“Co-op Newsroom”

Convener:      Jonathan Lawson

Silja Talvi
Lisa Cohen
Eric (from Fezter)
Jane Ellen Stevens

Conversation morphs more into a strategy of how to bring members of media together to talk about issues in a given locale; Seattle is used as the primary example. Also relates to bringing media issues to the public.

Discussion of community media in Seattle: Public Affairs Program/KBCS, Ethnic Press (Colors, Seattle Medium, International Examiner, etc.), Community Newspapers (dozens of neighborhood papers), Real Change (homeless/working class biweekly paper), in addition to traditional news outlets and independents (PI, Seattle Times, Weekly, Stranger, Evergreen Monthly), and dozens of even smaller specialty publications.

We need an infrastructure to help bring journalists together, and not just to drink and schmooze (a la Media Bistro), so that they have a stake in producing good media. Also interested in bringing together people who are motivated by social justice considerations and professionalism.

Amplifying existing journalism, and helping to get the word out about good works already being done.

A lot of the institutional structure probably already exists to provide meeting placed for these gatherings, including community centers, organizations, churches, congregations, universities, colleges, 826 (in both Seattle and SF). Seattle Times? Problem, there, is partisan nature … a lot of PI folks won’t attend, and vice versa if the situation was reversed.

Seattle Center?

So, what would it take for people to come together?

Lisa: For me, it’s appealing because I would love the opportunity to share those core values with younger people.
Promote idea of mentorship, “there’s no shortage of journalists to do this.” There’s so much frustration out there, and there’s so much that’s possible.

The predominant fear is still that new and old media do not have the same standards. “It will be a real challenge getting past those attitudes.”

Jonathan: idea of a monthly seminar series? (Wide agreement on how good an idea it would be.)

Whoever the organizers are, they have to be open-minded and willing to work with various groups/news orgs/perspectives.

Eric: There is a fertile crescent b/w new and old media, and they really can work together …

Monthly symposium, perhaps including presentations on media justice; journalism training; writing tips; dealing with trauma/emotional struggle (DART center; how to multisource good stories; ethics; adverts and their role in media; ethnic press; consolidation; literacy.

possibility of getting institutional support/funding? A Territory Resource, Vanguard, Newspapers, Rockefeller, J-Lab, Seattle Social Justice Fund, Pew, Kellogg, MacArthur, Mott, Ford, Poynter, Neighborhood city funding, Seattle Foundation.

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