April Update: Community Conversations, Classes, Brown Bag and More

We had a busy month in March, and have some exciting events planned for the weeks ahead. Scroll down for our editors reports, and to read about our Premack Award, New Normal conversations, upcoming classes, open editorial meeting, and a Brown Bag lunchtime event with former journalist Dane Smith, president of Growth and Justice.

Thanks to Anna Christoforides of Gardens of Salonica for hosting our fundraising dinner on March 24, and to Dr. Angela Mortari and the Greek Dancers of Minnesota for a great performance. The dinner was a sold-out success, and a great time was had by all.

The New Normal: Deciding Community Priorities in a Downsized Economy is the Daily Planet’s year-long project of news stories and community conversations, funded by the Bush Foundation, devoted to finding solutions to new economic challenges in our communities. We’re tackling a different topic every month. Here’s project manager Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva’s report  on our March New Normal conversations:

In April more than 60 people joined us for rich and insightful community conversations on Neighborhoods and the New Normal. A special thanks to WSCO and Hamline Midway, the West Broadway Coalition, Northeast Community Development Corporation and the Lake Street Council for co-hosting. Click here if you’d like to read our comprehensive neighborhood coverage from March.

“Next Up, The State Budget! We’ll be asking participants, “As the legislature and governor clash over a taxes and spending, what should our priorities be for the state budget?” Check out our April calendar of community conversations on the state budget if you would like to attend. We’d love your help! If your organizations would like to co-host a community conversation on the state budget, check out the April dates and locations, and contact lisa@tcdailyplanet.net to find out how.”

Brown Bag Lunch with Dane Smith

Dane SmithHere’s one opportunity to discuss the budget: Please join us for this month’s Brown Bag program,  to be held Wednesday, April 20 at noon at the East Lake Public Library, 2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.We’re expanding the scope of our monthly Brown Bag sessions to include not just journalists, but also experts with insights on topics in the news. The battle over the state budget is a very hot topic at the moment, so for this month’s conversation, our featured guest will be Dane Smith, president of Growth and Justice.  Growth and Justice describes itself as “a policy research group focused on job growth and economic justice, through smart public investments in human capital and physical infrastructure.”
Dane is sure to have a lot to say about the budget battles, and what our state’s spending priorities should be. Before joining Growth & Justice, Dane enjoyed a 30-year career as a Minnesota journalist, where he developed a solid reputation writing about state, local and federal government and politics for Minnesota’s largest newspapers. These included the Star Tribune, from 1986 to 2007, the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1980 to 1986, and the Minneapolis Star from 1977 to 1980. For almost two decades at the Star Tribune Dane was a senior reporter at the state capitol covering politics and state-local budget issues. Tax fairness and the debate surrounding government’s proper size and role in society were among Dane’s favorite topics as a journalist, and he has particular
expertise in these areas.


(Classes are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. )

Hands On: Citizen Journalism 201
April 20, April 27, May 4, May 18. 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale, St. Paul
Some writers have asked for a nuts-and-bolts, hands-on workshop as a follow-up to What’s Your Story? Citizen Journalism 101. Here it is! This four-session workskhop will be offered for the first time in April-May 2011. If you have taken Citizen Journalism 101, you will learn more here, but you can jump right in even if you haven’t taken the first workshop. Here’s an overview:
Week One: Who, what, when, where, why, how (April 20, Multipurpose Room)
Assignment: two phone calls + two paragraphs=one story
Week Two: Interviewing (April 27, Electronic Classroom)
Assignment: Q&A story
Week Three: Getting the picture – photos, slideshows and uploading to Flickr (May 4, Electronic Classroom)
Assignment: Photo essay or slide show – five photos on a theme
Week Four: Adding value on-line – links, interactivity, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr (May 18, Electronic Classroom).
As part of this workshop, you will produce three original stories—and we hope to publish at least some of them on the TC Daily Planet. If you can’t make it to all four classes, you are also welcome to come to as many as you can.
Before the first meeting, please register as a TC Daily Planet user. And then send an email to jeremy@tcmediaalliance.org to pre-register.
Learn how to use the Daily Planet
Thursday, April 28, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Peace Coffee Shop, 3262 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis.
Want to learn how to use TC Daily Planet?  We’ll go over the basics – registering and uploading articles – as well as answering questions and problem-solving. If you don’t have a laptop, email editor@tcdailyplanet.net and we’ll try to find one for you to use at the cafe. The coffee, tea or pop is on us. The how-to session will last no more than an hour, and then editor Mary Turck will stick around for a working news desk session (see below.) You’re welcome to stay and contribute your ideas, or just to show up for the news desk editorial meeting at 4:30. To pre-register, email jeremy@tcdailyplanet.net.
followed by:
Open News Desk Editorial Meeting, 4:30 to 5:30 pm.
Want to find out what stories are in the works for the Daily Planet? Want to tell us what stories you’d like to see? Come to the open news desk and get an insider’s look at what we do. We are planning to have an open news desk at least monthly during the year ahead, meeting at various venues around the Twin Cities. (If you want a hands-on lesson in posting your own stories, events, etc. on the Daily Planet, come at 3:30 for a how-to workshop.)
Editors Reports:

Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:

March came in like a lion, with the announcement that a prestigious Premack award for investigative journalism would go to Twin Cities Daily Planet writer Molly Priesmeyer and editor Mary Turck for last year’s Troubled Waters coverage. Community engagement with the Daily Planet continues to grow, with 31 Free Speech Zone submissions in March, and a growing number of Neighborhood Notes. Our interns also continue to diversify coverage—look for Alexander Holston’s video round-ups of the week’s news during April! We are still looking for more neighborhood correspondents and more neighborhood news, so if you have news from your part of town, just email editor@tcdailyplanet.net.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

This month I traveled to Texas to report on the massive South By Southwest music festival, but our biggest readership of the month went to a news scoop: the City of Minneapolis slapped CLOSED notices on the doors of two West Bank buildings with growing reputations for fun but slightly shady parties. On the venue-closure beat, Sheila Regan also reported on the Heritage Preservation Commission’s unanimous vote to allow the destruction of the Oak Street Cinema—our coverage also included quotes and memories from community members with fond memories of the theater. Local movie buffs can dry their tears, though: the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival is coming up in April, and we’ll host pages for readers to rate and comment on every movie in the fest.

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.

Jeremy Iggers
executive director

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