March Update: Greek Feast, new staff members, classes and more…

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Lots of news to report this month: new staff members, our fourth annual Greek Feast at Gardens of Salonica on March 27, moremedia skills classes, workshops and newsroom cafes, and reports from editors Mary Turck and Jay Gabler, and community engagement coordinator Bruce Johansen. Scroll down for details.

Meet the newest members of the Media Alliance / Daily Planet staff:

Lolla Mohammed Nur ([email protected]) is the community engagement editor of the TC Daily Planet, and has written for local and national outlets. She writes about the African/African American community, social justice, religion and gender. A self-admitted social media addict, she can be found at @lomonur and www.lollamohammednur.tumblr.com. Lolla has lived in four countries, but now resides in St. Paul. She is always in transition.

Maggie Pearson ([email protected]) is the community asset mapping / neighborhood engagement specialist for the Twin Cities Media Alliance. Maggie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area,  and moved to Minnesota in 2007 to pursue Geography and Environmental Studies at Macalester College. She now lives in the Corcoran neighborhood of Minneapolis with a cohort of wonderful people, nine chickens, and a whole bunch of vegetables.

Harry Kent ([email protected]) is the new Community Asset Mapping Intern with the Twin Cities Media Alliance and a Senior Geography Major at Macalester College.  Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he enjoys seeking out great local restaurants, pickup games of any sport and is a recreational funk and soul music enthusiast.

Greek dinner at Gardens of Salonica: 

You’re invited to join us for the fourth annual Daily Planet Greek Dinner  from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on March 27 at Gardens of Salonica, 19 5th St. NE, Minneapolis.This dinner has sold out every time, and it’s easy to see why: it’s great fun, great food and great value. Four courses of delicious Greek cuisine served family style, prepared by Gardens of Salonica owner-chef Anna Christoforides, with specially selected Greek wines and other beverages accompanying each course. Plus a great opportunity to meet and socialize with the Daily Planet staff, and other Daily Planet writers and readers. Cost is $40 per person for TCMA members and their guests, $45 for non-members. (This is also a great opportunity to join or renew your membership by making a contribution of $10 or more. )

Click here to see the menu, or purchase tickets.

Classes:

Newsroom Café at Kopplin’s Coffee with Mary Turck
Thu, 2013-03-07 19:00
2038 Marshall Ave
St Paul , MN 55104

If you are interested in reporting for the Daily Planet, or want help with a story-in-progress, stop in at the Newsroom Café. Editor Mary Turck will talk about stories we are looking for, and story ideas that you bring. We’ll be meeting at Kopplin’s Coffee – 2038 Marshall Avenue in St. Paul. Look for the laptop with the “I Heart the First Amendment” sticker!

Newsroom Cafe with Jay Gabler
Wed, 2013-03-13 15:00 – 16:00
2852A Johnson St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Do you have a story or a question? Drop in and talk about the Daily Planet, our news coverage, and how you can contribute. Associate editor and arts editor Jay Gabler will be working at the Coffee Shop Northeast—just look for the laptop with the Freaky Deeky sticker.

Create a Website for Your Business at Chanhassen Library
Sat, 2013-03-16 13:00 – 15:00
7711 Kerber Blvd.
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Learn how to develop a free or inexpensive website for your small business, community organization or blog using WordPress or another user-friendly platform. This class includes instructions how to set up a site, how to navigate the settings so that the site represents your business, and tips on how to generate traffic.

This class will be taught by Steffen Ryan. Thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), this class is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, call 952-227-1500.

Promote Your Business with Facebook at Johnsville Library
Mon, 2013-03-18 18:00 – 20:00
12461 Oak Park Blvd.
Blaine, MN

You know that social media is a great way to market your business and share information about your brand, but where do you start? How do you find time to fit it all in? During this hour and a half workshop, learn how to set up a business Facebook page and engage your fans. Discover ways to curate and distribute consistent information and grow your fan base. This workshop will also offer suggestions for how to set up your own editorial calendars related to social media content, ways to maximize your Facebook efforts when your time is limited, and general best practices in social media.

This class will be taught by Melissa Harrison. Thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), this class is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, call 763-767-3853.

Twitter 101
Mon, 2013-03-18 19:00 – 21:00
2600 Franklin Avenue E. Suite 2 (enter from the rear of the Wells Fargo Bank building.)
Mpls., MN 55406

What is Twitter, and how can you use it effectively to connect with your friends, colleagues, and – for business owners – potential customers? Go from being a novice to a power user by taking this two-hour class from Jay Gabler, associate editor of the Daily Planet, who was voted #1 best tweeter of 2011 by the readers of Vita.mn. The cost is $10.00. Scholarships are available. Register at TheDataBank.

Newsroom Café at Black Dog
Wed, 2013-03-20 10:30
308 Prince St
Saint Paul, MN 55101

If you are interested in reporting for the Daily Planet, or want help with a story-in-progress, stop in at the Newsroom Café. Editor Mary Turck will talk about stories we are looking for, and story ideas that you bring. We’ll be meeting at Black Dog in St. Paul – 308 East Prince Street in downtown St. Paul. Look for the laptop with the “I Heart the First Amendment” sticker!

Promote Your Business with Facebook at Chaska Library
Thu, 2013-03-21 18:00 – 20:00
3 City Hall Plaza
Chaska, MN 55318

You know that social media is a great way to market your business and share information about your brand, but where do you start? How do you find time to fit it all in? During this hour and a half workshop, learn how to set up a business Facebook page and engage your fans. Discover ways to curate and distribute consistent information and grow your fan base. This workshop will also offer suggestions for how to set up your own editorial calendars related to social media content, ways to maximize your Facebook efforts when your time is limited, and general best practices in social media.

This class will be taught by Melissa Harrison. Thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), this class is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, call 952-448-3886 .

Newsroom Cafe with Jay Gabler
Wed, 2013-03-27 15:00 – 16:00
1668 Grand Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Do you have a story or a question? Drop in and talk about the Daily Planet, our news coverage, and how you can contribute. Associate editor and arts editor Jay Gabler will be working at Shish on Grand Avenue—just look for the laptop with the Freaky Deeky sticker.

March Social Media Clinic
Thu, 2013-03-28 16:00 – 18:00
2600 Franklin Avenue E.
Suite 2 (enter from the rear of the Wells Fargo Bank building.)
Mpls., MN 55406

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest—wherever you are online, if you’re a little confused, you’re not alone! Come to our monthly social media clinics at the Daily Planet office and get a hand from Twin Cities Daily Planet associate editor Jay Gabler—in addition to connecting with other community members and sharing your own best practices. Our social media clinics are meant to help you successfully navigate your way through the online forest of information, and to reach the communities you want to reach for your nonprofit, small business, or personal interests.

WHO: Jay Gabler and up to 15 registered participants.
WHY: As part of our nonprofit mission to help members of Twin Cities communities connect with one another and with our larger global communities using the power of new media.
HOW: We ask participants to pre-register so as to guarantee that space will be available and to pay the participation fee of $10 for each workshop. Participation is free for all Daily Planet advertisers (click here for more information about how to advertise with the Daily Planet), and scholarships are available upon request. Bring your laptop—wi-fi is available. If you want to participate but don’t have a laptop, inquire with us; we may be able to provide you with a computer for the session.

Community Photojournalism Basics
Thu, 2013-03-28 19:00 – 21:00
2600 Franklin Avenue E.
Suite 2 (enter from the rear of the Wells Fargo Bank building.)
Mpls., MN 55406

Photojournalism
 is 
more 
than 
the 
ability 
to 
take 
a 
good 
photo.
 
In this 2-hour class, freelance
 photographer 
Tom
 Baker will teach you how 
to
 report
 with
 a
 camera. You 
will 
learn
 the
 basic nuts-and-bolts 
of
 photojournalism, 
including 
caption
 writing, 

identifying
 the
 best
 storytelling 
image, what equipment you’ll need, and using 
your
 cell
phone
 to 
take reportage
 images.
 Ethics of photojournalism will be explored, too. 
Emphasis
 will 
be 
placed
 on 
the community-driven reporting 
style 
of 
the
 Twin 
Cities 
Daily 
Planet.

Tom
 Baker 
has 
worked
 at 
three 
newspapers 
and
 has 
been freelancing 
since 
2006.
 

By 
sharing
 stories
 from 
the 
field, 
he will illustrate the challenges and rewards of being a photojournalist. 
He 
will 
also 
share 
some tips 
on 
networking
 and 
on what
 it takes to become a 
successful photojournalist.

Tuition for this class is $10.00. Scholarships are available. Please register at TheDataBank.

Create a Website for Your Business at Highland Park Library
Mon, 2013-04-01 17:30 – 19:30
1974 Ford Pkwy.
Saint Paul, MN 55116

Learn how to develop a free or inexpensive website for your small business, community organization or blog using WordPress or another user-friendly platform. This class includes instructions how to set up a site, how to navigate the settings so that the site represents your business, and tips on how to generate traffic.

This class will be taught by Matt Bartel. Thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), this class is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, call 651-695-3700.

Twitter 101 at Savage Library
Thu, 2013-04-04 18:30 – 20:30
13090 Alabama Ave. S.
Savage, MN 55378

What is Twitter, and how can you use it effectively to connect with your friends, colleagues, and—for business owners—potential customers? Go from being a novice to a power user.

This class will be taught by Jay Gabler. Thanks to our partnership with the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), this class is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, call 952-707-1770.

Staff reports: 
Bruce JohansenCommunity Engagement Coordinator Bruce Johansen reports: 
With a new community engagement team in place, February proved to be a fantastic month. Maggie Pearson, who brings rich experience from her time in Frogtown, hit the ground running as our community asset mapping-neighborhood engagement specialist. With the able assistance of Harry Kent—a Macalester intern—Maggie jumped into designing a plan for mapping community assets on St. Paul’s West Side. Meanwhile, Lolla Mohammed Nur, our new community engagement editor, and I began meeting with community partners to assess their communications and social media needs, and to map out ways that the Twin Cities Media Alliance can help them better tell their story. It’s all part of a generous grant from the Bush Foundation that will help us build on existing relationships with area nonprofits and neighborhood organizations. February was a big month for classes, too. At our office and in area libraries, we offered classes on Facebook, websites for businesses, google docs, Pinterest, and a video workshop. It was a full house for our monthly social media clinic. March promises to be another exciting month. We’ll be offering classes on LinkedIn, Facebook and websites for businesses through the libraries. At our office, Twitter 101 andCommunity Photojournalism Basics are on tap, along with a social media clinic.
Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:
On one of my first days at the Daily Planet in 2007, Mary Turck produced a copy of a daily newspaper and pointed to the front page. “We should cover this story,” she said, pointing to an education-related story. “But,” I said, “it’s already been in the newspaper!” Mary shook her head. “This article is just the beginning of the story,” she said. I thought of that exchange this month when we published Bill Huntzicker’s ten-part series on development in Dinkytown. It’s been widely reported that Opus is considering building a massive new Dinkytown development that would displace some longstanding neighborhood businesses, but we covered the issue with the kind of depth you won’t find anywhere else: Bill talked to Dinkytown residents old and new, he looked at the neighborhood’s history, and he connected with city planners and neighborhood leaders. The issues facing Twin Cities residents are complex, and that’s why the Twin Cities Daily Planet is committed to sharing all sides of a story and connecting local community members to help build positive solutions.

Editor Mary Turck reports:

Ten people, diverse in race, gender, age, ethnicity, geography and life experience started a new adventure together at the end of February as our first class of Media Skills Fellows.  We picked the ten from 75 people who indicated interest in the Bush Foundation-funded program.  They’ll work on basic reporting skills, use of social media, photo and video skills, all with the aim of better communication in/about/on behalf of their diverse communities. Our reporting is another kind of involvement in our community. That means Sheila Regan eating spaghetti with student organizers at South High School and Makula Dunbar visiting North High to find out about the first semester of its new program. Sheila and Makula are South and North alums, and that’s just one small way that our reporting is deeply connected to our community.

You can support our work by donating to the Twin Cities Media Alliance through the GiveMN.org donation website, (http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Twin-Cities-Media-Alliance).  If you prefer, you can send a check to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin, suite #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.

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