From IVP Wiki

Community Media and the Future of News

(A discussion at the Alliance for Community Media annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn., July 9, 2010. Simple URL for this page: )


Who are our discussion leaders?

Other resources:

What do we want to accomplish?

  • Connect the policy discussion with what's happening on the ground.
  • Report to the Aspen Institute for its Knight Foundation followup work

How do PEG/Community Media Centers feed these three objectives?

(Report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities, Page XI)

Maximize the availability of relevant and credible information to all Americans and their communities

  • Teaching, training, education; "We don't make TV anymore; we teach them to tell digital stories."
  • Outreach: Tell the community what we're engaged in
  • Teach journalism, not just how to use cameras
  • Bring other NGOs into the work you're doing; bring them out of silos
  • Learn to move PEG-created video over to other media and vice versa
  • Collaborate with other media outlets/commercial or not? / trade for advertising

Strengthen the capacity of individuals to engage with information; and

  • Develop curriculum for citizen journalism training -- a start is HERE and HERE.
  • Organize local networks that mirror community interests; less intimating that "journalist"
  • Be community convenors or "weavers"
  • Do more than "teach people to push buttons"

Promote individual engagement with information and the public life of the community

  • Laurie talks about the StoryTree project in Grand Rapids
  • Colin Rhinesmith: Bring other NGOs in the community onto your site; share ownership; "stewardship"
  • Keep it all "high touch"

Spanning all categories

Wise words

Mike Fancher, retired executive editor, The Seattle Times, ethics chair, American Society of News Editors, former Reynolds fellow (and a co-author of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities report):

"Have the community at the center of everything you do. Bring people into your thought process. Get the benefit of finding out more precisely what their news information needs are, and be in a real partnership with them. And for Heaven's sakes, take advantage of their intelligence, their knowledge of the community and their ability to help you create better journalism. I think that would be a very important starting point."

Legacy newspapers are experimenting, certainly PEG/Community Media Centers should too!

Hearst in the Bay Area and Texas . . .

OJR: The Online Journalism Review February 26, 2010
The pros and cons of newspapers partnering with 'citizen journalism' networks,br> By Gerry Storch
Bleacher Report, which calls itself "the Web's largest sports network powered by citizen sportswriters," begins a partnership with Hearst to introduce local online editions in the newspaper publisher's four largest markets, including San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate, the Houston's Chronicle's, the San Antonio Express-News' MySan, and Essentially, headlines will be pulled into the main sports page, highlighting local content from Bleacher Report's citizen journalists.

-- SNIP --

Indiana University journalism professor David Weaver doesn't even think citizen journalists should be the correct term in this discussion. "Citizen communicators" would be better, he says, because "without the training and education that most journalists have, most citizens cannot qualify as journalists."

Journal Register Co. in Michigan . . .

YARDLEY, Pa. — Journal Register Co., a news and multimedia company that owns The Press & Guide Newspapers, announced a major citizen journalism initiative yesterday in conjunction with SeeClickFix . . providing SeeClickFix portal pages on JRC Web sites that will allow users to observe, report and follow issues in their communities. Web site users will be able to create watch areas and track items ranging from poor road conditions to blighted buildings.

The company believes this partnership will benefit the communities by:

  • Encouraging the audience to utilize the SeeClickFix platform to alert fellow residents of impact issues.
  • Empowering residents to work with the company’s journalists to address community needs.
  • Highlighting those who participate and make a difference through news reports.

“Our job is to serve our communities through quality journalism,” said John Paton, the company’s CEO. “Our partnership with SeeClickFix will help us do our job much better.