June Update: Happy Hour, Brown Bag, Community Conversations, and More

photo by David McCrindle

Thanks to everybody who came to the Daily Planet’s Fifth Birthday Party Happy Hour last month. We had so much fun that we decided to make happy hours a monthly event – at least, for this month. This one will be preceded by a training session on how to do stuff on the Daily Planet. Other upcoming events include a Brown Bag with veteran Twin Cities journalist Art Hughes, news director of Rick Kupchella’s Bring Me The News, a class on finding your audience online, and the next round of community conversations on the New Normal. Scroll down for details, and our editors’ reports.

We are in the middle of our 2011 membership campaign this month. If you want to renew (has it been over a year since your last donation?) or to join up for the first time, you can do so now by going to http://givemn.org/Twin-Cities-Media-Alliance, and making a donation in any amount.

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. We’re tackling a different topic every month. Here’s project manager Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva’s report  on last month’s New Normal conversations:

Last month we had a great round-up of community conversations and editorial coverage on the future of work and jobs in Minnesota. Susan Brower of the Wilder Foundation pulled together lots of statistics on Minnesota’s work economy and turned these into a fantastic and informative presentation, which helped frame our conversations. It will be up shortly on the MN Compass website, and until it is you can check out the Planet’s editorial coverage here, and a write-up of the conversations here.
In June we’ll be talking about health care coverage, so please join us for an evening community conversation on  June 20 at the Wilder Foundation, or on June 21 at Pax Salon. We’ll be asking participants,“How can we ensure that all Minnesotans have access to good, affordable, dependable health care?”  We’d love your help! If your organization would like to co-host a community conversation on health care contact lisa@tcdailyplanet.net.

Brown Bag with Art Hughes

Art HughesWhat will the journalism of the future look like? And how will it be funded? Locally and nationally, publishers are experimenting with new models for generating revenue. One of the most interesting experiments is Rick Kupchella’s Bring Me The News, which describes its business model as follows:

“Instead of block advertisements and pop-ups on our Web site, we have a new approach to advertising: we’re working with a small group of sponsors to provide informational advertising of interest to our audience. At BringMeTheNews, our client content manager works directly with sponsors to develop greater insight into those stories that matter to people — in areas like health, education, technology and energy. And because we recognize the value of the material coming from our sponsors, we integrate our advertising alongside our headlines and reporting.

Because BringMeTheNews is dedicated to journalistic ethics and transparency, even though sponsored content appears on the homepage, we will always clearly identify which information comes from our sponsors — just as we show the sources of the news stories we link to.”

Please join us for this month’s Brown Bag program,  to be held Wednesday, June 22 at noon at the East Lake Public Library, 2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis. This month’s featured guest is Art Hughes, news director of Bring Me the News. Art has provided news for a variety of news organizations including National Public Radio, Reuters, Marketplace, CBC and BBC. He worked for 11 years at Minnesota Public Radio covering, among other things, education and Minneapolis city issues. Art is a long-time advocate for First Amendment and open government issues, serving on the boards with the state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.

Learn how to use the Daily Planet
Thursday, June 23, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
East Lake Public Library, 2727 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis.

Want to learn how to use TC Daily Planet?  We’ll go over the basics – registering and uploading articles – as well as answering questions and problem-solving. If you don’t have a laptop, email editor@tcdailyplanet.net and we’ll try to find one for you to use at the cafe. The how-to session will last no more than an hour, and then we’ll all walk over next door to T’s Place for our

Daily Planet Happy Hour: 
When: Thursday, June 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: T’s Place, 2713 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
Who: Everyone is welcome, and there’s no charge.
Join TCDP editors, writers, photographers, readers and anybody else who cares to show up for drinks and conversation. T’s Place has great happy hour specials – domestic beers for $2.50; imports, wine by the glass, and mixed drinks for $3.

Parking is available at meters.  (Do not park in the East Lake Public Library lot if you are staying for the Happy Hour – you may be towed.)
Finding Your Audience Online
Tuesday, July 12, 7-9 p.m.
 Twin Cities Daily Planet office, 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis

So you’re online: you have a blog, or a website. Now how do you find your audience? Whether you’re looking for like-minded souls to read your writing or share recipe tips or whether you’re looking to spread the reach of your organization with a more robust online presence, this class will give you valuable tips and tools to help you find your audience. Topics include:
• How can you use social media to best effect?
• Content: how much is too much?
• How much should you be “yourself” and how much should you give people what you think they want?
Instructors Jay Gabler and Becky Lang are two of the co-founders of the successful creative writing blog The Tangential; Jay also serves as associate editor of the Twin Cities Daily Planet, and Becky works as a creative at the marketing firm Zeus Jones.
The class is sponsored by the Twin Cities Media Alliance, a nonprofit organization advocating media literacy and community connections.
Registration for this class is free, but enrollment is limited. To register, send an e-mail to jay@tcdailyplanet.net.
(Classes are free, but donations are gratefully accepted. )

Editors Reports: 

Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:

When bad weather hits, Minnesotans traditionally tune in to WCCO—but now other media are also winning the eyes and ears of Minnesotans. And, while TC Daily Planet is NOT the place to go for immediate, as-the-wind-blows news, we are the place that many community members came to share their tornado stories and to find grassroots, on-the-ground accounts in the days and weeks after the North Minneapolis tornado. Besides this big news, we are proud of the continuing growth of our neighborhood coverage, much of it contributed by community members. For one great example, check out the multimedia coverage of the bargains and laughs at Seward’s garage sale!

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

It was another big month for Daily Planet arts coverage, with Google AdWords continuing (via a donation from Google in consideration of our nonprofit status) to boost our coverage of movies in particular. We also kept close to the community, with great photos of a community band celebration in St. Paul and a first-timer’s account of taking African drum and dance classes in Minneapolis. Our media partnerships continue to bear fruit: one of our most-read articles of the month was a feature about the new restaurant Soul Daddy, republished from Insight News. Finally, we’re pleased to welcome our newest arts columnist: Courtney Algeo, whose column Lit Lyfe will focus on all aspects of the local literary scene.

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.


Jeremy Iggers
executive director

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