Updates from November, 2011

  • ONA - SPJ Seattle Meetup with David Horsey 11/16

    7:52 pm on November 16, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: David Horsey

    via ONA-SPJ group on Meetup.com

    We’re excited to have been able to reschedule two-time Pulitzer winner David Horsey, who will join us at the next ONA-SPJ Seattle Meetup Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at Jillian’s, where he’ll talk about transforming his art and journalism from print to digital. He’ll discuss how his craft of cartooning has changed, how he’s added blogging and even slideshows to his storytelling, his experiences as a nationally syndicated cartoonist with Hearst, and where he sees it all going. See more of his work at http://www.davidhorsey.com.

    This is our fifth in a series of the #Newsnext meetups, where we’re talking to interesting locals working in the digital space. If you’re interested in gathering with writers, editors, photographers, producers, developers, designers, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the production of news, Jillian’s will have a cash bar and some great space to meet with like-minded digital professionals.

  • Seattle student press rights hanging in the balance

    1:53 pm on November 11, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: Ballard High School, Casey Henry, Education, Garfield High School, John Bowen, Kate Clark, Kathy Schrier, Katie Kennedy, Mike Hiestand, Nathan Hale, Phyllis Fletcher, Roosevelt, Seattle, Seattle School District, Student Press Rights Commission, Susan Enfield, Washington Journalism Education Association, Washington State School Directors Association

    Seattle area students and advisers meet Nov.8 to celebrate and discuss future plans.

    by John Bowen and Kathy Schrier from the Washington Journalism Education Association to the Student Press Rights Commission blog

    Principals will not have a chance to prior review Seattle School District journalism students because the school board recently withdrew its proposed and controversial policy change.

    “As a former journalism teacher, it is important for me — as I know it is for our Board — that we uphold our practice of trusting our teachers to educate our students on the rights and responsibilities that come with freedom of expression and a free press,” Interim Superintendent of Schools, Susan Enfield, a former journalism teacher and adviser, said in a press release.

    Supporters of the existing free expression policy will now have a year to convince the Seattle School District board to keep its hands off and continue to encourage students to make final decisions and have responsibility for content.

    During the first week of November as part of a system-wide policy overhaul, school officials announced they would seek to change a 2o-year policy of allowing students to make final decisions of content without prior review. The Washington State School Directors Association had recommended the new policy.

    Washington students, advisers, media groups and citizens mounted a public and active four-day campaign reporting about and speaking against the policy change.

    The press release indicated the school district would revisit the issue in 2012 to see how a policy change might fit with community values.

    Students and supporters met Nov. 8 to celebrate and plan

    Student journalists from five of Seattle’s high schools (Ballard, Garfield, Nathan Hale, Roosevelt and West Seattle) met Nov. 8 in the Nathan Hale journalism room to debrief following a promise by Seattle interim Superintendent Susan Enfield to leave unchanged the district’s current student press rights policy. The meeting followed a four-day, whirlwind campaign to thwart the passage of Policy 3220, a controversial, restrictive student press policy.

    The students came together to celebrate the immediate victory, as well as to talk about how they must work together to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. The discussion focused on how the district policy-making process appears to be badly flawed, especially since some school board members seem to be ready to approve policies they haven’t even read.

    Students plan to create a Facebook page and a website to keep in touch with each other, as well as to co-produce an article and possible insert about procedures used to decide policies in their school district. Students hope to run the piece in all their papers at about the same time. A coalition of Seattle student journalists is now in the works with plans to meet regularly.

    Applauded for their efforts in fighting back the passage of Policy 3220 were Katie Kennedy and Kate Clark, Ballard High School editors, who went on the attack with community flyers, letters to school board members and on-air interviews with local talk radio hosts. The group also applauded NPR reporter Phyllis Fletcher, KPLU-FM Seattle (who was in the room covering the meeting), for first discovering the proposed policy change and alerting Mike Hiestand of the Student Press Law Center, who in turn contacted the Washington Journalism Education Association.

    Fletcher shared how she discovered the information on the policy. She explained how, as part of her regular preparation for covering upcoming school board meetings, she looks at the agenda and tries to become familiar with the items for consideration. A red flag went up when she discovered the language in Policy 3220 under consideration.

    Clearly, her quick action made all the difference in preventing its passage.

    Garfield High School adviser Casey Henry shared with the group a late afternoon message to Seattle journalism advisers from Susan Enfield, in which she apologized for the “consternation” caused by the whole ordeal and promised to make sure any future revisions to the scholastic press policy in Seattle will include input from media advisers.

    Students in the room added they should be included, as well, and intend to make that known to the superintendent and the board.

    This was a close call for student journalists in Seattle Schools, with lessons to be learned about staying vigilant. In fact, the students discussed creating a session for the 2012 National JEA/NSPA Spring Convention in Seattle, a case study on four frantic days for student journalists and their supporters in Seattle that fortunately ended positively.

    Coverage from Seattle-area media

    Announcing the proposed change
    • Stop the presses, let the principal check them first
    • Seattle school board moves to censor student newspapers
    • Proposed Seattle school-newspaper policy raises censorship concerns http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016707090_censorship07m.html
    • Students say Seattle school board threatens censorship

    Announcing the withdrawal of the proposed changes
    • Seattle public schools beats hasty retreat
    • Students say school board ‘setting the stage for censorship’
    • Proposed ‘censorship’ policy for school newspaper withdrawn (Ballard High School)
    • Ballard High newspaper editor-in-chief Kate Clark on her censorship fight with the Seattle school board
    • School board withdraws controversial proposal: free speech maintained for students
    • Seattle public schools withdraws controversial student newspaper oversight proposal
    • Schools back off on policing student papers
    • KUOW-FM late afternoon story/interview with Ballard editors Kate and Katie
    • The Stranger

    Other coverage
    • How Seattle journalist got school censorship scoop
    • Seattle school board pulls controversial publications proposal, will revisit in 2012
    • Seattle School District seeks to remove forum policy for prior review
    • Seattle school board pulls controversial publications proposal, will revisit in 2012

  • Big Questions from #SIC2011 - The Seattle Interactive Conference

    1:53 pm on November 11, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: Good Housekeeping, John SanGiovanni, Motor Trend, MSNBC, Popular Science, , The Week, Zumobi

    In my first post on the Seattle Interactive Conference, I went over some locally developed tools designed to make information more relevant and insightful. Mobile apps like Trover, which allows geo-discovery through photos, and Evri, which organizes ~15,000 news feeds into a friendly iPad interface, are useful on an individual level. But my concern is:

    How can they scale to community heights when it comes to breaking, spreading, and contextualizing important public information?

    This is not an easy question. To help answer it, I needed to figure out how the mobile sausage is made. So at SIC, I tracked down John SanGiovanni, co-founder of and product design VP for the Zumobi mobile network. It would be wrong to call Zumobi an “ad network,” because while they do serve ads to mobile devices, they also design and build the apps on which the ads run. Right now its “co-publishing network” is being used by some of the biggest heavy hitters in the content world, with clients that range from MSNBC and The Week magazine, to Popular Science, Good Housekeeping, Parenting Magazine, and Motor Trend.

    The good news is that SanGiovanni happily reported financial success on the journalism side of their business. He said their MSNBC app is “a whale” (very profitable) and both the advertisers and the publisher (MSNBC) are happy with the model they’ve set up. It’d be hard not to be, because Zumobi designs and builds the app absolutely free of charge to publishers whom they choose to work with. The company also helps with some of the ad sales, but as a co-publishing network, they expect the publisher to already have a drawer full of dedicated advertisers.

    The not-so-good news is that Zumobi only works with top tier clients and doesn’t have plans to scale down their model to independent and hyperlocal publishers. SanGiovanni assured me he’s a big fan of Maple Leaf Life and cares about supporting grassroots journalism, but it’s just not in the cards for Zumobi right now. The company prefers to swim with bigger fish.

    The reason why this is not-so-good news, rather than bad news completely, is that it means there are still entrepreneurial possibilities for co-publishing networks within the mobile hyperlocal space.

    [Read More on the Journalism Accelerator]

  • Report back from the #SIC2011 - The Seattle Interactive Conference

    1:53 pm on November 11, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: Jason Karas, Location Based Marketing Association, , Trover

    Journalists have always covered the tech industry as a section of the newspaper, but now, due to the personal media explosion, the very existence of the trade is dependent on conversations and decisions that happen at events like this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference.

    #SIC2011 had many of the same trimmings as the now messianic #SXSWi (South By Southwest Interactive). The obligatory cute cartoon logos, fancy afterparties, overt corporate sponsorship, installation exhibits, free marketing schwag, and custom smartphone app were all part of the $300+ ticket, a tad steep for your average journalist trying to get a bite on how to stay alive.

    So how does this deliver in terms of fulfilling the “information needs of a community?”

    First let’s talk mobile. “Social/Local/Mobile” #SoLoMo was the expression I picked up from Jason Karas of Seattle startup Trover, who put up some interesting stats on rapid mobile adoption:

    • 350 million people are using Facebook through their phones
    • 4 billionTwitter posts come from phones each month (maybe not all through smartphones)
    • 1 billion photos are shared through phones each month (not clear if this is the entire web, or just social media)
    • 1 billion Foursquare checkins have been logged to date

    What’s more interesting is the motivation behind the SoLoMo phenomenon. The Location Based Marketing Association has research that breaks down the motivations of early adopters:

    • 54% want Discounts/Coupons
    • 33% want to meet friends
    • 32% want to learn about the location
    • 30% want to promote the location
    • 38% want to participate in games/contests/receive badges, e.g. become a “Mayor”

    The premise behind Trover is to tap into the human desire to discover and share discoveries, not by means of text reviews and pins on a map (Yelp and Foursquare), but through a rich photographic experience.

    My question to Jason was, how can Trover enable journalists and citizens alike to break stories and receive critical information in their communities?

    [Read More on the Journalism Accelerator]

  • KING5 gives away $10,000 check at #HackingNews

    6:00 am on October 17, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: Adam Loving, Becker IV, , , , hackathon, , Leon Wong, Lewis Lin, , Mike Davidson, Mohammad Almalkawi, Shauna Causey, Startup Weekend, Vanessa Fox

    UPDATE: Mini Doc video from KING5 at bottom and criticism of the licensing agreement from open source developer Jeff Reifman (via Geekwire)

    King 5 Hackathon whiteboardHackathons are getting trendy. Not just in journalism, but health care, education, entrepreneurism, crisis management, mobile tech, government, and other arenas. Yes, it’s another technology buzz word, but one that hopefully sticks around and evolves into a combustible formula. Bringing together software experts and social leaders who sprint together to solve big challenges is a remarkable thing, especially when there’s a $10,000 prize attached to it.

    That’s the ante that KING 5 TV put up over the weekend, in the first ever hackathon run by the broadcast industry. The NBC affiliate’s digital media director, Mark Briggs, laid out his vision of unearthing quality news in the same way that one would find the right place to eat brunch in New York City. Describing his recent trip to the Big Apple, Briggs pointed out that finding a delicious spot could take hours, or it could take five minutes; the difference being whether you know someone who already lives there.

    Other information challenges were presented by co-organizer Shauna Causey and local meme expert Ben Huh, who both had different ways of expressing a similar need for relevant information served up in a dynamic, user friendly environment. Mr. Huh shared a mockup of his recently announced Moby Dick Project, which generated a warm current of ideas through the room, leading 12 people to step forward and pitch their solution in under two minutes.

    After punching away through the 48 hour weekend, “Dimensions” came out on top. Cooked up by Leon Wong and a team of four others (Mohammad Almalkawi, Lewis Lin, Adam Loving, Becker IV), Dimensions takes its own spin on on news filtration/curation. Based on the premise that even personalized RSS tools like Google Reader are still a dumping ground of too much information, Dimensions allows users to filter through their news feeds based on location, timeline, and friends’ interest. It has both a personalized element of delivering custom news that can be drilled down into various “dimensions,” as well as a social element, where you can view the different news feeds of your friends and other prominent users. The team managed to put up a live demo what was pretty impressive considering it manifested in 48 hours from start to finish.

    You can also check out the nine other projects that were demoed over the weekend by looking at the notes I jotted here (and feel free to fill in any details I may have missed).

    The other contenders also had some pretty nifty hacks to share. There were projects designed to break stories and publish audio through your phone, serve up personalized news based on similarities to others, and collaboratively curate tweets based on importance as well as chronology.

    The Crowd

    Grinding around the clock is not for the faint of heart. Roughly one half of the 65 people who signed up actually made it out to the Friday night kickoff, followed by a 30% evaporation of people by the start of the first working day. Part of the dissipation was due to another mobile hackathon hosted by AT&T the same weekend.

    Participants could sign up as a designer (8), news geek (30), technologist (21), or developer (11).

    As is typical in tech situations, the demographic was skewed heavily male. In fact, you could count the number female competitors on your nose (two). However, some have worked to change that with a ladies-only hackathon.

    Based on a show of hands, half the crowd reported that they had already been to a hackathon before. Some were graduates of Startup Weekend (which began in Seattle), others had helped with Random Hacks of Kindness and Crisis Commons.

    As expected, there was clear presence of Seattle’s tech industry amongst the room. The event took place on Adobe’s Fremont campus, who donated their shiny space and helped purchase some of the food. Amazon gave away a $50 of free AWS Cloud hosting to all participants who showed up and also footed the pizza bill. The winning team had a current Microsoft employee on board, as well as a former one who had recently walked away from his job a few weeks earlier to start up his own company. Most people were locals, though one pair came up from Portland, and one fellow even flew in from San Francisco to bust his chops for both the KING5 and AT&T hackathons. There were at least a few startups that were represented amongst the crowd as well, the ones I met with were from Timber Software and DocuSign..

    Also interesting were two Microsoft employees hovering the room who were evangelizing the Open Data Protocol (Odata), which they happily develop during their day jobs. They were very helpful in providing general information not just about their product, but all things big data, and even let me pick their brains about various pet peeves and challenges across tech in general. Although they were very candid and unbiased in their opinions, it’s worth mentioning that employees of big companies like Microsoft sign a contract that they cannot participate in certain activities outside of the job (i.e. hackathons) that may conflict with the business interests of their employer. They chose to forfeit their odds of competing for the $10,000 in order to avoid brushing up against any sort of dispute, but were pleasantly willing to donate their time to help others succeed.

    So what’s next…

    Even a $10,000 prize will have a tough time answering a few million dollar questions.

    If you build it, will they come?

    As evidenced by the lackluster adoption and later abandonment of Google Wave, even really cool tools have to be picked up by a fair amount of people in order to stay healthy and remain useful. It’s easy to forget how wide the digital divide really is, and difficult to predict what kind of new habits people are willing to adopt. Are there enough news junkies out there who will want to add yet another tool into their consumption diet?

    If you build it, will it stand?

    Similar to other high energy gatherings, hackathons still have a “post-conference blues” effect. Many projects with good intentions undergo silent decay once the creators step back into the vortex of life’s routines. It was good to hear that local disaster expert Pascal Schuback is still working tirelessly to get the MadPub framework deployed on a national scale (built in Seattle during Random Hacks of Kindness 2.0), and he reported feeling optimistic about its eventual adoption by FEMA and other government agencies. However he told me that it’s rare to see hackathon projects evolve into live deployable applications.

    It is undetermined if KING 5 will find a way to integrate Dimensions into their news product, but Briggs spoke of his intention to be a liaison for the project and see what happens. It would be interesting to see KING 5 reporters themselves using the app to share the “dimensions” of stories that they both report, as well as consume.

    Regardless of the tangible outcomes, there is still a feeling of accomplishment that pervades the hackathon spirit. Professional networking is inevitable when working under a time crunch with a room full of strangers, and everyone walks away having learned a little bit more about what it takes to make technology work for the rest of us.

    Image credit by Lucas Anderson

    (More …)

  • InfoCamp Seattle – Oct. 8th

    9:54 am on October 9, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: information architecture, library science

    Saturday, October 08, 2011 at 8:00 AM – Sunday, October 09, 2011 at 5:00 PM (PT)

    tickets & info on Eventbrite (sold out!)

    Follow #infocampseattle for live updates

    Join us at InfoCamp Seattle 2011 for an exciting weekend of talking & learning about:

    – user experience
    – information architecture
    – user-centered design
    – interaction design
    – library & information science
    – online search
    – information management
    – informatics
    – anything relating to the intersection of information, people and/or technology!

    An invited speaker will kick off each day before we leap into multiple tracks of participant-led sessions & discussions. We’ll provide a light breakfast, lunch, coffee, and snacks to keep the energy up.

    The environment is informal, fluid and dynamic, utilizing tried and true structures along with fresh new ideas to encouraging engagement and collaboration. Everyone who attends is a participant.  Participants are just as likely to break out markers and whiteboards, as much as projectors. As always, it will be you, the participants, talking amongst yourselves, driving the content of InfoCamp.

    Want to learn more?

    – For more info check out InfoCamp Seattle
    – Follow Twitter for updates
    – Join our mailing list or contact seattle@infocamp.org

    Can’t wait to see you this October at the University of Washington!

  • #NewsNext with Josh Trujillo, staff photographer at the Seattle P-I

    1:33 pm on October 1, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 7:00 PM

    From the #NewsNext ONA SPJ(Online News Association & Society of Professional Journalists) collaboration. More info on Meetup.com

    This is our fifth in a series of the #Newsnext meetups, where we’re talking to interesting locals working in the digital space. If you’re interested in gathering with writers, editors, photographers, producers, developers, designers, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the production of news, Jillian’s will have a cash bar and some great space to meet with like-minded digital professionals.

    List of attendees are also on the Meetup page.

  • NW Photojournalism Visual Storytelling Night

    1:29 pm on September 8, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: multimedia,

    Photo: Jordan Stead

    Photo: Jordan Stead

    Photo Slam! Thursday, September 8, 2011, 6pm in the Pioneer Passages alley between 1st Avenue S & Occidental Ave S and Yesler Way & S Washington St

    NW Photojournalism, a network for visual storytellers in the Pacific Northwest, hosted a visual storytelling slam in one of Pioneer Square’s history alleyways.

    Local, professional journalists presented 5 to 8 minute photographic essays and multimedia projects on a variety of topics.

    Sponsors included: International Sustainability Institute, Glazers Camera, 4Culture, MID, Waste Management, Historic South Downtown.

    NW Photojournalism believes in the power of visual storytelling. Support of the craft is important as the media landscape changes and evolves. Questions- nwphotojournalism@gmail.com

    The Alleyway Network Project: http://alleynetworkproject.com/

  • J-Day, UofW Seattle - Sept 15th

    9:54 am on August 30, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink

    Join  800+ high school media students and their advisers for a day on the UofW Seattle campus. Attend two morning sessions presented by media professionals from area print /broadcast/online media (25 sessions on a range of topics.)

    After lunch, attend hear from keynoter Linda Thomas, “The News Chick”

    12 per student/adviser (WJEA member)
    $18 per student/adviser (not WJEA member)

    Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011 | WJEA Journalism Day
    University of Washington, Seattle campus | 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    (More …)

  • WSDOT – using social media to get the word out on transportation

    3:13 pm on July 26, 2011 | 0 Comment Permalink
    Tags: Online News Assocation,

    via ONA / SPJ Meetup.com page

    Hello all,

    Heading over the Cascades? Trapped in your car during #snOMG? Figuring out a way to get around summer road closures? WSDOT aims to help you navigate through all of it with innovative and responsive use of social media. Jeremy Bertrand, web manager and media strategist of Washington State Department of Transportation, will chat with us about how he developed this government agency’s policies and practices at the next ONA-SPJ Seattle Meetup Tuesday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at Jillian’s.

    This is our fourth in a series of the #Newsnext meetups, where we’re talking to interesting locals working in the digital space. If you’re interested in gathering with writers, editors, photographers, producers, developers, designers, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the production of news, Jillian’s will have a cash bar and some great space to meet with like-minded digital professionals.

    Any questions, feel free to let us know.
    Hope to see you there!

    Monica, Tiffany, Mark, and Paul

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