December News: Shop Locally This Holiday Season, Classes and More

Scroll down to read about some exciting upcoming classes and events, and to read our editors’ reports about the highlights of the past month. But first, I want to say a few words about shopping locally this holiday season, and the Daily Planet’s directory of neighborhood attractions and independently owned businesses.

Shop locallyAt the Twin Cities Media Alliance, we strongly support locally owned independent businesses. Supporting the vitality of neighborhoods and communities is an important part of our mission, and a healthy local business community is essential to the vitality of local communities. Here’s what the Metro Independent Business Alliance says about shopping locally:

“Supporting locally owned, independent businesses keeps more of your money in your community.  When you spend $1 at a local independent, an average of 68 cents is recirculated into the local economy.  In contrast, when you spend $1 at a national chain, only about 43 cents stays at home.  If Twin Cities consumers shift even 10% of their spending from chains to locals for one day, the Twin Cities economy gains some $2 million.”

That’s why we belong to the Metro Independent Business Alliance, and why we carry the business listings ofBuyLocalTwinCities in the Twin Cities Daily Planet’s directory of local businesses and attractions, and on our Minneapolisand St. Paul neighborhood pages.

Another way to support local businesses: be sure to check out our new program, Theater All Year. Theater All Year ticket vouchers offer you an easy and affordable way to enjoy a huge variety of Twin Cities theater offerings throughout the season – and support the Twin Cities Media Alliance and TC Daily Planet at the same time. The cost is only $99 for six vouchers – a saving of more than 50% off the retail ticket price at some of the participating theaters.

Upcoming classes:

(Our December 6 class on Photojournalism 101 with Judy Griesedieck booked up very quickly, with many more on a mailing list. If you would like to be notified when we offer this class again – or if you have other suggestions for classes, just reply to this email.

Twin Cities Daily Planet December User Training and Open Newsroom
Tuesday, December 13, 4 to 5 p.m.
2600 Franklin Avenue E, Suite #2
Join Daily Planet editor Mary Turck and associate editor Jay Gabler for an open newsroom and user training session. Want to know how you can use the Daily Planet to connect with your community? Want to learn what stories we’re working on? Have stories to suggest? Please stop by! Free of charge.

January classes: 

Finding Your Voice Online
Mary Turck, instructor
January 11, 7-9 PM,
Twin Cities Daily Planet
2600 E. Franklin #2
Minneapolis, MN
“Carrie Daklin is mad as hell and doesn’t want to take it anymore,” begins a column by Ruben Rosario. Want to keep reading? You bet. That’s because Rosario always writes with voice, with attitude, with a passion that grabs the reader. Journalism prof Carrie Brown-Smith writes: “Voice doesn’t HAVE TO mean less facts or more ill-informed ranting … there’s still hard-hitting reporting, but the person behind the story isn’t completely hidden. If anything, the biases they are trying (often to little avail) to hide are instead transparently represented to the audience and become part and parcel of their expertise rather than a liability.” If you want to work on livening up your writing, join us for Finding Your Voice, a two-hour workshop at the Daily Planet office on January 11, 7-9 p.m. Register ahead of time, and e-mail me samples of your writing — something boring you’d like to improve or something with voice that you’d like to brag about. The fee for this class is $10, but scholarships are granted on request. Click here to register.
Introduction to iMovie
Ben McGinley, instructor
January 23, 7-9 PM
Twin Cities Daily Planet
2600 E. Franklin #2
Minneapolis, MN
In these two hours we will go over the very basics of Apple’s iMovie program.  We will learn the iMovie interface and its accompanying tools.  You will learn how to use these tools to import footage, add cool titles and transitions, and choose accompanying music of your choice from your iTunes library. By the end of the class, you will have an understanding of basic media management and editing that will give you confidence when editing your own movies. The fee for this class is $10, but scholarships are granted on request. Click here to register.

Staff reports: 

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. Here’s project manager Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva’s report on our October conversations:

We had a great crowd at the annual Fall Media Forum, where we talked about the work we’ve been doing with the New Normal project this year. We’ll be wrapping up the project by the new year, but in 2012 we hope to build on this year’s conversations and articles. During last month’s coverage on inequality, Bruce Johansen reported on signs of rising inequity, Latino parents spoke out about education gaps, and Sheila Regan wrote about the impact of inequality on American Indian children. In the next several weeks we are conducting focus group style conversations with leaders working on inequality issues, so stay tuned for reports of these conversations.
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:
Lots of great stories in November — from Latino parents organizing in South Minneapolis to the re-opening of University Avenue in St. Paul to continuing delays in tornado repairs in North Minneapolis to the fascinating story of the Cave Cafe Food Truck and the miraculous journey of Chef Teddy. We are almost ready to launch our re-configured newsletter on MailChimp. Look for it in December, along with the launch of our TC Foodies weekly newsletter and an Education weekly newsletter. Not all the work is news: I met with two groups of international visitors this month, as well as with a group of middle-school students at Southside Family School. I worked with the students on video production, and hope that they will use the loaned TCDP FlipCam to produce at least one story for us.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

The list of November’s most-read arts and lifestyle stories demonstrates why the Daily Planet has become a must-read for everyone interested in the breadth and depth of the local arts scene. Readers across the country appreciated our reviews of movies like The Muppets and the touring show Cavalia, but we also found a lot of readers for my review of the Minnesota Opera’s world premiere Silent Night and Matthew Everett’s review ofThe Inland Sea—a play by a MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner that was given its world premiere by none other than the students at Macalester College. Our strong food coverage was represented by Lu Lippold’s and Jeremy Iggers’s coverage of the new Rye Deli, and Sheila Regan produced what a dance insider told me she considers the best coverage of Frank Sonntag’s controversial decision to step down from his leadership role at the Cowles Center after only a few months. Finally, our Who is that? series shone a light on an unsung hero of the local theater scene: superfan Scott Pakudaitis, who attends over 200 performances a year. You won’t find Scott on the pages of any glossy magazines, but at the Daily Planet we know it’s those grassroots advocates who keep our arts scene strong.

You can support our work by donating to the Twin Cities Media Alliance through the donation website, (  If you prefer, you can send a check to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin, suite #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.

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