When we started the Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker project, we believed what local people involved in this effort told us -- that they'd be happy to contribute to this public conversation, speak up with their ideas and observations. Since we're dealing with a fairly niche topic mainly involving local government in a small city, we were relying on some initiative from people involved in what the city is doing with the carbon tax money. The kind of engagement we envisioned was people speaking up, having a public conversation. But when it came down to it, most of the people "in...more »
Idea Lab is a group blog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age.
Each Idea Lab blogger is a winner of the Knight News Challenge grant to reshape community news.Learn more about the Knight News Challenge »
Yesterday on the Poynter Institute's E-Media Tidbits blog (which I edit), contributor Alan Abbey posted an item about the latest spate of newsroom layoffs. He noted: "For media workers, these aren't necessarily bad times. For every job shutting down at LA Times, there is probably one (albeit less well paid, less prestigious, and more nose-to-the-grindstone) opening up in new media. However, for media veterans, this downturn does feel similar to the widespread closures of coal mines and steel mills 25-30 years ago. What can we do with our outdated skills?" That's pretty blunt talk, and I'm glad that Abbey had...more »
Mobile media isn't just the future -- it's the present, big time. Recent research from the Pew Internet and American Life project shows that mobile devices (especially cell phones) are already the can't-do-without-it media tool of choice for many US demographics, especially among Hispanics and Latin Americans. (Read more analysis of this research, and what it can mean for community media at the Knight New Media Center.) Mobile is becoming a key channel for all kinds of content and communication -- so it should be a key focus for anyone providing news and information to almost any community. So why...more »
Earlier this week I was at WeMedia 08 in Miami, where I was on a panel about the Knight News Challenge. (Last year, Adam Glenn and I won a Knight News Challenge grant to fund our community journalism project, the Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker.) Also on the panel were Gary Kebbel, director of the News Challenge progam for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and fellow grantee Nora Paul of the University of Minnesota. Here are five points I think are useful to anyone considering applying for a News Challenge grant, based on Adam's and my experience so...more »
Several News Challenge projects, including ours (the Boulder Carbon Tax Tracker), feature blogs as a publishing tool. So consider this a friendly tip: If you or anyone who will be posting to your blog even occasionally uses net access of unknown or uncertain security (such as public wifi, or a hotel's network), make sure you use a secure login to your blog's back-end.
Why? Because it's pretty common for unscrupulous folks to monitor networks used by many people with the express purpose of "sniffing" userIDs and passwords. This can have obvious bad consequences if they get access to your web-based e-mail -- but it can also mess up your blog, too.
I learned my lesson last November...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
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