Participants: HOST: Michelle Ferrier, LocallyGrownNews.com; Elon University professor
Jeffrey CINCLABS Karen Rathie UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PROFESSOR Karen RECLAIM THE MEDIA Mathew SUDDENLY.ORG Kate Gable COMMUNITY PAPER Paul FAST FORWARD COMMUNICATIONS Scott B-TOWN BLOG Michelle ELAN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR Nathan SUSTAINABLE SEATTLE
Other participants came to the event after the session started.
Michelle started the conversation with an introduction of her background and hit on some topics of possible discussion. -Hyper Local online communities -Staff and citizen written articles -Communities need to share their own stories -Citizens often feel their stories are not important -Philosophy of living locally is a powerful way to produce change
Mathew then introduced himself and gave examples of collaboration between local food producers and public discourse as seen in Portland, Oregon. -Straight forward partnerships are the most effective.
Scott of B-town Blog talked about how the city of Burien was not being served by traditional media and when the blog was started it was to focus on what is happening in the hyper local city. The blog has since expanded and is running strong two years after inception.
Brian Gantz introduced us to a blog called "Mango Power Girl," a local food blog that has an avid following.
Karen introduced her background as a professor of journalism at the U of W. -The Root Connection a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) -Face to face communities and engagement -Local food producers support local papers
Paul talked about using coffee shops as a center for social discourse in partnerships with businesses.
Cate talked about her experience working in a weekly newspaper in a rural community in the southwest coast of Washington. -Locally produced food sent to urban centers where the prices are marked up and the producers do not see an added income for those products. -Rural areas still produce the majority of raw materials but they do not see the benefit of their labors either monetarily or in the public voice. -How can we bring corporations, local farmers/fishermen, and rural folk to agree and mutually benefit?
Karen talked about Reclaim the Media and her focus on working with inner urban youth around agriculture called "UrbanAg."
Nathan talked about how healthy communities need to be created using a holistic view.
Cross Talk The session then began to be an open discussion with various ideas and stories shared.
-The idea of a third place was discussed. The "Third Place" is the area where people go besides work and home. It is the area where they relax or elect to spend their time. The idea of using or creating a third place around the concept of community engagement was discussed.
-The divide between Rural and Urban was discussed. Urban areas are overrepresented in the media and reap the benefits of the work in Rural areas. Rural areas are not as diverse and sometimes are not given a voice.
-The news media especially print needs to keep the public informed, but should not feel as if they need to compete with the instantaneous news sources such as blogs, twitter and the like.
-Print media gives us a shared experience. -Print media changing from dailies to weeklies can be seen as an opportunity to deepen the stories that are being told. Background, lead ins, connections and analysis that is not tied to instant gratification.
-Print media has massive amounts of materials that are archived and not in use now. Archives may be a place to recycle or fertilize the stories.
-New era of journalism means a more democratic era. Journalism used to be more imperial, now it is a give and take.
-New sources of information make journalists have to adapt to a new role. They are no longer pronouncing this or that, but they have to be willing to be more inclusive and participatory.
-Journalism is not dying. Learn how to adapt to the changes that are irreversible. Learn to grow a new crop. Stay up to date on the skills that are needed in this new media environment.
-Journalism is feeding. News is needed in order to enrich the community, not to drain away nourishment.
-Gathering news is like a harvest.
-seeding, grounding, preparation, watering and weeding all have parallels in journalism.
-"Slow News" movement a direct heir to the "Slow Food" movement. Slow Food is the opposite of Fast Food where the focus is on transparency in the origin, treatment and transportation of the food.
-Two virtues to Slow Food
-Transparency -knowing where the food comes from -Efficiency -it takes less energy, time and resources to eat locally. -without the wasteful use of transportation the process is more efficient.
-Festivals are a way to empower the producers, grow the local economy and put the focus on producers as valuable members of society and not something that is taken for granted. The producers are the experts and they are the speakers.
-Link the festivals to existing organizations such as: universities, chamber of commerce, community organizations and so forth. -Perhaps a "Salmon Festival" would be a good starting point for the Pacific Northwest.
-An example of a straight forward relationship between food, homelessness and preparation was shared. Donated food and donated space in which people could prepare that food.
-Created a agriculture chart that parallels the similarities between growing food and journalism.