JTM News

JTM Accomplishments

The stories we tell shape our future


Since 2001 Journalism That Matters has hosted 14 unconferences, inspired hundreds of initiatives across the U.S., and convened more than 1,200 journalists, educators, community activists and reformers. But most important of all, JTM has kick-started a coherent national dialogue, both inside and outside of the newsroom, examining the stories we tell about ourselves and our world, and the way we tell those stories.

By opening up the right questions and providing the opportunity for mainstream and independent journalists to interact creatively with the public and new media pioneers, JTM facilitates new forms and platforms of community storytelling. Among other things, JTM’s dynamic media mash ups have:

  • Helped establish and lead a multi-media reporting seminar for mid-career journalists.
  • Developed a consensus statement on the importance of news literacy (http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Reboot-statement)
  • Started a blog on the future of journalism (http://bcs.blogs.com/rejournalism/
  • Assisted an international/local news service focusing on “positive, inclusive and humane reporting of stories ignored by mainstream media” (http://www.commonlanguageproject.net/).
  • Developed a template for a New Newsroom serving today’s “new news ecology”.
  • Started new university and middle-school curricula on journalism, including working with citizen journalists.
  • Co-conceived a satellite community newsroom in a coffeeshop in Oakland, Calif., run by a legacy newspaper.
  • Offered new insights and projects initiated by industry leaders & shared with readers in columns and blogs
  • Spurred and fostered management shifts including re-examination of beat systems and reporting styles
  • Held training seminars for citizen journalists

Ongoing projects include


Common Language Project – Kalamazoo
It’s mission: to engage, educate and inform Americans of all ages on the crucial human issues of our time through innovative and accessible journalism.

spot.us – Washington, D.C.
Community powered reporting – spot.us assists the public to commission professional journalists and participate with them reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics.

New initiatives


Known as “collaboratories,”  the following initiatives are projects that have sprung from gatherings and events that JTM sponsors, as well as from individual members. The initiatives are as varied as the interests and needs of the people they serve.

Pacific Northwest

Creating Abundant Journalism: Led by Mike Fancher, former Seattle Times executive editor, this group plans to link journalism projects and initiatives with potential donors. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Media Mapping: Jacob Caggiano of the Washington News Council is mapping media news and information outlets across the state. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Support for the Collaboratory: Lead by JTM co-founder Peggy Holman, this group provides support for all the initiatives. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Digital Literacy Initiative: Common Language Project leader, Sarah Stuteville leads this initiative aimed towards teaching students how to become more informed media consumers and  participants. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

TAO of Journalism: Washington News Council president, John Hamer, is developing a pledge and seal of transparent, accountable, open journalism for display on media websites. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Building on Transparency: Lead by former Seattle Times op-ed writer, Matt Rosenberg, this project is developing a public document database called “Public Data Ferret.” See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Global Health Reporting: Pamela Kilborn-Miller of Connecting for Change Program at the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education,  Dr. Michael McCarthy of the Local Health Guide and Sanjay Bhatt, president of Seattle AAJA head this initiative surveying the health sector for future reporting. See calendar for meeting times and locations.

Microfinance: This initiative would provide business and micro-finance training for journalists. See calendar for meeting times and locations.


The Living Textbook helps seventh grade, primarily Arab American students to tell their stories.  Its focus on young, diverse story-tellers met our criteria well. Principals: Emilia Askari and Joe Grimm
Operation Promise: College Connection will provide an interactive, multi-media search for Michigan colleges, universities and trade schools which qualify for the Kalamazoo Promise Funding.  It experiments with crowd-sourcing and user generated content.
Principal: Sonya Bernard-Hollins

Front Streetwww.detiptv.com uses the Internet to enable community to take greater responsibility for their own information.  It experiments with TV on the web, working with Black, Arab, Latino, and White communities.
Principal: Tim Moore

The Michigan News Centerwww.MichiganNewsCenter.org – is a non-partisan source for issues of public interest, especially investigative reporting that performs a watchdog and accountability role.  It approaches a traditional journalistic role in a new way, with a stated intention to share tools, equipment, and their platform with voices in the African-American, Latino, Muslim, and Caucasian communities.
Principal: Steve Wilson

Red Inkhttp://www.make-them-think.org/ – provides public, socially driven and open source software for understanding consumer spending patterns. It experiments with visualization and public accessibility to aggregate data to support economic understanding and better quality social action.
Principal: Ryan O’Toole

Re-inventing Assignment Detroit – Transform Time Inc.’s Assignment Detroit into a multiplatform, community centered vision whose mission is to reimagine the image of Detroit.
Principal: Juanita Anderson