Mike Fancher’s catalytic conversation with Kindle Fahlenkamp-Morell

Kindle works as the Electronic Marketing and Multimedia Manager for the Colorado Health Foundation. Her job involves using social media on behalf of the foundation and working with a foundation team that handles media relations.

I am a retired newspaper editor and board member of Journalism That Matters. I was on the writing team for the report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. I believe that JTM gatherings contribute to the Commission’s notion that informed communities need abundant journalism and that community institutions can contribute to making this happen.

The Colorado Health Foundation is a perfect example. It funds a variety of health journalism, including Health Policy Solutions <http://www.healthpolicysolutions.org/> and health coverage by Colorado Public Radio. And, the foundation creates content through programs like the Colorado KaleidosCOpe, a “statewide storytelling campaign designed to shine a bright light on the good work of our grantee partners and the people whose lives they impact.” <http://www.coloradokaleidoscope.org/>

Kindle hopes the JTM gathering will provide ideas for working effectively with bothtraditional and emerging media. I’m confident that will happen, based on my experience at other JTM gatherings. It’s surprising what emerges when people who don’t typically talk to each other get together to discuss what’s possible.

Kindle believes her education in journalism and her experience in social media and technology will help her contribute meaningfully to the sessions. She is comfortable with technology and not afraid to fail with it. She largely taught herself to code and build websites. She enjoys helping others who are less comfortable with technology. She anticipates that the JTM gathering will broaden her own understanding and skills. So, she comes to it with a willingness to learn and share.

I believe Kindle has the spirit of abundance that will help communities replace some of the journalistic resources that have been drained from traditional media. Everyone has a stake in the future of journalism, and anyone can contribute to it. I’m excited to come to Denver to share my ideas and learn from the people there.

Kindle and I agree that social networks are increasingly important in how people get their news. And we worry that there is the potential for people to isolate themselves in information bubbles, being exposed only to information that fits their known interests and needs. Journalism matters, in part, because it helps us know and care about the world outside our own bubble.

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