Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism and the Gr...

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Cambridge Public Library

449 Broadway

Cambridge, MA 02138

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This forum will explore the quickly expanding world of citizen journalism: how technology is fueling its growth, and how that growth is changing the way we see our world, enact change, and disseminate the news. People in communities around the world are taking the initiative to share stories that are left untold by the mainstream media.

The Citizen Journalism Forum will include seminars on: how Cambridge residents are filling the void in local news in our city; the legal considerations facing citizen journalists; and the tools and technologies being used by citizen journalists in Cambridge and beyond.

Exhibitors will be on hand with the latest tools and technologies available for community reporters, and attendees will learn how to tap into local news outlets as well as how to get started reporting on local news.

This forum is a must for both consumers and creators of local news content; journalists and media professionals; independent and collaborative website owners; legal professionals; and everyone who values local information, civic participation, and social justice.

Schedule & Seminar Details:

9 am - 9:30 am: Coffee, Refreshments, & Registration, Lower Level Lobby

9:30 am- 9:35 am: Welcome, Lower Level Lecture Hall
Susan Fleischmann, CCTV Executive Director

9:35- 9:45 am: Kenote Address, Lower Level Lecture Hall
Josh Stearns,
Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director, Free Press

9:45 am- 1:30 pm: Seminars, Lower Level Lecture Hall

9:45 am- 10:45 am: Oases in the News Desert

Cambridge, which has no daily newspaper nor local commercial radio and television, is a news desert. But even a desert has oases. Meet the journalists who support the islands of information that the information thirsty turn to for sustenance. We'll talk about what it's like to cover Cambridge, the challenges and the rewards, and what happens to a city without a critical mass of press coverage.

Panelists To Date:
Robert Winters, Cambridge Civic Journal
Marc Levy, CambridgeDay
Joanna Kao, The Tech

Saul Tannenbaum, NeighborMedia, Cambridge Happenings

11 am -12 pm:
Newsgathering and the Law: Hot Topics for Citizen Journalists in Massachusetts
Regardless of whether you are reporting on a City Council meeting or a national crisis, your ability as a journalist to report the news depends on your ability to gather information. State and federal laws provide tools and protections on which reporters can rely in collecting the facts on which their reporting is based -- enhancing access to government records, shielding from disclosure certain communications between journalists and their sources, and ensuring that journalists can record the acts of public officials in public places. But, these tools and protections are subject to limitations that can frustrate newsgatherers and impede their ability to practice their craft. This session will explore some of the important protections available to citizen journalists and others in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the hurdles that reporters face as they engage in newsgathering activities.

Panelists To Date:
Jeffrey P. Hermes
Director, Digital Media Law Project
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard University

Andy Sellars
Staff Attorney, Digital Media Law Project
Corydon B. Dunham First Amendment Fellow
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard University

Joe Bergantino
Director, New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Clinical Professor, Journalism
Boston University

Christopher T. Bavitz
Assistant Director, Cyberlaw Clinic
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Clinical Instructor & Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm:
The Most Experimental Storytellers: Citizen Journalists

This discussion features three citizen reporters from the West Coast, Midwest and East Coast. CB Smith-Dahl of Oakland Local and David Schalliol from Gapers Block will share how citizen journalism got their attention, and how they decide which free tools are most effective for storytelling-- from demolished landmarks to young black gay men with HIV/AIDS. Laura Amico will discuss her work with Homicide Watch-- a community-driven reporting project that covers every murder in the District of Columbia.

Panelists To Date:
Laura Amico, Homicide Watch
David Schalliol, Gapers Block
CB Smith-Dahl, Oakland Local

Denise Cheng, MIT Center for Civic Media

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Covering Chaos
When shots rang out at MIT late on April 18th, events in Cambridge were covered in ways that have few precedents. Dan Kennedy, Professor of Journalism at Northeastern and author of "Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age" will moderate a discussion among some of the non-traditional journalists who jumped to cover unfolding events.

Panelists To Date:

Andrew Ba Tran, Producer,
Catherine Cloutier, Producer,
Brian D'Amico, Undergraduate and breaking news enthusiast, Northeastern University
Taylor Dobbs, Journalism Student, Northeastern University
Josh Stearns, Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director, Free Press

Dan Kennedy, Professor of Journalism, Northeastern University

Forum Dedicated to the Memory of Karen Klinger

NeighborMedia correspondent and community activist Karen Klinger died in December after a six-month battle with cancer. Karen was in the original group of NeighborMedia journalists chosen in 2007. She focused on her neighborhood, Porter Square- particularly on issues related to development, safety and cleanliness. The community looked to her to cover vital issues in Cambridge. Karen was one of very few professional journalists in NeighborMedia, and brought a fierce commitment to the journalistic principles that guided her career. Her efforts to ensure journalistic integrity have had a profound impact on the structure of the NeighborMedia program.

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Cambridge Public Library

449 Broadway

Cambridge, MA 02138

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Organizer Cambridge Community Television (CCTV)

Organizer of Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism and the Grassroots Media

Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) is a nationally recognized community media center that is the voice and vision of all residents, businesses and organizations in the city. CCTV provides tools and training to foster free speech and creative expression, and involves people from across the city as producers and viewers of media that is informative, engaging, and as diverse as the Cambridge community. is CCTV's hyperlocal citizen journalism project. Founded in 2007, NeighborMedia seeks to fill the news gap in Cambridge, covering news and information that typically goes uncovered or underreported in mainstream and commercial news outlets.

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