November Update: Fall Forum, Training, Happy Hour and More

To read about the past month’s highlights, scroll down to our editors’ reports. But first, I want to tell you about some exciting events coming up this month, including our Fall Media Forum, and our Daily Planet User Training, Open Newsroom, and Happy Hour at Pancho Villa.

Saturday, November 12:  Fall Media Forum, “Inform, Connect, Organize: Media Tools for the New Normal.” 

Usually, when people talk about the New Normal, they are talking about the economy, and the impact that economic hard times are having on our communities, our schools and our jobs and livelihoods. But the difficult economy isn’t the only New Normal – we are also living in the midst of a “media New Normal” in which citizens have unprecedented access to powerful media tools. This free forum focuses on the challenges of the economic New Normal, and the media tools and information resources citizens can use to face those challenges.

The morning program starts at 9:30 with a presentation of economic and demographic data about the New Normal by Andi Egbert of the Wilder Foundation, followed by reports from several organizations that have sponsored community conversations about the New Normal in the afternoon – including Minnesota Public Radio, the Uptake, and the Twin Cities Media Alliance.

We’ll conclude the morning session with a conversation about about the most pressing policy issues presented by the New Normal: how can citizens get involved to affect change; and how can citizens use media tools to participate more effectively in this new environment. Invited participants so far include Bill Blazar, MN Chamber of Commerce; Bernie Hess, UFCW; Erica Mauter, blogger and social media expert; and a representative from the League of Women Voters. Conversations will continue over the lunch break.

The afternoon program, which starts at 1:30 p.m.  includes practical workshops on topics ranging from Using Twitter (and other social media tools) for Networking and Tools to Make Your Website More Interactive to how to tell your story using traditional public relations tools, as well as presentations on Compass Neighborhood Indicators: A valuable tool for telling your community’s stories, and how to become a beat reporter.

The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is encouraged. You can come for the morning session, the afternoon workshops, or both.  Sign up online (and purchase a box lunch if you wish) by visiting:  On-site registration begins at 9 a.m.

Thursday, November 17: Daily Planet User Training, Open Newsroom, and Happy Hour at Pancho Villa

Join Daily Planet editor Mary Turck and associate editor Jay Gabler at the festive Pancho Villa Mexican restaurant on Eat Street (2539 Nicollet Ave. S.) in Minneapolis for a training session and happy hour. From 4:00-5:00, learn how to upload articles, create your own blog, and land paying assignments as a citizen journalist on our award-winning nonprofit community news site. Learn about what stories we’re following, and share your ideas for stories we should be on top of. From 5:00 on, join us for a happy hour featuring 2-for-1 margaritas and tap beer. You are welcome to just show up, but if you want to let us know you are coming – and invite your friends – please visit our Facebook event page and accept our invitation. Questions? Contact

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. Here’s project manager Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva’s report on our October conversations:

We had a busy October, with about 130 participants attending six  community conversations on the environment and education. Check out our synopsis of the environment conversations and Bruce Johansen’s extensive coverage of what Twin Cities residents are doing to close the achievement gap. Thanks to the Wilder Foundation and the Committee on the Achievement Gap for co-hosting. If you want a peak at how one of our conversations worked check out this blog post about our conversation with the Latino Youth Development Coalition. This month we’ll be taking a look at how disparities and inequality fit in to the New Normal. Meeting times and dates aren’t finalized yet; if you’d like to co-host a conversation later this month email And of course, we’d love to see you at our Fall Forum.
Editors Reports:
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:
TIn October, we published more than 60 articles related to education, from TCDP original reporting, partners and blogs. We published more than 35 food-related articles, ranging from the Finnish Bistro to the farm bill to famine in Somalia. These two areas are very high-interest for our community, and we plan on continuing, deepening and broadening out coverage. We also plan on highlighting it in two new newsletters (watch for them!) and on making our current newsletters (Daily Headlines and Arts Orbit) look better and have a better subscribe/unsubscribe interface.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

This month we were pleased to be honored with the annual TOSCAR Culture Award from Twin Cities TOSCA  (Theater, Opera, Shakespeare, Culture, Arts). The award recognizes our contributions to local culture, and is a credit to our dozens of talented, devoted citizen journalists—as well as to the generous funders who make our work possible. Also this month, we welcomed our first-ever editorial intern specifically devoted to arts coverage: the talented Morgan Halaska, who’s been lightening my load while earning valuable experience as a budding arts editor. If you know individuals who are looking to gain experience in journalism beyond just writing and reporting, please encourage them to contact Mary Turck (for general news coverage) and/or me (for arts coverage) about an internship at the Daily Planet.

Be sure to check out our new program, Theater All Year. Theater All Year ticket vouchers offer you an easy and affordable way to enjoy a huge variety of Twin Cities theater offerings throughout the season – and support the Twin Cities Media Alliance and TC Daily Planet at the same time. The cost is only $99 for six vouchers – a saving of more than 50% off the retail ticket price at some of the participating theaters.

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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