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General information for MGP2006 summit participants

This page contains four action items for participants in the first Media Giraffe Project summit, June 28-July 1, 2006 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It also includes program highlights and information about lodging, parking, phones, meals for attendees, speakers and participants.

The four items requiring a participant's decision or action are: (1) Complete a form by June 23 so that you’ll have Internet access during your visit (2) Add a comment to the conference blog explaining your expectations for the summit -- what you're bringing, what you'd like to take away, and what you'd like to see accomplished (3) Give us book titles so the University Bookstore can have copies on hand for sale and (4) An offer to test and review NewsTrust.

Timely requests


Laptop or PDA access

If you are bringing a laptop or PDA and would like either (a) FREE high-speed WIRED Internet access in Gorman Hall dormitory (b) or WIRELESS access throughout campus and the conference meeting areas, you need you complete and return by June 23 (by fax, mail or email) a form found at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/internet

This FREE service is provided by the university's Office of Information Technology. However, to gain access you must be issued a temporary ID/password and this requires that you complete and submit the form. If you fail to return the form, you will not be able to access the Internet from the dormitory, and your wireless service may be delayed. If you are planning to present any materials requiring a web connection to your laptop, it’s also important for you to complete the special-access form because the wired service may be faster and more reliable for presentations than wireless.

If you are staying in the Campus Center Hotel, free WIRED Internet comes with your room and no signup is required. However, this will not give you access in the meeting areas.

If you just want to check email . . .

If you are not bringing a computer or PDA but just want to check email periodically, we'll have several workstations available for this purpose. However, you will have more machine options if you request a University login. In addition, requesting a University temporary account will authorize you to make extended use of workstations (connected to printers) in the "Learning Commons" at the W.E.B. DuBois Library, a three-minute walk from the Campus Center.


What are your expectations for MGP2006? What are key issues at the intersections of media, politics, education and technology? What do see yourself as bringing to the summit? What would you like to learn and take away? What do you want to see accomplished? Post to: http://newshare.typepad.com/mgp2006/2006/06/starting_the_co.html


Finally, If you've got a book out, let us know right away so that we can get copies of it to sell and discuss at the conference. The University Store has agreed to order in copies of participants' titles for sale. The University Store will manage a book table on the Campus Center lower concourse where you may browse and purchase the works of fellow participants. Send an email to conference@mediagiraffe.org with your book ISBN number and title information. Or edit this wiki page with your information: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Books


Registration on Wednesday begins at 4 p.m. on the Campus Center Concourse, lower level, at the bottom of the escalators, and again on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for those coming in for Friday and Saturday only.

Helen Thomas on the DC press corps failure -- 5 p.m., Wednesday

If you are arriving on campus by 5 p.m. on Wed., June 28, don.t miss a special reading and book signing by Helen Thomas of her just-released volume: "Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and How It has Failed the Public" in the Campus Center Reading Room. Ms. Thomas will also help get our Wednesday after-dinner conversation going: .Will journalism stay relevant? To whom? And How?.

Steve Gray on why newspapers need to change -- Thurs., 8:15 a.m.

Stephen Gray, former managing publisher of the Christian Science Monitor, will kick off the one-day Future of Journalism summit with a talk about "Newspaper Next", a $2-million research effort of the American Press Institute he is heading. Then right after Gray's talk, Ms. Thomas will join Jon Donley, web editor for the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Orleans Times Picayune and other distinguished panelists for: "Finding a New Definition of Journalism."

Jon Donley on Katrina and news change -- 9:15 a.m., Thursday

Perhaps no recent U.S. news event has revealed more than the Katrina disaster the new opportunities for sharing news and information offered by the Internet. After a general discussion "Finding a New Definition of Journalism," Jon Donley, web editor for the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Orleans Times Picayune, will have a dialog with Cooper Munroe, co-manager of Katrina relief blog, about some of the opportunities.

Mark Cooper -- Who controls the press of the future? -- Thursday lunch

After lunch on Thursday, we'll tackle what may be the most important issue now facing U.S. newspapers and broadcasters -- is Congress about to put the telcommunication industry in control of the content which flows across the "press" of the future -- the public Internet, in a session entitled: "When the Press Becomes a Pipe, Who Controls?" Author, attorney and Consumer Federation of America researcher Mark Cooper will direct the discussion.

Does ownership really matter?

With ownership of the Philadelphia newspapers scheduled to change hands on June 29, we’ll take a timely look after Thursday dinner at the question of whether types of ownership make a difference in the way media organizations view and execute a responsibility to inform the public.

Tom Stites on finding the lost audience

Friday’s luncheon talk and discussion will be a provocative challenge from veteran daily newspaper editor Tom Stites, who will make the claim that part of the reason America’s newspapers are losing readers is because they’ve forgotten who their readers are and what they really want to read. In January, Stites will become an associate editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, directing its “Selling of the President, 2008” reporting project.

Why doesn't Johnny care? How can media help?

And on Friday evening, the president of the Action Coalition for Media Education, Rob Williams, helped by three media educators, will explore ways news organizations, bloggers and others can help youth to become smarter media consumers and creators.

Ice-cream social -- and feedback

Don’t forget the free ice-cream social on Friday at 3:30 p.m., courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. The entire MGP2006 organizating team will be on hand to do the scooping and listen to your feedback on the conference.

What did we learn, what will we do?

--The summit concludes with a special "what did we learn" and "what will we do" session and discussion on Saturday.

Garrison Keillor at Tanglewood

--Don't forget, if you've got time on Saturday night, stick around to check out Garrison Keillor and the Prairie Home Companion at the famed Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Mass. That's IN ADDITION to the many recreational activities the area has to offer. There's nothing like summer in New England. More found at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/artman/publish/article_375.shtml

This is just a few of the highlights, the full program can be found here: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/program.pdf


The summit registration page has links to travel, lodging, parking, maps and other resources. http://www.mediagiraffe.org/register/ Also try: http://www.umass.edu/umhome/visit_campus/transport.html

Shuttle from Hartford-Bradley

UPDATE -- A UMass Transit Van will depart Bradley International Airport from Terminal A outside baggage claim at 4:45 p.m. on Wed., June 28. To alert the driver to your arrival, you may call the driver's cell phone -- 413-531-0499.

If you are flying into Hartford-Bradley International Airport on either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday afternoon and don’t want to rent a car or take a commercial van service, please email conference@mediagiraffe.org, or telephone Emily Moses, at 413-577-4370 to give us your flight and time of arrival. We have asked the UMass Transit Service to provide shuttle service, at $20 per person, non-stop from Bradley to campus. Commercial shuttle service can obtained from: http://www.valleytransporter.com/

Travel-share Page on Wiki

Another option is to match up with another summit participant for either arrival or departure. Visit our wiki Travelshare page, click on the “edit” tab, add your requirements, and, if you wish, your email and phone. Sharing a rental car is a great way to get a head start on the business of the summit – sharing ideas: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Travel-share

Driving directions, by car: http://www.umass.edu/umhome/visit_campus/directions.html

Campus Maps: http://www.umass.edu/umhome/visit_campus/maps.html

A Word About Parking


If driving, use the Campus Center Parking Garage. For participants staying in the Campus Center Hotel, you’ll be given parking passes when you check-in for your room.

Participants staying in the Gorman Hall dormitory lodging will be given a "Golden Rod" parking permit, free of charge, at conference registration. This will allow you to park in a campus lot near the dorm.

If you are not staying overnight or on campus, you can purchase parking passes, at $5 per day, when you check-in at the conference registration desk.


Your check-in packet will include any tickets required for the meals included in your registration fee. There will be a choice of three entrees, including one meatless, at all lunches and dinners. If you have special dietary needs, please less us know as soon as possible by calling Molly Hudson, University Conference Services, at 413-545-2591.


Dormitory lodging

Gorman Hall is a student residence which has been set aside exclusively for Media Giraffe summit conference participants. It is about a six-minute walk from the Campus Center, where our meetings take place. Your summit arrival registration packet will include a guest ID pass which will open the front door of Gorman. From there, the front-desk manager will check you off a list of guests and provide you a personal room key. A fee will be assessed for lost keys.

If you need special accommodations, please advise us a few days before arrival. Call Emily Moses, conference coordinator, at 413-577-4370.

If you wish to arrive before Wednesday, or stay past Friday night in the dorm, the University can accommodate you either in Gorman Hall or another dorm facility for a slight premium over the $33/night rate during the conference. To reserve additional nights, please contact registrar Shelley Gibbons at 413-545-0172 (sgibbons@mail.aux.umass.edu

Session meeting rooms

All of our discussions, meetings and meals will take place in the Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center and hotel at the University of Massachusetts. The hotel occupies six floors of an 11-story structure. Most of our meeting breakout rooms are on the "Campus Center concourse, lowel level" reached by an escalator down from the "Campus Center Concourse." Arrival registration will also be on the lower level by the escalators.

The concourse is on the ground level and is one floor below the hotel lobby. On the concourse is the Media Cafe. Some sessions, and the tables of exhibitors and for literature, will be in the Campus Center Reading Room, adjacent to the Media Cafe.

We will be eating most meals, and remaining for several after-meal discussions, in the Campus Center Auditorium, rather than the earlier plan to use the 10th Floor Amherst Room.


Cell service is excellent throughout campus and in our meeting rooms.

Land-line phones will not be connected in the rooms of Gorman Hall. However, the dormitory front desk will relay EMERGENCY CALLS. We’ll send you that number in a subsequent email. The Media Giraffe Project main number – 413-577-4370 – will be forwarded to a cell phone and answered during waking hours by conference staff. The UMass main switchboard is 413-545-0111 and the main number for the Campus Center Hotel is 413-549-6000.


Photocopying of handouts

There are limited facilities for making photocopies in the Campus Center building itself during our summit, but plenty of other resources on and off campus. If you expect to need many copies of handouts or papers, please email conference@mediagiraffe.org so that we can make appropriate arrangements ahead of time. Better still, email digital versions of your materials so that we can get the copying done in advance.

LCD projectors and sound, Internet connectivity

All of our meeting rooms will be equipped with an overhead or portable LCD projector and a sound system, plus but wired and wireless Internet connectivity. We suggest you check the summit wiki Technology page before your departure for any technical updates: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Technology (you may also edit the page to post your needs or suggestions)

Literature table for drop offs

Tables for making written materials available to other summit participants will be located in the Campus Center Reading Room. Please limit your "drop-offs" to the equivalent of one short stack of letter-sized material. If you have more, please make arrangements to rent a table.


For the benefit of people who can’t make it to Amherst, and to further the research of the Media Giraffe Project, we’re creating many ways we can all interact via the web. Participants come from many disciplines, and most do not know each other. We want to make professional collaboration easy. Here’s how:


At the MGP2006 blog, developed by education track co-leader Colin Rhinesmith, you’ll find comprehensive links to the program, to what others are saying across the Internet about the summit, and to posts by participants. Please join the threads and conversation! Bookmark: http://newshare.typepad.com/mgp2006

At least three conference participants will be blogging. If you wish to make your blog known, simply use "Media Giraffe" or "MGP 2006" as a tag (or both), and we'll link to as many blogs as we can. Or, simply edit the wiki Blogger page and note you blog address and contents: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Blogging


We've created a wiki site. The key feature is that anyone can edit a page simply by clicking on the “edit” tab at the top, adding or revising contents and then saving. Please feel free to do so now. It’s at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/

We've also created a page for conveners and speakers to post session background and links to related resources. Please check this page often: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Session_background

  • If you are a summit participant not assigned to a specific session, or want to introduce a fresh topic for discussion, do so by editing this page:


  • You can post links to white papers at:


  • Or links to articles of interest at:


  • The BULLETIN BOARD page is for posting general announcements:



Please take a look at the conference "wiki" page, find your name (alpha by last name) and check the links. http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Conveners_and_Attendees

If you prefer a different two links, or if we didn't create links for you yet, use the "edit" tab on the top of the page to put in the proper links. If you're not sure how to edit a "wiki" page, just send an email to mediagiraffe@journ.umass.edu with the changed information or link!

The summit is just two weeks away now, we we’re all excited! We're working to make this the most effective and educational media summit we can. If you have any questions, or suggestions (including copy edits of this email), give us a shout. Contact details are in the signature.

We will do everything we can to make your stay in Amherst as comfortable as possible -- for any questions or requests, just ask.


--Emily Moses, Chris Gauthier, Bill Densmore and the entire MGP2006 team

-- Chris Gauthier / Summit Participation Director
The Media Giraffe Project
Journalism Program / Communication Studies
108 Bartlett Hall / Univ. of Mass.
Amherst MA 01003
OFF: 413-577-4370 / DIRECT: 603-661-5999
Bill Densmore / DIRECT: 413-458-8001