Saturday, December 27, 2008

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Class

Great class everyone!

Thanks for your input and comments during discussion. We really delved into issues of ownership of the news, neighborhoods, civic engagement, the purpose of journalism, media consolidation, and shifts in print journalism. If you are still looking for more information on citizen journalism I encourage you to check out the readings in the right hand column. For the remaining three classes we will have a lesson and a workshop portion of the class. During the workshop you will bring what you have written and get feedback from other citizen journalists in the class.

Looking forward to see your stories next Wednesday!

Writing Assignment
(Some people had some questions so I wanted to clarify)

--You will be writing an article for the Twin Cities Daily Planet. The length depends on the subject and the type of reporting you will be doing. Unless you are one of our neighborhood/community beat reporters (you know who you are), a good place to start is about 600-800 words.

--Depending on your article you should have attended an event, and/or researched your subject, and/or conducted interviews. You should have direct quotes that you can use in your article.

--At the bottom of your article list your sources along with their email addressed or phone numbers. This is standard procedure in all journalism so that editors can follow up to fact check or expand the article if needed.

--If you need examples of articles go to and take some time surfing the website.

--Please take this week to get started on an article for the Twin Cities Daily Planet and complete a first draft. IF YOU ONLY DO ONE ARTICLE FOR THIS CLASS, THAT’s OKAY. However, we will continue to improve it and work on strengthening that article throughout each workshop.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tips for Interviewing

by Mary Turck (rev. 3/18/08)

• Research the subject. Know what you are talking about and what you are asking about. Unless you are interviewing a genuine expert, you should know more about the subject than the person you are interviewing. (examples: Rock Tenn, North End school)

• Know your interviewee. Get the name spelled right, know the position that s/he holds, know why they can contribute to the story.

• Be friendly. Yes—even if you are interviewing the "other side.

• Be polite. Always. No exceptions.

• Have a prepared list of questions.

• Don't ask the questions on your list. The list is for you, to remind you of what you want to know. Once you get started talking to someone, establish a conversational tone and get them comfortable talking to you. Use a question from your list to guide the conversation, but make it a conversation, not an interrogation.

• On the record is on the record. Be careful about going on and off the record. If you agree that something is off the record, then you set up problems in telling the difference.

• Say who you are and what the interview is for.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

OK, One More - A Resource

For the person interested in doing an article reviewing clothing swaps and other reuse opportunities - October is Choose To Reuse Month & Hennepin County is doing a bunch to support that. Here's a URL to a list of participating locations:

"Going green has never been so much fun! In an effort to encourage more reuse, Hennepin County has partnered with 84 earth-friendly retailers to offer coupons for discounts and reuse opportunities valid from October 1-31, 2008. For more information, contact: Hennepin County Environmental Services, 612-348-3777 or "

Hey, let me know if you're going to use this idea or not. If not, can I have it? -K-

Really Stoked About This Process

Love the blogsite idea as an online learning medium.

Tonight I've set up an interview with Felicity Britton, Exec. Dir. of Linden Hills Power and Light. She's going to forward me to a couple of families participating in the Source Separated Organics Program, as well as Susan Young, who runs the facility where the stuff goes. AND, I've already developed my list of questions. I won't get to interview her until Monday or Tues.

Also have set up the next article - want to do a story on the relevance of art as a means of metabolizing cultural crises like the RNC. Have set up interview with Exec. Dir. of the St. Paul Art Crawl, & asked for a couple of references to artists doing work that reflects the RNC, or is otherwise topical for this political season. AND I've got my list of questions developed.

Also fishing for sources willing to talk, for article #3, on continuing investigation/harrassment of particpants in the RNC 08. I may have to post a shout out to for sources willing and able to comment. Or maybe twitter for sources. Dunno yet.

G'night, all, it's been fun. -K-

After the first class meeting

What a great group! We are going to have a terrific four weeks of talking, learnign and practicing citizen journalism. The story ideas were great, and I am looking forward to reading the first drafts and seeing you again next week.

And, for those of you interested in the post-RNC Bedlam Theater production, "Because We Still Live Here," check out Dwight Hobbes in the Daily Planet --

"Bedlam Theatre’s wizardry, blending avant-garde art with determined activism, is in effect once more—this time with the upcoming Because We Still Live Here, a mixed-medium evening about the aftermath of the Republican National Convention. Sarah Palin or no, it’s safe to say Bedlam will not be lauding the G.O.P. for including everybody—regardless of race, creed or gender—in the mythologically vaunted American Dream. It’s also a good guess Bedlam won’t be paying homage to how police forces protected and served the living hell out of the public. ... the rest of the story

Welcome to Citizen Journalism Fall Workshop!

Welcome to the fall session of the Citizen Journalism Workshop, co-sponsored by ExCo and the Twin Cities Daily Planet. As a participant in the workshop, you are invited and strongly encouraged to use this blog to post your thoughts about journalism and writing, and articles that you write for class. I'm looking forward to four weeks of interesting and thought-provoking blog posts.