December Update: media classes, newsroom cafes, and the return of Sausage Fest

It’s a busy time of year, so I’ll keep this short. We had a great turnout for our eighth annual Fall Media Forum, After the Elections – Change Work, New Media and the Challenges Ahead, held November 10 at the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach Center – scroll down to read Community Engagement Coordinator Bruce Johansen’s report. Thanks to everybody who came and participated.

And thanks to everybody who donated so generously to the Twin Cities Media Alliance on Give To The Max Day – we raised $3353 this year, an increase of over $1000 over 2011. While we are on the subject, I hope you’ll include the Media Alliance in your end-of-the-year giving. Just click on this convenient link: .

Mark your calendars: 

The second annual Daily Planet Winter Party and Sausage Fest will be held Wednesday, January 30 at the Summit Brewing Company. The fantastic Brass Messengers will be back, and so will many of the sausage and charcuterie makers who made our 2012 event such a success. We don’t have all the details finalized, and the payment page isn’t set up yet, but if you go to ourSausage Fest Registration Page and leave your name and email address, we’ll send you an email to notify you when ticket sales start. Or just check back in a few days.

Newsroom Cafes: 

Do you have a story or a question? Drop in and talk about the Daily Planet, our news coverage, and how you can contribute. Sometimes, the newsrooms cafes have a special focus,  but you can still come and workshop stories that you are working on regardless of the topic. Free.

Newsroom Café with Mary Turck
Tuesday, December 11, 4:30 p.m.
308 Prince St.
St Paul, MN 55101
If you are interested in reporting for the Daily Planet, or want help with a story-in-progress, stop in at Black Dog Cafe, where Editor Mary Turck will talk about stories we are looking for, and story ideas that you bring. Look for the laptop with the “I Heart the First Amendment” sticker!
Newsroom Cafe with Jay Gabler
Wednesday, December 12, 2 to 3 p.m.
1518 Randolph Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
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 theBean Factory in St. Paul—just look for the laptop with the Freaky Deeky sticker.
Newsroom Café with Mary Turck
Tuesday, December 18, 4 p.m.
921 Selby Ave.
St Paul, MN
If you are interested in reporting for the Daily Planet, or want help with a story-in-progress, stop in at the Golden Thyme Cafe, where Editor Mary Turck will talk about stories we are looking for, and story ideas that you bring.  Look for the laptop with the “I Heart the First Amendment” sticker!
Photojournalism Basics
Wednesday, December 12, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Twin Cities Daily Planet offices, 2600 Franklin Avenue E.
Suite 2, Minneapolis, (enter from the parking lot behind the Wells Fargo Bank building.)
Come learn to report with a camera with freelance photographer Tom Baker. In this two-hour class, you will learn the basics of photojournalism including caption writing, ethics, identifying the best storytelling image, equipment, and that photojournalism is more than the ability to take a good photo.
Tom Baker has worked at three newspapers and has been freelancing since 2006. He will bring his experience of photojournalism to students and will help them understand the basics and importance of community journalism. By sharing a few stories about working in the field, he will inform students of the difficulties and successes of being a photojournalist. He will also share his insight on networking and what steps are necessary to be successful.
Tuition for this class is $10; scholarships are available upon request. Space is limited! Register now via The DataBank.
Social Media Clinic
Thursday,  December 20, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Daily Planet office, 2600 Franklin Avenue E, Suite #2, Minneapolis (enter from the parking lot behind the Wells Fargo Bank building.)
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterestwherever you are online, if you’re a little confused, you’re not alone! Come to our monthly social media clinics and get a hand from Twin Cities Media Alliance staff member and social media expert 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.
We ask participants to pre-register so as to guarantee that space will be available. Registration fee is $10; scholarships are available on request. Click here to register.
Participation in the social media clinics is free for all Daily Planet advertisers(click here for more information about how to advertise with the Daily Planet). 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.

January classes: Thanks to a new partnership with MELSA, the Metropolitan Library Service Agency, the Twin Cities Media Alliance will offer dozens of classes at metro area branch libraries, starting in January 2013. You can check times, topics and locations by going to, or watch for next month’s newsletter.

Staff reports: 
Bruce JohansenCommunity Engagement Coordinator Bruce Johansen reports: 
The highlight of our November community engagement work was the Twin Cities Media Alliance’s 8th Annual Fall Media Forum, held on Saturday November 10 at UROC (the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center) – our first time in this new location. (Thanks, UROC for the great hospitality.) In his informative and thought-provoking keynote, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie praised the Twin Cities Daily Planet and other new media outlets for accurately reporting on many stories that mainstream media missed entirely or misrepresented in this election cycle, including what he called “the assault on the Constitution.”
Other panelists and presenters shared their thoughts on media strategies that helped defeat the proposed amendments, and talked about media toolkits that their organizations use to get messages out effectively to new and wider audiences. Presenters included photographer Wing Young Huie, Jake Loesch of Minnesotans United for All Families, Hana Worku of the Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Eric Davis of Beehive PR, Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson of the Charities Review Council, Jeff Achen of, and Melissa Harrison of Allee Consulting. The Fall Media Forum was the capstone to the Twin Cities Media Alliance’s New Normal 2012 Get Connected! project, made possible by the generous support of the Bush Foundation.
Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:
Every week I compile a list of “TCDP Top Picks”: events that we recommend on our home page, on social media, in our daily headlines newsletter, and in our weekly arts newsletter. (Do you receive the Daily Planet’s news headline e-mails? Subscribe here!) I find many of our top picks right on our calendar, where they are submitted by community members eager to spread the word about their events. Take a look at our calendar—you’ll learn a lot about what’s going on in the Twin Cities’ diverse communities, and if your favorite upcoming events don’t appear there, just follow the easy instructions to add them!

Editor Mary Turck reports:
November was an exciting month, with lots of people looking to the Daily Planet for election coverage, and submitting their own opinion articles about the elections. Besides that high-profile activity, we had some exciting behind-the-scenes developments. Sharon Emery and Ibrahim Hirsi launched the first mentorship, with an experienced editor mentoring a relatively new writer. That’s working well, as you can see in Ibrahim’s recent articles. Alleen Brown, one of our education writers, won an internship at The Nation, which will take her to New York, beginning in January. That’s great for Alleen, though will miss her stellar reporting, and will be looking for more people with a passion for reporting on education. (Look for a final series of reports from Allen next week.)
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.


Jeremy Iggers
executive director, Twin Cities Media Alliance

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