Welcome to the Media Giraffe Project

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The Media Giraffe Project (MGP) mission is to foster participatory democracy and community. We do so by discovering and celebrating above-the-crowd individuals making innovative, sustainable use of media. They use fresh, effective tools and approaches that empower and inform citizens. -- For more information email: mediagiraffe@journ.umass.edu

Joplin paper editor finds tornado affirms mission of journalism and offers challenge of balancing stories of life and death

BRANSON, Mo. -- Sandwiched between standing ovations before and after her 27-minute address, the daily editor from  tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri, offered a stirring endorsement of why newspapers matter.

Retired journalists put $40K of own money into documenting the real changing story of America's best newspapers

Sara Brown & Paul SteinleWhen former UPI CEO Paul Steinle finished up a second career as an associate provost and journalism professor he wasn't ready to flat-out retire, and he was fascinated to understand hand the story of how America's best daily newspapers are changing.  So he and his wife -- a one-time human-resources officer for the Los Angeles Times -- left their home near Southern Oregon University, took $40,000 of thei

Curation, editing and an experiment in co-operative local journalism

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Media Giraffe alum Tom Stites has been hard at work on the Banyan Project since we first featured him in 2006.  He describes the effort to pursue co-operative local journalism in this short essay, prompted by a discussion about the difference between "curation" and "editing."  His contact information is at the bottom

MGP alum part of Chinese government innovation in high-school education; seeks four teachers

 WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Media Giraffe Project conference alum Stephen Wilmarth is seeking to hire four U.S.

Assessing community information needs -- a toolkit and research

How do you assess the quality or health of a community information ecosystem? New research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, conducted in support of a Knight Foundation initiative, begins to provide an answer.

New report makes four suggestions for foster global "citzen journalism"

The Center for International Media Assistance released on Thurs., Dec. 16 the report: "By the People: The Rise of Citizen Journalism," by Eugene Meyer, a veteran journalist and former Washington Post reporter. The 34-page report takes a global perspective and makes four recommendations:

Patterson to back collaboration platform, training to help local online news communities reach sustainability

This post has been updated with a correction (see end of item).

A collaboration platform help local online news communities, characterized by one researcher as entering their business "adolescence," will receive support from the Patterson Foundation and possibly the Knight Digital Media Center at the University of Southern California, news entrepreneurs have been told. 


Slovak firm PianoMedia will launch content-sharing subscription network based on unique valuation method -- time

Marcel Vass, CEO, eTarget

A Slovakian-based Internet advertising firm is seeking to gather Eastern European publishers and launch early next year a multi-site news service which will pool subscription revenues, then disburse and share them based on a unique parameter – time.

LONCs -- local online news community entrepreneurs, move closer to formal collaboration after Chicago confab

Operators of the national's local online news communities (LONCs), gathered in Chicago Sept. 23-24 for a day and a half of informal discussions, are moving toward increasing collaboration to help with advertising, training and audience building.  "Block by Block: The Community News Summit," was organized by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism, with other collaborators.

Czech hyperlocal experiment with coffee, community consulting said to be shuttered

PPF Media, a.s., a unit of the Czech Republic-based insurance and banking conglomerate, was pioneering a new form of "hyperlocal" journalism based on websites in small cities and large towns, supported by regional weeklies, and a national desk in Prague called Futuroom -- and coffee shops.  But is the idea being shuttered?

AUDIO: Community Media and The Future of News

As the decline of newspapers is felt throughout the country, could community media & technology centers be the new model for local news? Could Citizen Journalism be an opportunity for community media centers like PEGs to earn income, create trained citizen reporters, build partnerships, and serve up local content?

DC progressive think-tank strategist warns PEG-access TV operators of “uber” radio spectrum policy battles

Posted by Bill Densmore

PITTSBURGH, Penn. -- Cable public-access station operators were given a strong dose of media policy on Thursday at their annual convention as a Washington, D.C. think-tank leader urged them to join an "urber" political battle playing out among telecommunications companies, regulators and public advocates.

Citizen journalism and cable community-access: What's the fit?

Thousands of public-access, government and educational television services in cities and towns around the United States telecast on cable systems. Typically the receive the majority of their funding via the franchise contracts municipalities negotiate with cable companies like Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision and the like. How are these "PEG Access" operations adapting the the new broadband environment, where video is increasingly viewed and created by consumers on Internet devices, including mobile phones and tablets?

Governors, educators include "media" in voluntary U.S. core-curriculum standards; but do they go far enough?

By Bill Densmore

"Media literacy" concepts are generally part of a major effort to push adoption of voluntary "Common Core State Standards" for English and literacy in history, social, studies, science and technical subjects, an initial line-by-line comparison of drafts shows. But do the standards go far enough?

On the Internet, is it OK to have anonymous pamphleteers?

Here's a good example of direct-to-consumer political messaging that is
potentially untrustworthy because it is unsourced.  It raises the question: Is it OK for political speech to be anonymous?