October: Arts Reviewing Class / Iraqi Journalist / Last Call for Online Auction

October is going to be a very busy month for the Twin Cities Media Alliance and the Daily Planet – scroll down to read about our upcoming Community Conversations on The New Normal and the Achievement Gap; our Arts Reviewing Class with Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler, our Brown Bag event with visiting Iraqi journalist Hiba Qader, our Fall Forum on November 12, and editors’ reports from Jay and Daily Planet editor Mary Turck.

Also, 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.

Upcoming Events:

Tomorrow, Sunday, October 2 is the last day of our Daily Planet eBay fundraising auction, with most items closing Sunday evening. (A few late additions will end on Monday). Newest additions include two books and a t-shirt donated by Birchbark Books; two Annual Memberships for Bacchus Minnesota Wine Society contributed by Haskell’s, a photograph by poet and artist Wang Ping, and two tickets to Madame Butterfly at the Minnesota Opera. And there are still a lot of other great deals to be had, with lots of great items, including gift certificates for restaurants, theaters and other top venues  – check it out at http://stores.ebay.com/Twin-Cities-Daily-Planet. Please invite your friends to check it out, too – we have a Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171402146275409.

Arts Writing: How to Write A Review 

Wednesday, October 5:  More and more people are writing about arts events—plays, movies, art shows, books—on their blogs and in news publications like the Twin Cities Daily Planet. But how to do it well? What do readers need to know? How much should be fact, and how much should be opinion? What’s a writer’s relationship to the artist, and to the audience? Daily Planet arts editor Jay Gabler has published hundreds of reviews and features; in this class, he’ll take you through the review-writing process from choosing a publication to attending a show and finding readers for your review. The class will be held at the Daily Planet offices – 2600 E. Franklin #2, Minneapolis from 7 to 9 p.m. (Just one session). This class is free, but enrollment is limited; to register, e-mail jay@tcdailyplanet.net.

October Community Conversations on The New Normal and the Achievement Gap

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 waded deep into environmental waters last month with our coverage of everything from composting and recycling to updates on Troubled Waters and the Legacy Fund. Thanks to the Wilder Foundation and the Land Stewardship Project for their participation in the environmental conversations, and we’re looking forward to chatting with more groups in the next couple weeks.

Education is next up on our list and in October we’ll be focusing on the achievement gap. While all of our New Normal topics are important, perhaps none has come up as frequently in our community conversations.

At the conversations we’ll explore the question:

What’s the best way to close the achievement gap?Is the best solution to: 

a)   Increase engagement between schools and communities
b)
   Focus on accountability and basic reading and math skills
c)
   Focus on intensive intervention after school and in early childhood, or
d)
   A different approach?

At the conversations we’ll provide some basic information about the achievement gap in the Twin Cities and education policy. Then we’ll ask participants to weigh in on what they think we should prioritize when closing the achievement gap.  At the end of the month we write an article summarizing what we’ve heard across all of the conversations we held.

Come to one of our October community conversations on the Achievement Gap:

Wilder Foundation
451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul
October 13 (email lisa@tcdailyplanet.net for information about time.)

Committee on the Achievement Gap (time and location to be determined). 
Noon, October 14

Henry High School Asian Student Association (Tentative)
October 19 or 26

Please join us to share your thoughts on how we should narrow the gap. And, of course, we welcome you to host a conversation yourself, write a blog post, or suggest an article idea. Email lisa@tcdailyplanet.net.

Wednesday, October 27: Brown Bag with Iraqi Journalist Hiba Qader

Hiba QaderPlease join us for a Brown Bag program at noon Wednesday, October 26 at the East Lake Public Library, 2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis featuring visiting journalist Hiba Qader Ahmed Al-Hasnawi. Hiba is an independent journalist in Najaf, Iraq. She has also worked for the Governor of Najaf Province and the Najaf 2012 Capital of the Islamic World Council. Hiba is part of a visiting delegation from Najaf hosted by the Iraqi American Reconciliation Project.

The Twin Cities Media Alliance’s monthly Brown Bag Lunches are your chance for casual conversation with some of the Twin Cities’ most insightful journalists (and journalists from around the world) — about journalism, politics, or whatever is onyour mind.

Editors Reports:
Daily Planet Editor Mary Turck reports:
The turnout for our citizen journalism workshop was low, but citizen journalism itself is thriving at the Daily Planet: Makula Dunbar, a North High grad and new Daily Planet writer, returns to write about the present and future of the North Minneapolis institutionAndrea Parrott, who began writing for the Daily Planet after participating in a citizen journalism workshop last year won a fellowship to participate in the MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship Program. in Boston in November, and we’ll publish the articles she writes as part of that. John Kunesh‘s path to publishing started at one of our Bush Foundation-sponsored Community Conversations — he recently covered the Czech and Slovak Sokol. And we have a new crop of fall interns, including Nancy Huynh, Jonas Rosenberger, and Liz Spielman.

Arts Editor Jay Gabler reports:

This month at the arts desk, what initially seemed to be an obscure debate over concert photography contracts exploded into a passionate exchange that attracted national readership, as I responded to a City Pages blog post protesting bands’ increasingly restrictive demands on photographers. Ultimately, Mary Turck also weighed in, helping to draw connections to larger issues of journalists’ rights. In the end, we decided as a staff that we will not cooperate with bands who demand approval of photos as a condition of access—but we remain committed to facilitating the work of non-professional, sometimes unpaid, photographers and writers. Noting that a White House policy of misleadingly staging photo ops was uncontested by professional journalists for decades until a tweet led to the policy’s exposure and reversal, Mary writes, “Like ethics, journalism is too important to be left exclusively to the professionals.”
Save this date:  The Twin Cities Media Alliance’s 7th Annual Fall Media Forum, will be held Saturday, November 12 at the downtown Minneapolis branch of the Hennepin County Library. The topic of this year’s forum is:

Inform, Connect, Organize: Media Tools for the New Normal
Budget cuts and a tough economy threaten many of the things that Minnesotans value most – the quality of our schools, the vitality of our neighborhoods, even our jobs and livelihoods. Our forum will focus  on the media tools and information resources that can help citizens, communities and businesses inform themselves, communicate and work together. More details coming soon.
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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