Create a Convening of ALL Independent News Media

A committee of the Pocantico participants agreed to convene a conference of independent, community and ethnic and foreign-language media in spring 2016 to connect these colleagues, and facilitate, disrupt and create explosive collaborations that will transform what people believe is news and explore how working together can mutually strengthen them all.

The conference would be a way to break down the silos most in these sectors are in, strengthen the flow of information between different members of these sectors, smooth the pathways for editorial collaborations, and create a peer-to-peer network for sharing business ideas and funders.

It also seeks to create concrete ways for community media to expand their voices and specific action steps for them to step up to another level in business practice.

The committee envisions a conference that would principally invite editors and publishers of foreign-language, black, Hispanic, and other media associations and outlets by and for people of color, along with editors and publishers who belong to The Media Consortium, the Association of Alternative Newspapers (AAN), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), the Alliance for Community Media (ACM), the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB), the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), and freelance journalists and media associations.

Participants who committed to this effort and to recruiting others to be involved in making this happen are:

  • Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Executive Director, The Medium Consortium
  • Juana Ponce de León, Director of Media Diversity Relations, NYC Council Speaker’s Office, formerly with the NY Independent Press Association
  • Chris Faraone, News and Features Editor, DigBoston
  • Richard Logan, President, The Reva and David Logan Foundation.

They aspire to get 1) funding to visit several communities around the country to get journalists from these media outlets to buy in to the idea and attend, 2) sponsorship for the actual conference, and 3) funding for post-conference activities, such as editorial collaborations and other joint planning work on infrastructure, training and other areas.

Timeline and Commitments:

May 2015:     Identify hosts for the conference (talk esp to CUNY and NAM) and potential stage 1 funders—Jo Ellen and Juana

June 2015      Grow Committee to represent all stakeholders—Jo Ellen, Juana, Chris

June 2015    Separately, Jo Ellen to set up quarterly meeting of heads of independent news organizations: June, Sept, Dec, March

June 2015      Write proposal for Stage 1 funding –Jo Ellen, Chris, Richard to review

July-Oct 2015   Travel to different communities to talk to local community media about what would bring them to a national conference—Jo Ellen plus organizer (hopefully from foreign language media)

Aug 2015      Set conference date; Set conference location; Create conference website; Identify venue—Jo Ellen with input from committee.

Sept-Dec 2015    Sell sponsorships and exhibit areas for conference—tbd; Plan program—Committee to be formed; Write proposal to funders for travel money and for post-conference work.

Dec-Feb 2016     Marketing campaign to bring as many individuals as possible to conference; Continue to sell sponsorships, etc.; Plan strategy for post-conference projects.

Feb-Apr 2016     Conference

May 2016     Follow-up tbd by what happens during pre-conference planning and conference itself.

For more information, please refer to Create a Convening of ALL Independent News Media