Good News in Digital Age

Putting the new wine into new wineskins: facts and trends in hi-tech & communications, publishing & mass media which help to fulfill the Great Commission

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What Doug McGill Learned Teaching Citizen Journalists

A guy who teaches basic journalism skills to citizens in community education classes in Minneapolis learned a lot himself out of these classes (see Doug's Report webpage)

Here are the main lessons he's learned from his students, so far:

1. Citizens are an untapped source of expertise and positive civic energy that journalists can help unlock.

2. There is no substitute for a strong, independent, institutional journalism.

3. Citizens can help journalists reconnect to the wellsprings of their craft.

4. Journalists need to learn citizenship skills, as much as citizens need to learn journalism.

5. A good citizen journalism class, like a great newspaper, allows for all types of expression – artistic, poetic, literary, photographic, musical, comical and fun.

6. Citizens create vital community consciousness through the discipline of writing journalistically.

See details here.

Dave, What Makes a Magazine a Magazine?

David Renards (mediaIDEAS) definition:

A magazine is a very distinct unit which has the following six key properties regardless of the delivery medium used:

1. Metered: a magazine is divided into defined "pages" of content that are presented together; in print this is not only bound sheets of paper but also, as has become more prevalent with the stylepress, pamphlets, lithographs or other objects; ...

2. Edited: the editor selects the articles and images, and on-line the videos and sounds, that fill each “page” as opposed to supplying a stream of aggregated data (news, articles, images, video) that is selected automatically by virtual intelligent agents;

3. Designed: the included content is arranged and formated to enhance the reading and visual experience;

4. Date-stamped: an issue is published on a specific date which becomes the indelible time stamp of the publication;

5. Permanent: in a magazine all the content for an issue is set by its release date; even though the edited content for an issue can be more than what each reader is presented with, to allow for varying levels of customization, once it is created, it is set and can no longer be changed or corrupted apart for minor revisions;

6. Periodic: a magazine is created to have subsequent issues and it may have more than 52 a year or, in the end, only be published once.

What do you think?