January Update: 2011 Highlights and the year ahead

We had a great year in 2011, and I am excited about the year ahead. As usual, you can scroll down to read about some exciting upcoming classes and events, our Winter Party and Sausage Fest, and to read our editors’ reports about the highlights of the past year. But first, I want to say a few words about what we have planned for 2012:

More classes: We’re going to offer at least two classes every month – one focused on citizen journalism, and the other on media skills – everything from Introduction to iMovie to Facebook as a Marketing Tool. To find out about the latest classes, go totcdailyplanet.net/classes.  (January classes listed below).

More journalism: We’re going to recruit more reporters, produce more beat reporting, and dig deeper into our neighborhoods. Renewed funding from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and a generous grant from Southeast Publications will make it possible for us to increase our coverage of Central Corridor and southeast Minneapolis neighborhoods, so that’s where we’ll start, but our goal is to expand our coverage of all Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods. We are also expanding our food and dining coverage, by merging my TCFoodies.com website to a new home on the Daily Planet, where we will be serving up fresh food news daily.

More newsletters: In addition to our Daily Headlines, Weekly Highlights and Arts Orbit Radar newsletters, we’ll soon be launching newsletters for TCFoodies, Education News, and Southeast Minneapolis / University District Neighborhood News.

More outreach and events: Last year, our New Normal project published news stories and organized community conversations focused on deciding our community priorities in tough economic times. This year, with renewed support from the Bush Foundation, we are going to build on that work. We’ll be partnering with organizations that work on issues such as Education, Health Care, the Environment, Work, Transportation and Immigrant Communities to hold community social/informational events, where people can learn about the organization, the issues, and how to use the media – including the Daily Planet.

More interactivity: We’re going to add a Facebook Comments box to our stories, so that if you are signed in to Facebook, your comments will appear immediately on the site, under your real name, and you will have the option of also posting them on your Facebook page. We’re also going to start a campaign to get more readers to add their favorite neighborhood businesses and attractions to our neighborhood attractions maps and directories.

A more user-friendly website: We know, it’s cluttered. With the help of our web developer, Steve Hanson, we will soon unveil a redesigned homepage, with many more improvements to follow.

Save the date!: TC Daily Planet Winter Party and Sausage Fest Thursday, February 2 at the Summit Brewing Company. Great beer, great band, great sausages. Details coming soon.

January classes: 

The Twin Cities Media Alliance has a couple of great classes coming up this month: Finding Your Voice Online, next Wednesday, January 11 taught by Twin Cities Daily Planet editor Mary Turck, and Introduction to i Movie, taught by videographer Ben McGinley on Monday, January 23. The tuition for these classes is $10, but scholarships are available on request. Also, scroll down for information about other events this month, including our free How to use the Daily Planet workshop on January 19, (followed by a happy hour!) and our weekly writers groups.

Finding Your Voice Online
Wed, January 11, 7-9 p.m.
2600 Franklin Avenue E, Suite #2 (enter from back of Wells Fargo Bank Building.)
Mpls., MN 55406
“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 instructor Mary Turck samples of your writing — something boring you’d like to improve or something with voice that you’d like to brag about.
Course tuition is $10; scholarships are available on request. Register by clicking here. (https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/262/donate.asp?formid=TCM-Event&c=5092822).
How to use the Daily Planet — free January 2012 workshop
Thursday, January 19, 4-5 p.m.
Acadia Cafe, 329 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
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! (And join us for a happy hour afterward, at 5 p.m.)

Introduction to iMovie

Monday January 23, 7 to 9 p.m.
2600 Franklin Avenue E, Suite #2 (enter from back of Wells Fargo Bank Building.)
Mpls., MN 55406
In these two hours, instructor Ben McGinley 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. Register by clicking here. (https://www.thedatabank.com/dpg/262/donate.asp?formid=TCM-Event&c=3431292)
Writers Groups Come meet the editors and other Daily Planet writers, bring your ideas for written and video stories or photo essays. Our writers group provides an encouraging environment for novice and experienced reporters. In addition to getting feedback on your writing, each week we integrate one lesson that will help you develop your craft. These include themes like fact checking, relations with sources, and telling many sides of one story.
St. Paul Every Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Next Monday’s meeting (January 9) is at Cahoots Coffee Bar 1562 Selby Ave.
Minneapolis – Every Wednesday at 1:30 at the TC Daily Planet offices, 2600 Franklin Ave. E., #2., Minneapolis. (Wells Fargo Bank Building –  Enter from the parking lot.) Future locations may change.
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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