News for Digital Journalists

Posts tagged with: Community Media

August 31, 2010

Bay Area: Multimedia workshops for ethnic & community media, nonprofits

If you’re a member of the ethnic or community media or are with a nonprofit, mark your calendar for an Oct. 1-2 Bay Area multimedia training conference that features more than a half-dozen workshops, plus an all-day intensive boot camp…

The Renaissance Journalism Center’s LearningLab event offers sessions on video and audio storytelling for the web, training in WordPress and social media, plus an introduction to micro-volunteering and crowdsourcing.

The second day features two multimedia production bootcamps—including one in Spanish, facilitated by Oakland Local and Nuestra Voz.

The fee is $30 per day, with registration limited to 16 for each of the Day 2 bootcamps. Register now. For more info, see visit the Facebook event page.

March 25, 2011

Everyblock shifts direction, adds local discussion to data

Earlier this week Adrian Holovaty announced the first major redesign of his local data service Everyblock. This site is shifting from being a one-way news feed of local data, to becoming “a platform for discussion around neighborhood news.”

More about these new features…

In addition to adding a big “post” button to pages, Holovaty notes: “We’ve unveiled several new features to encourage positive community behavior. Each user contribution to our site has a ‘thank’ button next to it that lets you give positive reinforcement to the original poster for sharing information. We’ve built a lightweight neighborhood honors reputation system that rewards people for making contributions, as determined by their neighbors’ thanks and a number of other factors.”

Also, intriguingly, Everyblock now allows users to “follow” places, much the way Twitter users can follow other Twitter users.

GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram observed: “I think EveryBlock’s change of heart was a necessary one. I’ve argued in the past that whatever value local news sites have comes not from the data, but from the people at the heart of that community—which is why even poorly designed services that are built by the people in a town or neighborhood are almost always better than services that are set up by companies with a one-size-fits-all approach. History is littered with examples of well-meaning services such as Backfence and Bayosphere that never really connected with the communities they were supposed to serve.”

It seems to me that Everyblock might want to try to integrate more fully with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, and Flickr, since those services are where so much discussion about community happens. But it would be hard to do that in an automated way. Once a service moves toward hosting public discussion, it really seems to need the hand of a community manager to get the posts flowing, and to keep the flames down. Everyblock will also have to guard against inevitable spamming of its system.

Because of the need of human staff effort to support thriving community engagement services, I’m skeptical whether these new discussion features will last at Everyblock.  But a strategy more based on curating conversations that happen on other sites and bringing that content into Everyblock might be at least partially automatable and thus more sustainable. And there’s room for Everyblock to move in that direction.

Of all these new Everyblock features, I think the most promising is the ability to follow places, and to receive that information as a feed or via e-mail. I live in Oakland, CA—which is just across the bay from San Francisco. SF is an Everyblock city; Oakland is not. But Oakland does have the lovely Oakland Crimespotting interactive map by Stamen Design. I would love to be able to “follow” a neighborhood or area on that map and have it update me with new incidents.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

June 10, 2011

Knight Foundation responds to FCC Info Needs of Communities report

Yesterday, the FCC published its long-awaited report, Information Needs of Communities—the culmination of an effort which began life as the “Future of Media” project, inspired by the 2009 Knight Commission report on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation says the FCC report “offers hope” for the recommendations of the Knight Commission report…

A Knight Foundation statement says that the FCC report offers “most comprehensive national look at media policy in a generation, offering new hope that the recommendations of the Knight Commission… will move from the debate stage into action.”

So far, such action has been lagging. Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen observed: “Of the areas considered by the Knight Commission, our nation has made real progress on only one: universal broadband access. As satisfying as that is, it is also completely unacceptable—and unAmerican—that a significant number of people are still ‘second-class citizens,’ without the broadband access needed to participate in digital life and commerce.”

The FCC report suggested several ways to help ensure that communities continue to receive quality news and information as the media landscape keeps shifting radically. However, very few of these would entail FCC policy changes or direct government involvement—something that has drawn criticism from Columbia Journalism Review, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, and others.

FCC recommended that the philanthropy community assume a larger ongoing role in meeting community information needs. This approach is exemplified by the Knight Community Information Challenge, as well as by efforts from other national foundations, such as Gates, Ford, Carnegie, Macarthur, McCormick, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism.

The FCC report also suggested that journalism schools could do more to help meet community information needs, and it lauded the growing nonprofit media sector—also areas in which the Knight Foundation has active programs and partnerships, such as News 21.

For more ideas on how the recommendations of the 2009 Knight Commission report could translate into action, see KDMC’s 2010 series of articles expanding upon that report.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

September 27, 2011

Block by Block 2011 conference this week: Follow it online

If you didn’t find enough community news action at the recent ONA conference and awards in Boston, then here’s another event to watch:

This week Loyola University is hosting Block by Block 2011, an annual gathering of online community news entrepreneurs. Here’s how you can follow it online…

The Chicago event will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The agenda is based mostly on suggestions from community news publishers, many of whom are conference participants. The conference is co-chaired by Michele McLellan (of KDMC and the Reynolds Journalism Institute) and Jay Rosen (of New York University).

The Twitter hashtag is #BXB11.

There will be a live stream of the conference’s opening session (Thursday, 4pm Central) as well as all main sessions and selected breakouts on Friday. Breakouts include “How to set ad rates” with Deb Galant (Baristanet, 10:30 am CT Fri.) and “Mobilizing for Mobile” with Amy Gahran (Oakland Local, 3:15 pm). Selected sessions from Saturday morning’s unconference also will be live streamed.

Other sessions will be recorded and posted on RJI after the conference.

Background, updates, and more are available on the Block by Block network blog.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

January 18, 2012

Knight Community Information Challenge 2012: Apply by Feb. 27

Once again, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is challenging community and place-based foundations to play a leading role in meeting the information needs of their communities…

This year’s Knight Community Information Challenge has three simple rules:

  • Applicants must be U.S. community or place-based foundations (community partners also are welcome).
  • Projects must meet a local information need.
  • Foundations must match Knight’s investment.

Deadline for applications: Feb. 27
Apply now

ALSO: Registration is now open for the Knight Foundation Media Learning Seminar 2012. Held Feb. 19-21 in Miami, this event brings leaders from community and place-based foundations leaders together with with journalism and technology experts to explore the topic of community information needs. Register now.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

February 01, 2012

Live chat Feb. 8: Knight Community Information Challenge

Looking for funding for your local news or information project? Consider approaching local community foundations and applying for the Knight Community Information Challenge. This contest offers matching grants to community and place-based foundations for community information projects. And in one week, there’s a great opportunity to ask questions about KCIC…

KCIC is now accepting applications, which must be submitted by a foundation.

Learn more and apply now!
Deadline: Feb. 27

Ask questions about KCIC in a live chat:
Feb. 8, noon EST, at www.informationneeds.org.

More context, see Michele McLellan’s recent posts:

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

February 16, 2012

Knight Media Learning Seminar: Livestream, Feb. 20-21

Next week, community, foundation and tech leaders are gathering in Miami to explore trends in news and information, as well as the best ways to invest in media. It’s the 2012 Knight Media Learning Seminar, and you can watch the livestream online…

Watch the livestream beginning Monday, Feb. 20, 10 am EST. Full schedule and more info.

The program includes keynotes by:


Other sessions include:

  • Monday 11:45 am EST: Achievements. Foundation leaders discuss their successful local news and information projects.
  • Monday, 3:45 pm EST: What’s now, what’s next. A look at emerging technologies, with Knight VPs Michael Maness and Paula Ellis, and Amy Webb of the WebbMedia Group.
  • Tuesday, 10:15 am EST: Partnerships. Tips on how to find the best partners for your news and information project, based on the new Knight Foundation report.

Follow the conference hashtag on Twitter: #infoneeds.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

May 15, 2012

Mobile for community media workshop in NYC this weekend

On May 18-19, the Knight Digital Media Center-USC and the City University of New York are offering a special workshop on mobile opportunities for publishers of community and ethnic media outlets in the New York metro area.

This event is invitation-only, but the workshop resources are available to anyone online…

See the Community Mobile Tumblr blog.

Topics covered include:

  • Tools and services to jumpstart your new outlet’s mobile strategy
  • Engaging your community via mobile and social media
  • Mobile revenue opportunities
  • Recent research and statistics on mobile trends and user demographics
  • Examples of mobile projects relevant to ethnic and community media


Many resources on these and other topics are already listed there, and we’ll add more before, during, and after the workshop.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

June 12, 2012

New Facebook plugin for WordPress: Expand community engagement on your site

Many community and niche media websites rely on the WordPress content management system, and on Facebook as a key community engagement tool. A new plugin announced today makes it easier to integrate Facebook features into Wordpress sites…

According to Facebook engineer Matt Kelly, the Facebook for Wordpress plugin requires no coding skills to install or configure. It’s also mobile-friendly and supports internationalization (especially useful for many ethnic media outlets).

“Once the plugin is installed, you can cross-post content published to WordPress to your Facebook Timeline and the Facebook Pages you manage. You can also mention the names of Pages and friends as you post to further distribute your content.”

For instance, with this plugin installed, if you mention a Facebook friend in a post to your WordPress site, that post automatically appears on that friend’s Facebook timeline.

In addition to this plugin, Facebook also offers several WordPress widgets which can integrate Facebook commenting into your site, display a custom activity feed )so people can see their friends’ activity on your site) and more.

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

June 26, 2012

Community Journalism Executive Training: October at KDMC

This October 40 community and investigative news publishers will receive expert guidance on business and market challenges through an executive training program offered at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)...


The Community Journalism Executive Training (CJET) program is being created by the Investigative News Network and [email protected], with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Patterson Foundation. It will be held October 18-20 at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in Los Angeles.

The program will train 40 executives (20 from investigative sites and 20 from community news sites) in the practicalities of building sustainable community journalism organizations. Topics will include fundraising, business operations,  technology, community engagement and more.

Participants will work in small groups with expert coaches. The goal: to develop a 100-day tactical plan for building their businesses.

This training is offered to community news organizations affiliated with INN and the Block-by-Block initiative. Watch the News for Digital Journalists blog for updates for the application process.

“Our work during the last six months with 12 independent Super Camp publishers, supported by the Patterson Foundation, has shown that high-touch mentoring and coaching by business and revenue experts produces results,” said Vikki Porter, director of the .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). “We think the executive training program will show how focused business skills and strategic planning can result in sustaining revenue streams for startup news organizations.”

The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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