Ingeborg’s chat with Michelle Ferrier

Submitted by inge on Sat, 05/29/2010 – 7:33am
Session Reporter: Ingeborg Endter

Conversationalist 1: Ingeborg Endter

Conversationalist 2: Michelle Ferrier

Michelle is also a lifelong learner. She had a very interesting path to her present interest in interactive media. She started in high school working at Goddard Space Flight Center. She was working on digitizing images from satellites. Those images have become what we see today as Google maps and Google Earth. She’s interested in alternative stories that help a community see themselves and their relationships. She did this using the metaphor of a quilt.

Her academic work has focussed on hyper-local community news using a social network interface. In the social network one comes to learn where the knowledge is in the community.

Michelle is currently a Professor in Interactive Media at Elon University in Greensboro NC. She and her students have recreated a Museum of Civil Rights in Second Life.

She describes herself as the “chief instigator” for the JTM meeting in Detroit. After attending some other JTM meetings, she decided that we need more such meetings for people of color. Diversity is a very important ingredient in creating the new media landscape. And achieving that diversity is Michelle’s goal for this meeting.

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Ingeborg Endter, Consultant, Center for Future Civic Media, MIT

Submitted by Michelle Ferrier on Sat, 05/29/2010 – 7:31am

Session Reporter: Michelle Ferrier

Conversationalist 1: Michelle Ferrier

Conversationalist 2: Ingebord Endter

Ingeborg Endter
Working for the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT Media Lab

We’re working on a number of projects that we will be talking about at the conference, but I’m interested in talking about Detroit and the project is Hero Reports. The Center is about technology and our intent is to create tools that people in the community can use that strengthen the community, help to strengthen the sense of citizenship and participation in the community.

The things that we do have a very wide range. We have projects that have to do with mapping, tools for allowing groups to do their own mapping with cameras and balloons and a technology for stitching the images together and overlaying them on maps. And then there are people who are working on financial things and so to get back to Hero Reports, started a few years ago by a grad student. She was looking for something to balance the “See Something, Say Something” campaign started after 9/11 in New York. She felt there is already a lot of fear and suspicion toward neighbors and strangers in the city. She was looking for something to raise their attention to positive things.

People can submit stories about acts of kindness or civic courage or positive things that people do so that you can remember the positive aspects of the city. It was quite successful in NY. She graduated and moved on. We’re trying to expand it to different cities in Suarez, Mexico that needs positive news. Every city has its own set of issues. We felt that Detroit would be a great city to promote a site like this.

Goal: To enroll someone in picking up the project for the Detroit area. It requires participation and ownership from community groups and use it for things that are important for the community. Looking for champions…people who would be users and those who are champions that would help publicize it and what it can do for their communities.

Ingeborg’s Background: Lifelong learner. I had a career in academia, in business and decided to go back to school to get a master’s degree in technology. I became a student at the Media Lab back in 1997, I was specializing in online communities – physical communities that use online communication to facilitate the communication in those communities. Silver Stringers projects that are publishing a monthly journal …a group of senior citizens.

Worked for several years with the Computer Clubhouse Network. Worked with youth and the tools to help them to become creative and self expression to help them learn. Not so much a computer program, but a youth development program and now I’m back at the media lab working at the Center for Future Civic Media.

Expectations: I’m interested in the intersection of local communities and technology. Will there be people there from the community in Detroit and how will the journalistic community work with them? This project Hero Reports echoes a lot of that scene.

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Maria Rojas and Stephen Silha

Session Reporter: Stephen Silha

Conversationalist 1: Stephen Silha

Conversationalist 2: Maria Rojas

I was so impressed with the conversation Maria Rojas and I had this week.

She’s a student at Elon University – actually, she just graduated and is looking for right livelihood.  But she’s got an impressive dossier already, from her work with Michelle Ferrier and in Costa Rica, where she made a great website for Earth University La Flor []

Maria loves event planning, and I’m hoping she will help with some of the logistics and organization at next week’s Journalism That Matters in Detroit!  (She’s planning to help with next year’s follow-up Create or Die conference in North Carolina.)

Maria and I discovered we share a passion for storytelling, and both of us hope to grow as storytellers and as collaborators at next week’s confab.  She told me that it’s important to her that stories be told in different formats and styles so that a broad range of audience can understand them.  She predicts that media of the future will be more collaborative and less hierarchical.

She reminded me that one of the highlights of JTM gatherings is the mix of ages.  Those in her generation are not nearly as depressed as some of us grizzled journalists are – and she’s creating the future, so we might as well join the joyride.

— Stephen Silha

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Assignment: Detroit

Session Reporter: Sue Ellen Christian

Conversationalist 1: Sue Ellen Christian

Conversationalist 2: Steven Gray

I spoke with Steven Gray, bureau chief of Time, Inc.’s Detroit bureau and a key player in the company’s “Assignment: Detroit” venture. Read about the initiative on Time online at:,8599,1925681,00.html.

Gray is doing a bit of everything in his new-ish role here. As he put it: “It’s like running an upstart business.” He’s a bureau chief setting up a bureau from scratch, a reporter learning a new beat and new territory that is overflowing with great stories and a spokesman for this ambitious project, seeking to explain it to an audience that isn’t always responsive to the coverage.

So as for what he brings to JTM Detroit, it’s obvious. He is experiencing first-hand what it takes to build a journalism start-up, navigating the local channels and the politics and the business community. He can talk with JTMers about that process and the importance of having local bloggers and folks from the community adding their voices to the coverage.

The formulating question for Assignment: Detroit, and presumably, by extension, that Gray has for the JTM conference is: “What will it take for Detroit and the region to turn around?” Gray has told the story mainly through profiles — for an insightful read that’s his latest, this one on Detroit’s new police chief and his paramilitary approach to policing — go to:,8599,1992425,00.html.

Submitted by Sue Ellen Christian, Western Michigan University

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Our Part of the Elephant – Organizing and Funding Media Reform While Avoiding Old Mistakes

Submitted by Matt Renner on Fri, 05/28/2010 – 2:17pm

Session Reporter: Matt Renner

Conversationalist 1: Matt Renner

Conversationalist 2: Linda Jue

“We’re all dealing with different parts of the elephant.”

Linda Jue

The conversation between Linda Jue and myself  (Matt Renner) was extremely productive and helped me to prepare for the upcoming conference in Detroit.

We discussed:

  • The ghettoization of Independent Media as only something for liberals and elite/majority liberals at that.
  • The way this “liberal” stigma keeps powerful journalism from being taken seriously.
  • The fear or heightened caution of institutional funders to be associated with Independent Media because of this association with liberalism and the implied political slant.
  • A possible takeover of Independent/New Media by traditional “old boys club” insiders who have been displaced as the traditional media crumbles.
  • Past collaborations of Independent/New Media organizations and how they could be more effective.
  • The different focus elements of the upcoming conference and how to make sure we spur collaboration instead of waiting for direction.
  • How to incorporate racial and class diversity into New Media models.

We discussed, The Media Consortium, the Investigative News Network, ProPublica and other media organizations.

I came away from the conversation feeling like I had made a real connection with someone with a deep background in Independent Media who I look forward to meeting in person. Hopefully Linda came away from our conversation feeling like she met someone with a real passion for Independent/New Media and for figuring out how to make it work. We’re going to work together to continue to organize Independent/New Media activists and develop a more powerful and representative New Media landscape.

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Innovation Expo

Table Topics

What news and information innovations are activating diverse communities?

Media providers share their work through informal displays and conversations.  Here are the topics:

Allied Media Conference

Contact: N. Joy Beard

The Allied Media Conference will be hosted on Wayne State’s campus the week of June 17-20. The summit features a variety of workshops, hands-on activities, and the sharing of tools and tactics, centered around the idea of how grassroots organizations are using media locally and nationally. Hosted just before the U.S. Social Forum, also held in Detroit during the latter part of June, the AMC also serves to connect people within the community in general or community of activists, and build upon those relationships to create innovative media, improve the nature of communications, especially as represented with media channels, and transform media for a more just, equal world.

The Anti-Bias Handbook: A Journalist’s Guide to Creating an Open Mind

Contact: Sue Ellen Christian

Sue Ellen Christian is writing “The Anti-Bias Handbook: A Journalist’s Guide to Creating an Open Mind” for Holcomb Hathaway Publishers.  She is soliciting the contributions of current and former journalists to help educate journalism students. She is seeking journalists’ brief personal stories or advice regarding on-the-job challenges with reporting and setting aside personal prejudices, assumptions, or preconceptions about news events, sources or topics. Her book strives to help young journalists be more aware of their habits of thinking that can lead to inaccuracies and stereotypes — of race, ethnicity, geography, physical abilities, gender issues, socio-economic status and cultural norms.

BLAC Detroit Magazine

Contact: Lori Robinson

B.L.A.C. is the premiere lifestyle magazine for African Americans in and around Detroit. We cover the people, places and issues of importance to our community. We strive to be inclusive of the entire African Disapora in our region, covering African descendants of various national and ethnic backgrounds. We also empower readers with the information they need to fully appreciate and enjoy metro Detroit. We are committed to providing our target audience—ranging in age from the late 20s to the upper 50s—with engaging, high quality editorial and visual content.

CLEonair at

Contact: Cheryl Fields

Podcasting has been around in one form or another since the ’80s. The first MP3 players hit the market in the late 1990s, with the IPod emerging in 2001 and eventually spawning the term “podcast” in 2004. Since then, the podcast universe has exploded, including everything from music , news and educational content to career counseling, food preparation and political commentary.  This tabletop will showcase one way podcasting is being used to deliver targeted content in a talk-radio-style interview program.  Come learn about why the CLEonair program was developed, the content, the audience, the BlogTalkRadio service, and the production process as well as how the show is helping people engaged in locally focused social justice work to share their knowledge, information and experiences with others around the country.  Visitors to the table will be able to listen to archived shows, and interact with the homepage and program switchboard.

Community Voices

Contact: Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Sonya Bernard-Hollins has had a passion for writing since grade school.
Her dedication continued throughout high school and college, and has led
to more than 20 years in journalism. As the editor/publisher of Community
Voices, she wants:
1- to create an outlet for other young people to become the next
generation of journalist. Her goal is to provide an opportunity for young
people of diverse backgrounds to gain experience in various aspects of
journalism (print, online, broadcast, radio) while showcasing their works
in Community Voices. Students would be assigned to real assignments and
obtain experience and pay. Sonya wants feedback on how to make this effort
most effective for the students and the communities and people they
feature. Also, how to obtain grants, funding, equipment,etc. to allow
students the most professional experience.

2- How to make Community Voices online newspaper an instrument in literacy
and work toward motivating those of all ages to read. Sonya is interested
in creating workshops, events and securing outstanding authors, journalist
and educators who would provide awareness to this issue in addition to a
fund-raising opportunity to provide scholarships to students interested in
careers in the field of journalism. She would like feedback in the areas
of securing speakers, innovative workshops/seminars that would inspire
those of all backgrounds in the community to participate,
funding/sponsors, and other ideas.

Ethnic Media In America: Images, Audiences, And Transforming Forces

Contact: Alice Tait

Ethnic Media in America draws on the qualitative and quantitative research of scholars in the fields of journalism and mass communications, speech communications, media, film and ethnic studies, history, sociology, economics, business, law and regulations.  Together, these contributors answer three underlying questions:
– Why do ALANA groups seek to control or significantly influence Eurocentric media, or even own their own media systems?
– What challenges do ALANA groups face in seeking these forms of empowerment?
– Are ALANA groups and society in general better served when they do?
At the same time, they also raise important questions about how successful ALANA strategies can be in creating alternative images in economically viable ways for pluralistic American audiences.

High School Journalism Projects

Contact: Emilia Askari

1. An annual workshop for high school journalists from Detroit public schools. The aim of the workshop is to help the students do a better job reporting about health, science and the environment.

2. A project during the 2010-2011 school year with one classroom of Arab American middle schoolers at a Dearborn public school. Led by Joe Grimm and Emilia Askari, this project of the Asian American Journalists Association aims to give students more multi-media skills.

Locally Grown News

Contact: Michelle Ferrier is an online community designed to foster the eating locally movement. Our mission is to generate conversation around sustainable, healthy lifestyles.

The online community features eco-friendly, local topics about locally grown produce and other products. Robust user profiles allow members to connect with those with similar interests and passions.

Community members can:

* Learn about local foods and local producers
* Share seasonal recipes and prized gardens
* Find out about ideas for sustainable living
* Rate favorite markets
* Post regional events

Beta markets will be hosted in both Winston-Salem and Greensboro, NC.

Coming Soon: LocallyGrown Markets

Locally Grown Markets is a mobile application/online widget designed to provide just-in-time market and product availability information to consumers in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina. The goal is to encourage users to find and purchase locally produced goods, thus building local economies.

MIT Center for Future Civic Media

Contacts: Ingebord Endter and Christina Xu

The Center for Future Civic Media is creating technical and social systems for sharing, prioritizing, organizing, and acting on information. These include developing new technologies that support and foster civic media and political action; serving as an international resource for the study and analysis of civic media; and coordinating community-based test beds both in the United States and internationally.

Red Ink

Contact: Ryan O’Toole, MIT Center for Future Civic Media

Today, the collection and analysis of consumer behavior data is the exclusive domain of the largest corporations and governments. However, these entities rarely have consumer interests in mind when exploiting this personal and private data for gain.

Noticeably, personal, political, social, and community groups are disenfranchised from accessing consumer data, though doubtless the analysis could be used to support their missions. Ironically, these types of groups typically have large loyal constituencies who might be very willing to chip in a little data in order to support a purpose they believe in.

Red Ink is an attempt to remedy this information asymmetry by providing a public, socially driven, and Open Source Software solution to consumer analytics.

Red Ink is a Web site where people can freely self-organize to launch campaigns that target spending at specific businesses and regions. By joining a campaign a user grants it limited access to a stream or their bank statement data. The campaign uses the access to target specific purchases across all of its supporters. The targeted purchases are stripped of personally identifiable information, analyzed in their aggregate and published to the web in the form of charts, graphs, maps, and other embeddable visualizations. These can be custom built to be useful for a variety of purposes.

Red Ink is being developed at the MIT Media Lab with support from the Center for Future Civic Media and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

RU Ready 4 BIZness

Contact: Laketa Dumas

I would like to share a Product Development activity that is given to my students. In addition, I want to show the products the special needs and general education students created I will share how the students raised $7000 in three months through selling their own products. In efforts to raised money for United States Patent and Trademark Office where they learned how to get a patent or trademark.

Small Town Revolution

Contact: Mark Anderson

How to turn small into an advantage.

In a small town, it would be easy to conduct a door-to-door media survey, asking people where they get their local news, where they share stories, and asking how we can get them to take part in an ongoing community-wide conversation. Armed with that information, a newspaper could start new conversations, tap into existing conversations, and move both the newspaper and the community in a forward direction.

You Are the Media: How Iranians “Democratized” the Media

Contact: Davar “Iran” Ardalan

This past June, as a Senior Producer at NPR News and through my ancestry and connections in Iran, Davar “Iran” Ardalan received hundreds of tweets, emails, photos and status updates from the front lines of the disputed Iranian election. She has collected and shaped the social media messages that poured out of Iran and into her inbox.  Structuring them with interviews, reportage and photographs, “You Are the Media” reflects not only a dramatic and important moment in Iran’s political history but also a major turning point in the swiftly-changing nature of news and media around the world. Visit her table to discuss how journalism has evolved in Iran and is now “the most dangerous occupation in Iran,” according to exiled Iranian journalists Fereshteh Ghazi.

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Detroit Metropolitan Airport is served with frequent service by major air carriers, Amtrak runs high-speed rail service from Chicago, and Detroit is a reasonable one-day drive from much of the East Coast, Midwest and Canadian population centers. Bus transportation is available downtown.

Lodging – Dorm with Meals

For participants comfortable with shared bath (and private bedroom) we recommend dormitory-style accommodations to foster informal conversation.  The dorm is a two-block walk from St. Andrew’s Hall. Because we are between semesters, Wayne State has set aside single-rooms in four-room, shared-bath suites in the Towers Residential Suites. Within the recently constructed, 11-story tower is a cafe-style dining hall we will use, a mini bookstore, fitness rooms and green spaces. Free Internet is included. We anticipate rooms will be approximately $60 for the first night and $49 each additional night, including a meal swipe card for breakfast and dinner (lunches will be served at St. Andrew’s Hall and are included in registration). When registering, please choose the dorm, or non-dorm option, so that we can reserve (or not) a dorm room for you. WE WILL CONTACT YOU IN APRIL WITH EXACT BILLING AND PAYMENT OPTIONS, including whether lodging stipends are available.

Lodging – Hotel – No Dinner

We are recommending the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Detroit-Downtown, 1020 Washington Blvd., which is 2.5 miles from Wayne State and offers free on call van shuttle service to and from campus. The special room rate is $85+tax per night and includes free internet, hot breakfast, a heatted indoor pool and exercise room. Reserve contact is Denisa at (313) 887-7030 (main number: 313-887-7000). Ask for the “Journalism That Matters” rate.

A boutique hotel within walking distance is the Inn on Ferry Street, a three-block walk from St. Andrew’s Hall. The Inn is nearly booked June 4-5 but you may make a reservation on your own if available. Call (313) 871-6000 and ask for the “Wayne State-JTM” rate.

Internet Access

Wayne State University is providing complementary Internet wireless access for our registered participants. To use it in the dormitory, you will need to agree to download virus-checking software. At St. Andrews Hall (or event venue) and elsewhere on campus, wireless is open. The JTM-Detroit group login is (all cAsE sEnSiTiVe):

user name:  JTM_Detroit  (note the underline between M and D)
Password: JTMDetroit313

Here’s a link to a PDF download that shows you how to login:


Parking at Wayne State costs $4.25 for each entry/exit from the parking facility. If you bring a car and park it for three days, that will be the charge. We’ll advise details closer to the event. Charges will be more if you take the downtown-hotel lodging option (below).  When you check in at Thursday registration and receive your access-card for your dormitory lodging, we can provide you with a card which includes 24-hour, in-and-out parking access for $5 per day. You should request this when registering and we will collect the cost ($15) from you by cash, check or credit card separately from the registration table.

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