Beginning criteria

OTT16_imedia_blue

 

savingsWhat are the criteria to be considered independent media for On the Table 2016? 

 

 

Adapted from Michele McLellan’s work with the BlockbyBlock News Network and with Michele’s List, these criteria provide a starting point and will evolve as this project does.

Content
The journalism maker is devoted primarily to original news although the outlet may provide commentary on content from other outlets.  In addition, we are interested in Chicago focused-journalism reporting on a beat, a neighborhood or serving an audience in a media desert.

Practices
The content demonstrates a desire and an effort to practice accuracy, transparency and fair play.

Engagement
The site demonstrates a desire and an effort to promote civic engagement or an ethic of participation.

Frequency
The news is updated weekly – preferably three times per week – unless it is investigative, broadcast or beat. Investigative, broadcast and beat reporters and sites often distribute news and information less frequently, and through commercial partners.

Sustainability
Independent media who are non-commercial as well as commercial are developing a variety of revenue streams as they seek sustainability, including advertising, foundation funding, memberships, crowdfunding and events.

On The Table 2016: We are Chicago’s Independent Media

IMG_3955OTT16_imedia_blue

 

 

 

 

Are you an independent media outlet / journalism maker who reports on Chicago issues? If so, this message is for you.

The Chicago Community Trust is using its May 10 On the Table 2016 event to better get to know Chicago’s independent media outlets and start-ups. The intelligence gained from your OTT discussions will be a critical asset in June, when the Trust is planning a collaborative ecosystem design session for Chicago’s independent media.

Why?
A new crop of media activists are stepping up. Acts of journalism are proliferating. Fresh approaches to journalism are taking hold. The goal is to reach as many independent media voices as possible on May 10 and collect some information through a special survey that will inform a special strategic session in June.

What happens on May 10?
You invite  some media friends to a meal, drinks or coffee to talk about what’s important to you. You and your guests —  publishers, information gatherers,  media friends and community members — are united in caring about the issues, policy, and action that activate Chicagoans, our neighborhoods and our leaders to make Chicago a better place. 

The Trust will foot the bill with a $100 gift card (Supplies are limited to those who need it.)  We’re looking for independent media outlets whose focus is civic, government and community life. Here’s our beginning criteria.

On May 11 ….
You’ll be emailed a survey to share what you discussed and  that will include several questions tailored to independent media. The Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) at University of Illinois is helping us develop the survey.

When you record your conversation and take the survey, you’ll share how you work with your audience and colleagues as well as which services you’d find most valuable and least valuable for your operations and sustainability. In addition, the Chicago Community Trust wants to hear your ideas for sustaining independent media.

The outcome
The intelligence gained from your  OTT discussions will be a critical asset in June, when the Trust is planning a collaborative ecosystem design session for Chicago’s independent media. Take good notes and share them in the survey!

How does it work?
— Go to On The Table and sign up to host.
— Fill out the simple online form.
— Choose “Independent Media”  as your  partner  organization.
— You’ve joined the custom network for Independent Media OTT 2016!
— Complete registration by inviting your guests via the email interface.

NOTE: If you are hosting a conversation about your outlet, you can still choose “Independent Media” as your partner.

Ready to sign up? Read about next steps and check out some reading about media ecosystems.

QUESTIONS? Contact ChiNewsHive@Gmail.com. We’ll get back to you.

Choose News over Noise: McCormick’s Why News Matters wants your ideas by May 8

[youtube]http://youtu.be/7R0MHQiUDUU[/youtube]

If ever there’s been a poster child for why news matters —and unfortunately why so often it doesn’t — it is the series of reporting events that began last week with the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and continue as I write.

In the rush to be first at each phase of the story,  we’ve seen all kinds of false and sloppy information polluting the already overcrowded news and information streams on Twitter, in newsprint and elsewhere. You can read  Gwen Ifill’s take on it:  When getting it first trumps getting it right as well as a Tweet loaded piece  by writer  for The Awl, where she called out several social journalism colleagues: Is your social media editor destroying your news organization? 

Farhad Manjoo of Slate weighed in with this sage advice in Breaking News is Broken:

When you first hear about a big story in progress, run to your television. Make sure it’s securely turned off.

Next, pull out your phone, delete your Twitter app, shut off your email, and perhaps cancel your service plan. Unplug your PC.

Now go outside and take a walk for an hour or two.

That sounds about right. That’s how bad it was.

If breaking news is broken, how do we fix it?

Journalists need to “have a filter between their ears and mouths — or eyes and keyboard,” as a colleague said on a private message board today. But the fact is all of us — not just journalists — must develop filters so we can cull the news from the noise and better understand events and issues.  To the degree that we’ve improved our ability to vet the quality of information that is presented to us, we’ll add value to the story when we make a contribution on the comments page, the Twitter feed or anywhere else on the social Web.

That’s one reason why the McCormick Foundation’s Why News Matters grant-making program is so badly needed.

How do we learn to choose news over noise?

Why News Matters seeks to heighten news literacy skills in the Chicago area and beyond.  The foundation will be investing as much as $6 million in promising innovative ideas that could make a difference in our ability to think critically about the information we are swimming in as well as distributing.

What’s news literacy?

It’s the set of critical thinking skills that enable citizens to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and information sources.

McCormick says news literacy programs provide:

  • A frame of reference to distinguish fact from fiction, opinion or propaganda

  • An understanding of the First Amendement, the role of a free, independent media and the importance of journalistic values

  • A curiosity to seek information and better understand communities, national and international affairs

  • Help in navigating the myriad sources of digital information in a more skeptical and informed manner

  • A foundation for exercising civility, respect and car ein the exchange of information

Here’s some news literacy initiatives that McCormick has been funded to date.

Do you have an idea that could fit in? If so, get with your partners soon and write a Letter of Inquiry. Read McCormick’s FAQ. Do it soon.

Letters are due to McCormick by May 8.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

WordPress plugins for newsrooms revisited

NewsroomI had some great conversations with online publishers last year while I was working for the BlockbyBlock network. Many of them used these WordPress plugins for newsrooms.

Keep in mind that these tools create accountability, credibility and context for anything your site reports on, so they are valid for newsrooms of any type of organization, not just for what we think of as traditional newsrooms.

Here’s a few BxB posts on WP plugins that I refer to time and again.

Patricio G. Espinoza, who is a triple Fellow for Knight Digital, Poynter and McCormick, offered thoughts on WordPress plugins that include Contact forms, Biographies, Media Credits plus a tool to figure out what is slowing down your site.

Barb Iverson, digital thought leader, Journalism Professor at Chicago’s Columbia College, and editor and publisher of Chicagotalks.org recommended plugins for copy flow, extra content, embedding rich media and going mobile.

Thinking about creating a directory? Ned Berke, publisher of SheepsheadBites, and Clay Graham, founder of welocally.com, share their thoughts.

Are you asking your audience or members for funding but you’re not a non-profit?
Thoughts from small publishers on how to ask for support.

If I find any that need updating or uncover any new tools, I’ll be adding them here on SallyDuros.com.

Although the BxB network is no longer active, you can find publishers gathering at their new trade association, LION Publishers. They’ve put out a terrific new handbook for accuracy in reporting and attribution that you can download here.

Michele McLellan continues her groundbreaking work with indie online news publishers at Michele’s List, a fully searchable database that is sure to provide a treasure of information as it grows.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hilarious skit by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert for the Chicago Gridiron Show

where the mind goes
where the mind goes (Photo credit: sally garden)

Sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club, the Gridiron Show skewered local politics and media from 1987 to 1997.  A labor of love by a kooky bunch of journalists, pr peeps and politicians, it was also a benefit for student scholarships. This bit between Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert is laughing out loud funny. Writing is attributed to  Adam Ritt, with tweaks by the critics themselves. The video is out of synch but listen to the audience response.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thank you, Mr. President — Barack Obama supports gay marriage

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auf5scDKJ4M[/youtube]

Here’s a rare story about gay marriage and how Barack Obama’s views have changed since he has become President.

In 2004, Michael Burke and Robert Charles wrote a letter to then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama and enclosed a modest check of support for his campaign for the U.S. Senate.

In the letter they told State Senator Obama that they “enthusiastically” supported his candidacy for U.S. Senate, but were disappointed to learn “that while you support civil unions you do not support gay marriage. While we understand the political calculation of such a strategy … we are disturbed by the moral dissonance that such a stance tolerates.”

They mailed the letter off to Obama’s Hyde Park address, hoping to sidestep the hoops of his campaign office. Imagine their surprise when they received two to three weeks later what appeared to be a personalized reply from State Senator Obama explaining in detail the political history and strategy informing his stance.

Continue reading Thank you, Mr. President — Barack Obama supports gay marriage