February Update: Great Classes and our new Newsroom Cafe

We’re off to a great start in 2012. We have launched three new newsletters, expanded our class and workshop offerings, have reinvented our weekly writers groups as Newsroom Cafes. Scroll down for details about our Newsroom Cafes and February 20 Happy Hour; Photojournalism 101 and Use Facebook to Promote Your Business classes, and to read our editors’ reports about the highlights of the past month.

But first, a big thank you to everybody who came to the TC Daily Planet Winter Party and Sausage Fest February 2 at the Summit Brewing Company, and especially to the Summit Brewing Company, which hosted the party and provided their beer, and to all the terrific sausage makers and charcutiers generously donated their time and meat: The Black Forest, the Butcher and the Boar, Clancey’s Meats, Green Ox Provisions, Kramarczuk’s, the Modern Cafe, NateDogs and the Sample Room. 

Newsroom Cafe: 
Instead of holding writers group sessions every week at the same times and places, editors Jay Gabler and Mary Turck are going to shake 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, February 7, 6 p.m. : What goes into a review?
Bull Run Cafe / 3346 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
Meet Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler at Bull Run Roasting Co. for a discussion of writing reviews. What information should be included? How should they be structured? This is also a chance to talk about the stories we’re covering and the stories we’re looking to cover; and to workshop or talk over any stories you’re currently working on—or are interested in working on.
Monday February 13, 4 to 5 p.m. University District News Project
Dunn Bros., 530 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis
Meet Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler a discussion of our new University District newsletter. What is it? How can you contribute? This is also a chance to talk about the stories we’re covering and the stories we’re looking to cover; and to workshop or talk over any stories you’re currently working on—or are interested in working on!
Thursday, February 16, 9 to 10 a.m.: How to add events to the calendar.
Groundswell Cafe, 1342 Thomas Ave., St. Paul.
Writers’ group PLUS!. We’ll also workshop stories — if you have one to workshop, send it to editor@tcdailyplanet.net by noon. And we’ll talk about stories-in-progress and future assignments.
Mon, February 20, 4 to 6 p.m. University District News Project and Happy Hour
Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. S.E., Minneapolis
With the support of the Southeast Publications Board—former publishers of The Bridge and then Bridgeland Newsthe Daily Planet is expanding its coverage of the University District neighborhoods in Minneapolis: Como, Marcy-Holmes, Prospect Park, the West Bank, and the University neighborhood itself. Join Daily Planet editors and representatives of the Southeast Publications Board to talk about this new project, and how you can get involved! Followed by a Happy Hour!
Wednesday, February 22:  noon to 1 p.m. How to take and upload news photos.
Dunn Bros. North Loop, 228 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Meet Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler at Bull Run Roasting Co. for a discussion of news photography—for the Daily Planet specfically. How can you grab great shots, and upload them to our site? This is also a chance to talk about the stories we’re covering and the stories we’re looking to cover; and to workshop or talk over any stories you’re currently working on—or are interested in working on!
Monday, February 27, 4 to 5 p.m. Telling Central Corridor stories
Overflow Cafe, 2929 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis
We’ll also workshop stories — if you have one to workshop, send it to editor@tcdailyplanet.net by noon. And we’ll talk about stories-in-progress and future assignments.
Thursday, March 1, noon to 1 p.m. Building professional relationships with PR reps
Dunn Bros., 1569 Grand Ave., St. Paul
Meet Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler for a discussion of building and managing relationships with public relations professionals. How can you work with them responsibly to meet everyone’s needs? This is also a chance to talk about the stories we’re covering and the stories we’re looking to cover; and to workshop or talk over any stories you’re currently working on—or are interested in working on!

Classes: 

Wednesday, February 15.
Rondo Community Library, 461 N. Dale, St. Paul
Experienced photojournalist Judy Griesediek offers a two-hour primer on how to get great shots to accompany your articles and blog posts – using whatever equipment you have available.
Learn how to use natural light to your advantage.
Learn how to create photos using techniques that will result in more interesting photos.
Discuss composition, simple lighting (natural and with a flash), and different lenses for those who have them.
Discuss the less technical side of photojournalism such as privacy considerations, ethical issues, when to get a photo release, how to approach a spot news situation, general tips on a variety of situations that require sensitivity, gaining access, developing rapport with a subject. Any other questions that students want to ask are welcome. Illustrative photos will provide examples of all these situations.
Tuition for this class is $10; scholarships are available upon request. Register at TheDatabank.com.
Wednesday, February 29, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Daily Planet office, 2600 Franklin Avenue E, Suite #2 (enter from parking lot.)
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. Time will be left at the end for open discussion and questions. Laptops suggested, but not required.
Who should attend? Small business owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs interested in learning how to use Facebook to create awareness and expand business reach. This workshop is intended for individuals who are looking for ways to increase their Facebook presence and/or who are new to Facebook business pages.
Instructor Melissa Harrison is founder of Allee, a marketing and creative services firm in Albertville, Minn. As a strategic marketing professional with more than a decade of experience in working with nonprofits, member-based organizations and small businesses, Melissa integrates traditional marketing strategies with new media tools and concepts.
Tuition for this class is $10; scholarships are available upon request. Register at TheDatabank.com.
Staff reports: 
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:
As we continue to develop our education beat (with Alleen Brown and Sheila Regan), we have launched the weekly Education News. Take a look – you’ll see great articles from American Indian education in Minneapolis to threats to integration funding. We are also publishing fresh food news daily, ranging from restaurant reports to community gardens, and collecting all of it on the TC Foodies pageand TC Foodies newsletter. (Click here to subscribe to either newsletter.) We are also developing election coverage for 2012, with pages for contests ranging from local legislative races to thepresidential election. Finally, we are re-focusing our weekly writers’ groups as “Newsroom Café,”varying times and places to enable more people to participate.
Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

We’ve received very enthusiastic feedback on our new MailChimp-driven newsletters, including Arts Orbit Radar—do you subscribe? We’re now publishing our event picks in the form of one pick per day; readers have appreciated being able to share our coverage in this convenient format. 2012 looks to be a banner year for our arts section, with more contributors than ever and an ever-widening array of coverage. We’re increasing our attention to reporting substantive stories on the arts community, in addition to our regular reviews and previews; one example of this is Sheila Regan’s widely-read story about a controversy over a play concerning the origins of the American Indian Movement. Thanks for your continuing readership and support!

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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