Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Defining Community Media

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

While "mainstream" news organizations continue to struggle in the technology-fueled media environment, many nimble niche players have emerged as big winners in the communications revolution. Success stories can be found in the community media category, which has achieved some promising results by combining the passion of citizen journalism with the dedication of grass roots community activism.

The best of the breed in the community media sector seem to parlay innovative thinking, focused strategy and sensitivity to audience appeal. But harnessing more knowledge and research is essential for the community media movement to blossom.

Two MTF grantees are participating in a June 15 Community Media Summit at Columbia College in Chicago that will attempt to better define the role and power of the sector as it attempts to impact debate on such vital issues as immigration reform and community development. MTF grantee Community Media Workshop is joining with the Chicago Community Trust and the Benton Foundation to sponsor the summit. Ethnic media guru Sandy Close of New America Media is among the panelists.

Another interesting wrinkle to the summit is the June 14 stage-setter featuring a joint meeting of the community advisory boards of WTTW and Chicago Public Radio. This will be the first-ever joint meeting between the boards representing public television and radio in the Chicago area. For more information, call 312-344-6400.

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