January Update: new editor, new website, classes and more

Happy New Year! We have exciting plans for 2015, including a new website (coming soon), a new editor, Kelly Schoenfelder, and new classes. Please be patient with us, though, as it it will take us some time to get up to speed. As our Drupal web developer Steve Hanson likes to say, “That’s why God created time – so everything doesn’t all happen at once.

Scroll down to meet Kelly, read program manager Bruce Johansen’s report, and find out about our January classes.

And please remember: your support of the Twin Cities Media Alliance makes all of this work possible.  To donate, visit our secure online donation page, or send a check to TCMA, 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis MN 55406.


Jeremy Iggers, executive director

Editor Kelly Schoenfelder reports:

Let me introduce myself – I’m the new editor of the Daily Planet. Since earning a B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota, I have worked for several years in community radio, first as as a reporter-producer and program director for WTIP in Grand Marais, and more recently as a freelance reporter and radio producer based in the Twin Cities, reporting for such organizations as Northern Wilds Media, Ampers, WTIP, KFAI and several others.

I’m looking forward to meeting the Daily Planet’s readers, and I hope you’ll feel comfortable reaching out to me with your ideas, questions or concerns. That includes criticism!

More than ever, our focus will be on diversity – not just sharing the voices of under-represented communities, but also making the Daily Planet the place to go to explore and celebrate the diversity of the Twin Cities, and to make connections across the boundaries of race, class and culture.  I’ll be looking for stories that introduce readers to community leaders, artists, and performers who reflect the diversity of our community, as well as stories that highlight the the points of entry into those communities – from theaters, markets and restaurants to cultural centers and houses of worship. And we’ll be actively looking for contributors – including writers, photographers and videographers – from diverse backgrounds. Realistically, with our tiny budget, we can’t break a lot of “big” stories, but the Daily Planet can become the place where people go to participate in inclusive conversations about those big stories and big issues. That said, I want to hear your ideas, too, so if you have something you think is great, by all means, get in touch!  You can email me at editor@tcdailyplanet.net.

Bruce JohansenProgram manager for Training and Engagement Bruce Johansen reports: 
Wow, what a year, the most rewarding of my working life. The number of classes and trainings we’re offering took a significant leap this past year. At the outset of 2013 we were scheduling four social media classes per month at Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) libraries. By fall 2014 that number exceeded 20 per month. Other 2014 highlights included a 3-hour photography workshop offered by Wing Young Huie at his Third Place Gallery, a three-part introduction to reporting series taught by Mary Turck, and three social media workshops facilitated by Guante. A partnership with the St. Paul Neighborhood Network found us offering workshops at SPNN’s downtown St. Paul studio, beginning this fall with a strong launch by instructor Hlee Lee.
We also took our Newsroom Cafés to new places. A Newsroom Cafe hosted by Lissa Jones and the Minnesota African American History Museum & Cultural Center, brought community members together to talk about the stories they wanted to see covered, and led to conversations about institutional racism and white privilege. One of the most exciting developments in 2014 was the launch of a new program of media and communications trainings and coaching for cohorts of Phillips Family Foundation grantees. Thanks to several of our skilled trainers, including John Capecci, Eleonore Wesserle, Adaobi Okolue, and Kris Berggren, that program is off to a very successful start, and by every indication will be ongoing.
Most satisfying for me were the articles I wrote for the Daily Planet. I’m especially proud of my series, Along the Corridor: University Avenue Business Owners Navigating Change, an oral history project produced through a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant, and my reflection on racial profiling and the shooting of Michael Brown. The latter, a Community Voices piece entitled “Riding the Green Line: Why Shared Public Space Matters,” was read, shared, and commented on by more readers than anything I’ve written. It was published the same week that I discovered the video which led to the Daily Planet breaking the story of Chris Lollie’s arrest and tasing.
That only scratches the surface of what we’ve been up to in 2014 and expect to see happen in 2015. There are lots of other exciting opportunities and projects brewing, and more are sure to pop up in months to come.

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