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Carnival of Journalism – First-generation youth and context

Recommendation 12: Engage young people in developing the digital information and communication capacities of local communities

This is probably one that’s closest to my heart, and the most organic entry point for me.

In the full description of the recommendation, the Knight Foundation sets the scene for a “Geek Corps” that assigns post-college volunteers to public institutions to help them leverage digital media technologies. There already exists something like this, a program of which I proudly call myself an alum: the Digital Arts Service Corps (formerly the CTC VISTA Project).

But when I first read the recommendation, my mind gravitated toward youth rather than young adults. More specifically, first-generation youth in minority communities. Most of my experience in media has been imagining how to leverage everyday tools for media creation by sources that are not traditionally seen as information providers. This has ranged from mobile media creation by immigrant communities and Millennials to my current position as the citizen journalism coordinator for The Rapidian, a hyperlocal news site for Grand Rapids, Mich.

When we look at the purpose of information, it’s to acquaint communities with the intricacies of issues and phenomena that have a direct effect on them. There are patches of media that serve youth, that serve immigrants but there is a whole swath that straddles the line between cultures, and youth has proven to be a volatile time across the board.

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Filed under: Ethnic groups, Ethnicity, Journalism, Storytelling, Technology, , , , , , ,

Carnival of Journalism – Universities: Modules v. local community engagement

This addendum branches off from my blog post addressing universities’ role as potential hubs of journalistic activities. To see what other carnies thought about universities as journalistic hubs and their role in media literacy, check out Dave Cohn’s roundup at the Carnival of Journalism


Most universities, especially bigger research ones, work on projects that are outward facing, and it seems like currently, they fall under two categories:

  1. Creating modules and components that various news outlets can utilize (All Our Ideas, Mobile Journalism Tools)
  2. Engaging the communities that are around them (MyMissourian, The Local – East Village)

A nod to fellow carny Christopher Wink: “Big universities have a long history of lacking support from the communities that surround them, despite being important jobs creators, covering surrounding neighborhoods can go a long way to sure up its connections with local leaders and residents.”

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, Technology, , , , ,

Carnival of Journalism – Higher ed, purpose and imagination

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-980" title="Return of the Carnival of Journalism <Update: To see what other carnies thought about universities as journalistic hubs and their role in media literacy, check out Dave Cohn’s roundup at the Carnival of Journalism

In 2009, I went to my first national conference. I met up with the folks at Denver Open Media in Austin for SXSWi. At the time, I had been working remotely with DOM on their Knight News Challenge project, the Open Media Project, and had caught earfuls of bustle via conference calls, but I had never met the crew.

DOM is a highly controversial, sometimes lauded outfit in the world of public access television. I asked executive director Tony Shawcross why cable access, and in a moment that I often revisit, he said it’s simply the most effective medium at their disposal for what they want to accomplish. He’d as soon lop it off when it no longer serves that purpose.

Media as the vehicle – don’t get too attached.

We’ve all seen them: journos who wax poetic about how to dash your serial commas, how to STET your mistakes. In a shifting journalism landscape, universities’ responsibility is to imbue their students with a flexible mindset, and the rest will follow.

So what environments can universities leverage to exercise that mindset?

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, Storytelling, Technology, , , , , ,

Too much news content? A question to interest-based journalism

Somebody has to say it to those news orgs, and it might as well be me: Give it a rest already!

Here’s the thing: Every time I go to my Google Reader, I am overwhelmed with the amount of content coming in. I mean, really? 500 pieces of fresh content over one week from a tech pub?

And mind you, I divide my reader into niche coverage: tech, news, media dev, &c. As much as I applaud the amount of coverage these bureaus crank, I don’t really care whether some news org is just thinking about mobile, whether another is waiting for alternatives to the iPad. Are you so chained to the 24/7 news cycle that you’ve positioned reporters to catch the slop? That should thought leaders bend the crook of their elbow to return the cup to its saucer—an inquisitive look—suddenly it’s JUST IN: STEVE JOBS ENTERTAINED AN IDEA! PROBABLY ABOUT MOBILE!

My reader, slimmed down from over 2,500 articles in one week from 70 subscriptions. I will say GigaOm is one consistently good provider of content despite the amount they churn. And news flash: Did you know that Steve Ballmer went Twitter crazy in Kiev?

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The ultimate guide for today’s man

Last week was pretty long, so I was looking forward to crashing when I got home. But after traipsing the few steps to our apartment hallway, a vise grip on my bike, the first thing that greeted me on the way up the stairs was a half-naked image of Jennifer Aniston, steam-rolled by text.

That couldn’t be our mail, could it? But I’m the only one with a magazine subscription in the household. So in my usual arabesque – bike to the right, back kick to the door and my free hand reaching out – I grabbed the mail and powered up to the second floor.

I hope it isn’t Wired, I thought as I turned the magazine over.

The other side of the outsert tells us that a half-naked Rihanna* rocks GQ's world.

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, Storytelling, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Transparency is the new black”


I am:

  1. floored
  2. enamored

with this compilation by Geoff McGhee on data visualization in journalism. It’s seriously worth a Friday night in – popcorn, dimmed lights, the works. Watch it in the annotated version.

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, Storytelling, , , , , , , , , , ,

Chewing the cud

I’ve been collecting thoughts for the last couple of weeks, and my cup hath finally overfloweth. For the month of May, here was my food for thought:

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Filed under: Food for thought, Internet, Journalism, , , , , , , , ,

Echoing chambers

Back in 2006-2007 as I was cobbling together my senior thesis, participatory journalism was just a threat in the distant horizon, and journalism was trying its best to cover it in pig’s blood—its own iteration of “Carrie” or “Mean Girls.”

Two years later, Rocky Mountain News has crumbled. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer in print is no more. And the Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle, for all their prestige and history, are at risk of being further minced or shut down.

The concepts seem more timely than ever as Internet democracy continuesdcmousewcp to eviscerate journalism as an institution. There are many pressing issues that face Internet democracy and information, including the future of hyperlinking. There’s the age-old missive of civichood spurred by engagement with “the truth.” However, as I showered this morning, I remembered a much simpler time, when the academic gentry’s biggest objection to the net was echo chambers.

One particularly memorable lecture I attended my senior year was with Legal Scholar Cass Sunstein on the debut of his book, Republic.com 2.0. He recounted his visit to the Googleplex; one of Google’s latest ventures at the time was what he termed the “Daily Me.”

‘No one can read all the news that’s published everyday, so why not set up your page to show you the stories that best represent your interests?’ … That’s Google’s question, which Google takes to be a rhetorical question—why not?

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, , , , , , , , , ,

The Medium: Can you say oopsy-daisy?

I’m generally a fan of Virginia Heffernan, The Medium columnist for The New York Times. mediumlogo_vhI geeked out when I heard she’d be interviewing open source graffiti artist James Powderly at SXSWi. I may have had star dust in my eyes.

Since I began following Ms. Heffernan, I’ve consistently thought she makes astute observations about our intimacy with screens—phones, computers, Kindle, television—and what’s on them, even if those relationships are shrouded in a jumble of words and alliteration. Although her pieces are completely syncopated against the release date of the subjects she writes about, she always manages to illumine them in a new way. But lately, I’ve had this dreadful feeling that Ms. Heffernan’s work is going downhill; she posts less often, rarely engages her readers and her writing and issues are out in left field. Case in point: today’s article entitled I hate my iPhone.

Ms. Heffernan spends much of her piece blathering about the iPhone‘s 2-D keyboard, it’s cheekiness, the cold and lifeless materials and poor reception. My biggest beef with Virginia is that she may have brought the nearly 500 comments upon herself, many of which label her as a technophobe. And can I say she doesn’t deserve it?

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Filed under: Internet, Journalism, Storytelling, Technology, , , , , ,

Ira Glass is my hero


Are you a storyteller who wants to go pro? Well, Papa Ira’s got some sage words for you.


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Filed under: Journalism, Storytelling, , , , , ,

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