Glancing in the rear-view mirrow: vision, tools, tips, techniques and moolah

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I’m always collecting items that reflect my interest in grassroots media. I think: here’s a future blog post! Alas, there’s not enough time to do them all justice. So let me share these terse pointers before the impulse is lost. And if you follow one of these tangents and decide it merits more, perhaps you’ll leave an amplifying comment. 

An obituary of sorts about Dean Cole, former dean of Journalism at the University of Nevada in Reno contains some interesting thoughts about how news media should change from being mere purveyors of information to community-builders and problem solvers. It’s an activist vision of journalism quite different from the notion of news as some sort of “objective” ticker-tape of issues of supposed public importance.

 The piece appeared on the Poynter Institute website and was written by two professors at the school. Here are excerpts: 

the practice of journalism is the practice of community. Communities exist because people recognize that they have common problems . . . In the vision, the master metaphor for journalism is facilitation . . . Journalists facilitate conversations between the public and their representatives rather than mediate a transfer of information. . .

What does this journalism look like in practice? The honest answer is that Cole didn’t know . . . But he had gleaned some clues . . . (it) would require reporters to move away from emphasizing the strategies and motivations of elites to focus on the critical decisions and issues facing communities. . . . It would move away from supporting the interest group pluralism that defines much of political life today and forging new avenues for alternative points of view to be recognized, considered and acted upon.

There’s many concepts mixed up there but my takeaway is that it is a dereliction of duty for journalists to simply throw information over the wall and gloat if they happen to get the scoop. Without editorial follow-through and without helping citizens solve the problem, what’s the point? Breast-beating?

Tools, tips and techniques: I have been collecting tools and tips from several sources. I’ve added a capsule description of the content because these not only come from different places; they relate to wildly different uses.

Andrew Manuse has put together a list of sites useful to journalists and writers;

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa (H2Otown) Williams did a series of podcasts with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed her chat with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter wrote about smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing sang the praises of his Blackberry Pearl.

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing of his Blackberry Pearl.Guy Kawasaki has written a concise guide to making Powerpoint presentations; in fact, the heart of it is this quote, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing of his Blackberry Pearl.Guy Kawasaki has written a to making Powerpoint presentations; in fact, the heart of it is this quote, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing of his Blackberry Pearl.Guy Kawasaki has written a to making Powerpoint presentations; in fact, the heart of it is this quote, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing of his Blackberry Pearl.Guy Kawasaki has written a to making Powerpoint presentations; in fact, the heart of it is this quote, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

has put together a useful to journalists and writers;Lisa () Williams did a with citizen journalists, mostly useful for inspiration, but I particularly enjoyed with Travis Henry of YourHub.com.When you absolutely positively have to stay connected by voice and phone, Amy Gahran of Poynter smart phones and former Poynter-commentator Steve Outing of his Blackberry Pearl.Guy Kawasaki has written a to making Powerpoint presentations; in fact, the heart of it is this quote, “a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.”

Looking backward at the future of media? University of Maryland economist Peter Morici sent out an e-mail op-ed piece that contained this thought:

“Early in the Twentieth Century the phonograph and motion picture made Enrico Caruso and Al Jolson international stars but also destroyed the livelihoods of entertainers whose sphere of fame was the local music hall.”

That makes me wonder: does the existence of social media venues for posting videos and podcasts and music re-energize the local music hall musician? And, if so, does it create a demand for local performance venues and a means to make more artists at least partially self-supporting?

Big growth in Big 15 Internet advertising dollars in 2006: MediaPost reports that “spending gre 34 percent to hit a record high of $16.8 billion in 2006″ based on data from 15 top online advertising sites. (Press release from Interactive Advertising Bureau.)

But other recent forecasts, while bullish, have forecast a slowdown in advertising growth rates: Research firm eMarketer forecast that online ad spending growth will slow to less than 19% this year after three straight years of more than 30% gains. In one of the most bullish forecasts, Jefferies & Co. projects a 25% compound annual growth rate through 2010, with display or brand advertising online (including classifieds and lead generation) experiencing a 19% CAGR for the period. Microsoft’s Mich Mathews predicted at the AAAA Media Conference last week that Microsoft would follow its consumers and shift the bulk of its estimated $1 billion in media spending online by 2010.