apparent throughout our conversation.  I’m sure this passion serves him well in his current position as the executive director of NNA, where he advises and advocates for dozens of small and middle market local papers, many of which are still family owned.  Brian is constantly in the hunt for innovation and enjoys getting his hands dirty. “I value trying to move toward whatever’s next,” he said. “I like the challenge of building something different, changing something.”

I can’t say that anything about our conversation surprised me, but I enjoyed talking to someone who has been able to survive the changes of the profession while remaining so open, flexible and welcoming to change. He has this idea that in the ever-more-digitized future, journalists will serve as content “facilitators,” curating user input and mixing that with professional reporting. I look forward to continuing that part of our discussion.

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