———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 14:22:13 -0500
From: Bill Densmore
To: Participants, Journalism That Matters-Memphis Sessions
Subject: IMPORTANT/TODO: Profile, interview and readings for Journalism That Matters: Memphis Sessions

Below is the information you’ll need to be best prepared for “Journalism That
Matters: The Memphis Sessions,” Jan. 11-12. You can check this URL after Jan. 7
for any last-minute details of our schedule:

In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to call — 413-458-8001.

Journalism That Matters — The Memphis Sessions

“From Mainstream to New Media: Finding Common Ground to Grow Participatory Democracy”


December 28, 2006

TO: Participants in Journalism That Matters – The Memphis Sessions
FROM: Chris Peck, Stephen Silha, Peggy Holman, Bill Densmore

Dear Participant:

Thank-you for joining us for in Memphis for a focused and strategic inquiry
into how we can sustain journalism that matters. Our Memphis host and
co-convener, Chris Peck, has arranged for our sessions to meet on Friday in the
Memphis Cotton Museum – a beautiful room with exhibits all around us and within
walking (or trolley) distance of the Holiday Inn Select an the Memphis Cook
Convention Center. Lunch on Friday will be at a nearby Mediterranean
restaurant. We will still convene initially on Thursday at 3 p.m. in the
Convention Center, room L-8 (note room change — 01-04-06).

From experience, we know that these roundtable sessions work best if each of us
is prepared as active participants. To achieve this, we ask you to do
THREE THINGS to accelerate and deepen our work.


Read through the profiles prepared for each of us. You can download a printable version by clicking on:
Our you can go to the roster wiki page, and get a little more detail by clicking on each highlighted name:


Please make a strong effort to read:

* The JTM white paper: “The Next Newsroom”, found at:

* Geneva Overholser’s “A Manifesto for Change”, found at: ) and

* Prof. Leonard Witt’s white paper, “Constructing an Open Source Framework for Re-inventing Journalism”, found at:

Each will be briefly discussing their work after dinner on Thursday and we’ll want to start a discussion which will inform and direct our work on Friday.

*You may find it useful to review other links at:, especially the piece by Tom Mohr. If a particular reading informs your thinking, please let us know emailing a link to, and we’ll add it to the optional reading list.

Phone contact/interviews

Spend up to an hour on the phone with a fellow participant,
engaged in creative inquiry about the themes underlying our
sessions. We’ve selected a “partner participant” and provided contact
information below. Please take the initiative to make contact right away.
If you are running short of time, a brief phone conversation with your partner and some brief notes is far better than no contact at all.


The purpose is four fold:

*To arrive on site already having established a working relationship with
another person;

*To begin to understand both the diverse and common perspectives among us;

*To gound our work in the meeting’s themes using an activity fundamental to
journalism — storytelling; and,

*To begin to share backgrounds and intellectual passions with all session

Interview pairs are listed below. We’ve done our best to pair journalists and
media reformers. We KNOW everyone is busy; we believe taking the time
for this will accelerate our work and results.

Possible questions to ask

For the interview, below are some questions you might use. Our experience has
been that these questions are useful to break new and fertile ground.
That said, feel free to ask other questions as you wish. Our suggestion is that
one person act as interviewer for all four questions and then swap.

Please make contact immediately. When you connect, you should agree on who will
be responsible for quickly posting written highlights of the interview
(notes are fine) on our conference workspace at:

Alternatively, email the notes to Peggy Holman at She will post them on your behalf.

Your task is to interview the other person and draw out their story so that
they relive not only the facts, but also the “music” – the feelings, the
energy, the excitement, the color, of their story.

* Each of us has been engaged with at least one media story that we
experienced as particularly effective; a story that had great productive
impact; in other words, a story that mattered. Tell me about a story you were
involved with or were touched by that comes to mind. What made it such
a powerful experience? What effect did it have on its audience? What effect did
it have on you? What made it possible to do?

* Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself as a contributor
to great journalism? What gifts do you see yourself bringing to
this meeting?

* It is safe to assume that we all believe that journalism is essential to
democracy. Given that is true, what is it about journalism without which it
would cease to be journalism; what is its essential core? What are we ready to
let go of?

* What three wishes do you have for the future of journalism?


In your notes posted HERE, or sent by EMAIL, please capture your reflections on the interview using this
outline or something like it:

* What meaning did you take from the interview process?

* Please share a standout story or quote.

* What surprised, challenged, inspired, and/or delighted you about the interview?

Again, Here’s a link:

or e-mail them to:
Peggy Holman at


Below is our pairing of confirmed participants to date for interviews. Find
your “partner,” send a short introductory email and plan to be in
conversation by phone immediately. Jan. 11 is not far away.

Hosein, Hanson (WA) / 206-306-3336
Lynch, Dianne (NY), 602-274-3895

Peirce, Neal (DC) / 202-554-8191
Shaffer, Jim (ME) / 207-780-4665

McAllister-Johnson, Pam (KY) 270-745-5836 /
Meagher, Ilona

Peters, Farley / / 301-855-6482
Daubenmier, Judy / / 810-229-0877

McGill, Doug / / 507-535-0951 / (cell: 507-398-2182)
Nolan, Chris / / (415) 771-7133

Johnson, Pam / 573-882-4998 (MO)
Clement, Jaci / 516-224-1860 / cell: 516-318-2531 (NY)

Alami, Nadia / 202-833-5740 ext. 207 (DC)
Blethen, Ryan / 206-464-8500 (Shirley Stone) (WA)

Anderson, Steve / 604-837-5730 (Canada)
Folpe, Jane / 212-854-5974 (NY)

Caputo, Michael / 651-290-1081 / cell: 651-431-1651 (MN)
Katz, Eddan / 203-436-0804 / cell: 203-675-9965 (CT)

Florin, Fabrice / 415-388-6688 / cell: 415-860-6484 (CA)
Yelvington, Steve 706-284-6471 / cell: 706-284-6471 (GA)

Lawton, Beth / 703-902-1806 / cell: 312-307-7075 (VA)
McDaniel, Katherine / 203-640-7879 (CT)

Messerschmidt, David / 206-547-2392 / cell: 206-909-2412 (WA)
Schreiner, Kenneth / 801-674-2240 (UT)

Salinger, Sue / 720-434-0470 (CO)
Fancher, Michael 206-464-2330 (WA)

Soloski, John / 706-202-9870 / 706-202-9870 (GA)
Peck, Chris 901-529-2390

Witt, Leonard / 770-423-6925 / cell: 770-880-7320 (GA)
Magnuson, Karen 585-258-2220

Lawson, Jonathan 206-709-0558 / cell: 206-931-0565
Overholser, Geneva 202-237-5939 (DC)

Toering, Karen 206-709-0558 (WA)
Blethen, Frank / 206-464-8500 (WA)

Jue, Linda / 415-824-5341 / cell: 415-505-5341 (CA)
Hynes, Aldon / 203-329-1629 / 203-217-6712 (CT)

Ralston, Neil / 270-793-0044 / (KY)
Zeeck, David / 253-597-8434 (WA)