April Update: Google Docs Class, Happy Hour, Newsroom Cafes & More

Thanks to everybody who helped make our Greek Feast at Gardens of Salonica a success – and especially our hostess, chef-owner Anna Christoforides. Next Tuesday’s class (4/17) on Using Facebook to Promote Your Business is completely sold out, but we have lots of other classes, Newsroom Cafes and other events coming up – including a Happy Hour next Monday (4/16) to celebrate the launch of our new University District Beat, and a new class on how to Make the Most of Google Docs on May 19. Scroll down for details, and to read our editors’ reports about the highlights of the past month.

Monday, April 16, 4 to 6 p.m. Open newsroom and happy hour: Launching the University District beat
Join associate editor Jay Gabler and other Daily Planet staff for a meeting and happy hour kicking off and celebrating the beginning of our University District beat, at the Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. Now that our News of the University District Neighborhoods newsletter is a reality, we’re looking to expand our coverage of the University District neighborhoods (Marcy-Holmes, Como, Cedar-Riverside, Prospect Park, and University). Can you help? If you’re interested in pitching in by contributing news or tips—or just want to hang out with us and raise a glass to expanded neighborhood news coverage—please stop by!
Newsroom Cafes: 
Instead of holding writers group sessions every week at the same times and places, editors Jay Gabler and Mary Turck are shaking things up a bit: different days, different times, different places, and each time a different focus – though you can still come and workshop stories that you are working on – regardless of the topic.
Tuesday, April 17, 9-10 a.m: Health Beat
If you are interested in reporting on health care, policy issues, public health … join us and help to build a health beat. Editor Mary Turck will talk about stories we are looking for, and story ideas that you bring. We’ll be meeting at People’s Organic Coffee in Edina – on  70th Street between France and York. 
Tuesday, April 17, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Polishing your style
You’ve got the basics: what, where, when, who, why. But how to say it with style? Arts editor Jay Gabler will talk about giving your writing that little extra spark, and will address any other topics you might like to address regarding the Daily Planet’s news coverage. Meet atthe Finnish Bistro, 2264 Como Ave., St. Paul. 
Tuesday, April 17, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. One good photo.
What kind of photos do we want for news articles? How do you get a good photo in a crowd?  We’ll talk about strategies for maximum photo impact. Espresso Royale, Fairview and Randolph, St. Paul. 
Thursday, April 26, 7 to 8 p.m.  Staying on top of the News
Minneapolis, Where do journalists get their story ideas? Arts editor Jay Gabler will fill you in on how to keep abreast of all the news that might be fit to print—and will address any other topics related to the Daily Planet’s news coverage. At the Espresso Royale, 1229 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.


Wednesday, May 9, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Make the Most of Google Docs

You know that Google makes high-quality software from internet search to e-mail to maps, but what about documents? Come and learn about Google Docs: Google’s version of documents, spreadsheets, forms, presentations, and drawings—all part of the Google Docs suite. Learn how to create, manipulate, manage, and collaborate with Google Docs. Google Docs comes automatically packaged with Gmail and Google Apps accounts, so this class applies to anyone with a Google account! Instructor Brian Roemen will teach you how to use these powerful tools. At the Rondo Community Library, 461 N. Dale, St. Paul.

Tuition for this class is $10; scholarships are available upon request. Register at The Databank.

Staff reports: 
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:

We had great education coverage in March — and anyone who hasn’t subscribed to the weekly Education News should really take a look at it here. From Somali students and educators to inspiring stories of teens who beat the odds, we have an amazing depth and breadth of education stories. Of course, we continue to cover the Central Corridor from multiple angles and perspectives, and we are on top of the early spring and its crop of urban gardening and farming stories, immigrant businesses in the Twin Cities, Somali-Minnesotan perspectives on the unfolding developments in Somalia, and much more.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:
Recently I spoke to a journalism class at the University of Minnesota with Andrea Swensson, who reminded me that before her jobs covering local music for The Current and City Pages, she wrote for—among other publications—the Twin Cities Daily Planet. From experts like Andrea to teen reporters like Lindsay LaBarre, the Daily Planet is all about giving local arts-lovers the opportunity to write about (and photograph, and document on video) the art and artists who make the Twin Cities such great towns to go out in. If you, or someone you know, is interested in contributing to our coverage—of the arts, or of anything else—please encourage them to contact us, and to stop by one of our Newsroom Cafe meetings. Our doors (and minds) are open!

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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