Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicago Youth Media Educators: Apply for a Technology Mini Grant

Monday, April 26, 2010

Are you teaching news gathering, interviewing, documentary or community exploration?

Do you want to incorporate media production in your classrooms to produce video or audio podcasts on community issues?

Do you lack the digital cameras, video cameras, audio equipment, software, or computers for your students to take it to the next level?


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Director's Notes: Journalism Studies and Results

Sunday, April 25, 2010







 
  • Sunny in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is a city with enormous talent and assets that need to be better leveraged to achieve a well-informed electorate, an accountable leadership and a robust sense of place that acknowledges the New Philadelphia while attending to the Old.  A recent J-Lab study commissioned by the William Penn Foundation measures the state of media and explores a networked journalism collaborative in Philadelphia. 
  • Stuck in the Mud. The newsroom diversity movement is stalled. The percentage of minorities working in newsrooms dipped slightly to 13.26 percent last year. The American Society of News Editors said daily newspapers lost another 5,200 jobs in 2009, bringing the total loss of journalists since 2007 to 13,500.  Since 2001, U.S. newsrooms have lost more than 25 percent of their full-time staff positions, bringing the total to 41,500 working journalists. Minorities represented 16 percent of the journalists hired for their first full-time newsrooms job in 2009, the same as a year earlier. Many questions remain on how many journalists of color work for online only news outlets or have launched news media startups. Only a quarter of the online only news organizations contacted by ASNE returned the survey.
  • Quote of the Week: "Positive change cannot happen in school reform, the immigration system, in international affairs, nuclear proliferation, or the understanding of Islam...unless vibrant news media engage the American public about the issues." -Susan King/Carnegie Corp.


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Univ. of Kansas Launches New Online Military-Media Journal

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the Univ. of Kansas recently launched the Military-Media Issues electronic journal. As a follow-up and supplement to a McCormick-funded Military and the Media workshop at Fort Leavenworth and a Military and the Media course at the School of Journalism, the website complies information to help bridge the gap between the media and military and to build stronger relationships between these two institutions. The site features stories from the workshop and provides a forum for officers, journalism students and journalists to post news and blog about their experiences.


The site also features an article by Journalism Program director Clark Bell on military-media issues, titled "Building on a tradition of service," which describes McCormick Foundation's commitment to the military and the media.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Update: NUF SAID Releases Youth Survey

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicago Youth Voices Network's NUF SAID student project released their online survey on Friday, April 9. The youth-created surveys will take the pulse on how young people in Chicago are dealing with the challenges of the economic recovery. To complete the survey click here.

All survey respondents will be registered to win a Flip Cam. So, youth of Chicago, get ready to take the survey and make your voice heard!

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Director's Notes: Basics and Changes

Monday, April 19, 2010

  1. Meeting deadlines, which today means 24/7 with a focus on immediacy and interaction.
  2. Watchdog journalism, which is a commitment to holding accountable officials and organizations that have an impact on the lives of local residents.
  3. Grassroots, which focuses on inclusion by providing an inter-active content platform for diverse audiences.
  4. Data, which provides the audience with local and regional information.  The data is high utility, meaning it's easy to find and use.
  • Uncle Sam Subsidy Skeptics. News executives have questions galore about the prospect of government financing for media companies. Many of those surveyed by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (in partnership with the American Society of News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Association) sense change for the better in their newsrooms today.  However, major concerns were expressed by the 353 responding news execs. For example, fewer than half are confident their operations will survive another 10 years unless there are significant new revenues streams.  But there is major resistance to handouts from the government or from groups that engage in advocacy.
  • Quote of the Week: "The best use of a journal is to print the largest practical amount of important truth, truth which tends to make mankind wiser, and thus happier." -Horace Greeley

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Beyondmedia Presents EXTRAVABANDZA!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This past Sunday, Beyondmedia Education held their EXTRAVABANDZA fundraiser (a pre-cursor to its annual gala in October) at Red Line Tap in Rogers Park. The evening featured four talented bands donating their talents for Beyondmedia’s media-driven, non-profit efforts, as well as a live auction and a raffle.

Here, Executive Director Salome Chasnoff offers a heartfelt message:

SALOME'S WELCOME
video

The evening was emceed by Madsen Minax and Simon Fisher, who, outside Beyondmedia’s offices, also comprise the folk music duo Actor Slash Model and have produced a film through Beyondmedia about transgendered and gender-variant musicians across the country which will premiere at DePaul University on May 8.

Shaboom, a women’s drumming troupe, kicked off EXTRAVABANDZA with some synchronized drumming:

SHABOOM
video

Here, Madsen and Simon explain the auction bidding process:

HOW IT WORKS
video

The auction prizes included a free social media consultation session, homemade gourmet cupcakes, dogwalking services, and even juggling lessons from Beyondmedia Development Director Ronit Belazel:

RONIT SHOWS OFF HER MOTOR SKILLS
video

But it wouldn’t have been an EXTRAVABANDZA without the bands! The evening’s lineup included The Nuisance, The Polymer Twins, 8-Inch Betsy and Transcendental Splitters.

Here is 8-Inch Betsy, who will be touring the East Coast next month (turn your speakers down for this one—it’s powerful):

8 INCH BETSY ("UH OH")
video

The evening was a howling success (pun intended!), raising over $2,700 for Beyondmedia’s programs. Congratulations, gang!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reminder: Submit your LOI by May 1

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a reminder that if you’re planning to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) to McCormick Foundation’s Journalism Program for 2011 funding, the deadline is May 1, 2010. (Note that this deadline does not apply to funding requests of $50,000 or under—those can be submitted on May 1 or any time later in the year.)

Who should apply by May 1, 2010?
•    Organizations applying for 2011 funding in excess of $50,000.
•    Organizations whose funding will run out in calendar year 2010 (even if your request is for $50,000 or less)

What do I need to do to apply? 
Please download the new application cover sheet and e-mail the application electronically to asmith@mccormickfoundation.org along with a two to three-page LOI. We will notify you by June 20, 2010 if we have additional questions or would like you to submit a full proposal.

Please note that our funding priorities have changed. Beginning in 2010, the Journalism Program has restructured grantmaking around Content, Audience and Rights. You can read more about the new program strategy on our Web site.

We’ve also prepared a short, two-minute instructional video on what to include in your letter of inquiry. You can find it here. Please contact us if you have any questions.


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Monday, April 12, 2010

NewsTrain comes to Chicago

Monday, April 12, 2010


Want to learn new media skills from the top journalists?

The Associated Press Managing Editors' (APME) NewsTrain came to The Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, Illinois, on March 26-27. The two-day, traveling, training workshops are designed to help editors become more effective in their newsrooms by keeping abreast the latest technology trends.

This particular NewsTrain event awarded McCormick Educator scholarships to 20 Chicago-based journalism educators who are fostering the next generation of journalists.

The workshops featured two tracks: “The Nimble Leader” and “The Evolving Journalist” and featured courses on:
  • News Ethics and Values – Breaking News Without Breaking Trust / Mitch Pugh
  • The Skeptical Editor / Kathy Schenck
  • Creating a Constructive Culture / Bob Zaltsberg
  • Content Planning for Multiple Media and Multiple Deadlines / Jane Hirt
  • Your Data Strategy – What info to collect and what you can do with it / Derek Willis
  • Alternative distribution – Putting links, RSS and social networking to work / Mark Briggs
  • Covering communities in new ways / Mark Briggs
  • Knowing Your Audiences / Mark Briggs

Derek Willis, Web developer at The New York Times, led a workshop about data strategy that was particularly timely, given the proliferation of free and nominal-cost tools available today for enhancing reporting. Willis passed on some words of wisdom when designing user-friendly interfaces that "appeals to Bart Simpson's simplicity and Lisa Simpson's depth and curiosity."

Read more about data strategy on Willis’ handouts.

We hope that you can attend the next NewsTrain in Nashville, Tennessee from Sept. 23-24, 2010. Click here to get more information on how you can attend. Journalism educators can click here to apply for a McCormick Award that will pay for your workshop expenses up to $400.

Check out the photos posted to McCormick Journalism Facebook Page.

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Director's Notes: How do you view your news?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fluff and Bull. The average citizen hardly knows what to believe anymore, according to Salon.com's Gene Lyons. "Due to the parlous state of professional journalism; the Internet; cable TV 'news' networks and talk radio shouters; and the ceaseless din of the right-wing noise machine, the public is daily confronted with make-believe new, doctored quotes, fake history and phony data."  Meanwhile, MSNBC smugmaster Keith Olbermann personifies the bad news "that certain media figures are choosing to mimic such partisan tomfoolery on the left." Although skepticism used to be considered a journalistic virtue, the oft-derided mainstream media still hasn't figured out how to deal with this avalanche of mis- and disinformation, Lyons said.

Transparency Techies. Transparency has gained currency in social networking circles through such public accountability sites as Data.gov and Recovery.gov. The Washington Post's Mike Musgrove says "in the same way that social networking and apps have changed so much else on the planet, such technologies are being scrutinized for use in building stronger democracies."  One attendee at the recent TransparencyCamp at George Washington University said "there's no reason why keeping tabs on your member of Congress shouldn't be as easy as seeing what your friends are posting on a Facebook wall."

Disturbing Demand. Advertising Age reports that USA Today's website has started running thousands of pieces of original travel editorial from the Demand Media content farm. These types of revenue sharing partnerships are becoming more alluring to news organizations trying to slash their content costs. Media analyst Ken Doctor said the waves of buyouts and layoffs haven't done enough to overcome reductions in revenue. Content farms are showing there's another way to do it, Doctor said.  However, Demand Media's Dave Panos begs to differ. He believes the term content farm has a negative connotation that paints a picture of a nameless, faceless organization that churns out low-quality, thoughtless editorial product.  "We think our studio bears a greater resemblance to larger, distinctive content-creation companies like Reuters."  What do you think?

Quote of the Week: "Writing good editorials is chiefly telling the people what they think, not what you think."- Arthur Brisbane

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Viral Video: Careful, This Stuff's Powerful

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

For the past four years, the Sunshine Press, which operates the non-profit website WikiLeaks, has caused quite a stir among governments—both U.S. and international—by posting documents and information provided or “leaked” to it by anonymous sources close to those governments. As an example of just how seriously governments take WikiLeaks, a March 2008 U.S. cyber counterintelligence report posted on the site on March 15, 2010 details U.S. Intelligence’s plans to destroy WikiLeaks, citing that there is no way to determine whether sensitive or classified information is shared that might damage national security. WikiLeaks has persevered, although not without its share of censure (it’s been blocked by the governments of China, Zimbabwe, Russia, North Korea, Vietnam and Israel, for example).

But on April 5, it posted what is probably the most sensational material in its tenure: a classified 18-minute video leaked by an anonymous Pentagon source that allegedly shows the Apache helicopter killing of two Reuters employees and their rescuers outside of Baghdad in 2007, which it posted under the URL “CollateralMurder.com.” For the past three years, Reuters had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain this video and related materials from the Pentagon through the Freedom of Information Act.

WikiLeaks sent two reporters to Baghdad to research the story and interview the families of the victims and, according to founder Julian Assange, broke the code that encrypted the video. Within 24 hours of its posting, it had garnered over 1.3 million hits on YouTube. Critics of the video, including a helicopter pilot involved in the mission, state that the video is misleading in its portrayal of a malicious act rather than the result of confusion on the ground. But the mushroom effect of this video points up the immediacy of digital media and its powerful reach.

WikiLeaks is currently in the process of soliciting funds to cover the costs of releasing another video showing civilian killings in Afghanistan. The organization has operated on a budget of about $600,000 per year, and states that it has currently raised just over half of that for 2010. It claims to have thousands of pages of documents that it cannot share with the world due to limited capacity, but its method of digital sharing appears to be a cost-effective one: even $10 can cover the cost of releasing a document to 10,000 people.

As Assange puts it, “In terms of journalism efficiency, I think we discovered a lot with a small amount of resources.”

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Director's Notes: New Journalists

Monday, April 05, 2010


  • Who is a Journalist? What is Journalism?: The answer to this digital age question remains cloudy. What do you think? Traditionalists are convinced that journalism is a profession, an admirable one at that. A journalist is something you are and journalism is a way to make a living. However, the proliferation of web sites, blogs and news outlets fed by citizens, has turned journalism into something you do. Anybody can do it, and most people have. The photography business already have gone through this rigmarole. While there are still some gifted photographers who earn a living from their skills and marketing abilities, technological advances have made it convenient and cost-effective for anybody to snap away. What makes a casual photographer a camera buff? When does a buff become a serious lensman?
  • According to a new study released by PR Week and PR Newswire, 52 percent of bloggers consider themselves journalists. Last year, only one in three bloggers held that opinion. Meanwhile, TechCrunch reports that only 20 percent of bloggers obtain the majority of their incomes from their blogs. In addition, less than 40 percent of print magazine and newspaper journalists surveyed use blogs or social networks for research purposes.
  • Gotham Confronts the Dilemma: New York City is proposing new rules for issuing press passes to members of the media, including bloggers. The credentialing system would reflect changes to the media industry and, for the first time, expressly incorporate online-only media. "This is a press credentialing system for the online age that can serve as a model for governments around the country," said Administrative Law Division Chief Gabriel Taussig. "The rules were drafted in a collaborative process with input from numerous interested participants, together with extensive research and a public listening session with members from all segments of the media." The link will fill you in on the details.
  • Quote of the Week: "Journalism allows its readers to witness history; fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it." -John Hersey

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