Tag Archives: winnipeg free press

Conclusions on community newsrooms – what I’ve learned during my fellowship research

fireworksI’ve spent the past four months researching community newsrooms and citizen journalism while a journalist-in-residence as a Michener-Deacon Fellow at Carleton University – and loved every minute of teaching and research.

But now my time is up. At the beginning of May, I’ll be moving on to my next challenge in the Ottawa Citizen newsroom. Bring on the adrenaline rush of daily news.

As this fellowship draws to a close, I’ve come to the following conclusions about community newsrooms:

Continue reading Conclusions on community newsrooms – what I’ve learned during my fellowship research

Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe: Random acts of journalism… and a coffee

Lights, camera, action.... and a coffee.
Lights, camera, action…. and a coffee.

Judging by the set up, the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe looked ready for a televised interview with former Canwest CEO Leonard Asper.

But as Free Press reporter Geoff Kirbyson began asking the local celebrity about the demise of his father’s decades-old media company, it became clear that this was no regular studio interview.

Two men in the back chatted loudly, shooting the breeze over a cup of coffee.

This is, after all, a news cafe.

When Kirbyson asked Asper if his father might be disappointed in how he handled the company, another patron said loudly: “what a stupid question.”

This is what makes the News Cafe such a different, wonderful beast.

Continue reading Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe: Random acts of journalism… and a coffee

MySteinbach.ca: strong community brings success

MySteinbach.ca co-founders Brad Kehler and Corwyn Friesen.
MySteinbach.ca co-founders Corwyn Friesen (left) and Brad Kehler.

Ask Brad Kehler and Corwyn Friesen what’s behind the success of their community news site mySteinbach.ca, and they answer quickly: their community cares about what’s going on.

Kehler and Friesen, who met while working at the local Ford dealership, left their secure jobs and founded the site seven-and-a-half years ago. As they tell it, Friesen showed Kehler the early pages of mySteinbach and convinced him there was a need for a portal in the community to share news and information.

Steinbach has a local weekly paper in town, The Carillon.

“It comes out on a Thursday. What if local news happens on Friday? ” Kehler said

Though neither of the two were journalists, Kehler and Friesen set off to create a community news hub without a single writer to help.

They rented an office, mostly because they wanted people to take them seriously, and not be “two guys working out of a basement.

“If we didn’t have the office presence, we wouldn’t get the buy in,” Kehler explained. “We were in this to do this, we needed to give it all we’ve got.”

Continue reading MySteinbach.ca: strong community brings success

Community newsrooms I’ll be examining

Photo by Flikr user ChopperReed.
Photo by Flickr user Chopper Reed.

It’s time to get off the pot.

It’s time to start my research into community newsrooms and their relationship with traditional news outlets.

I’ve already defined what I’m referring to in terms of ‘community newsroom’, and I’ve (attempted) to develop a criteria for the information these newsrooms are creating.

All that’s left in this phase of the project (according to my handy Gantt chart) is to list newsrooms I’ll be examining.

With this, and all other stages of research, I’d love your help. If I’m missing a great community newsroom project in Canada or the U.S., please, by all mean, let me know.

Continue reading Community newsrooms I’ll be examining

How I plan to examine/research/submerge myself in community newsrooms

Photo by Flickr user Aprilesole

Soon I’ll find myself out of a newsroom as I head for university life, spending the next four months in academia.

(Cue fish-out-of-water cliches.)

In June, I was awarded the first-ever Michener-Deacon Fellowship for journalism education.

As part of that fellowship, I’ll be a journalist-in-residence at Carleton University, and teaching a multimedia class to third-year journalism students.

Another part of that fellowship involves a research project, and in my proposal I outlined how I’d like to examine community newsrooms.

My original plan was broad enough to be a PhD dissertation, I worked with Christopher Waddell, the Director of the School of Journalism at Carleton, to sharpen its focus. I’d like to examine Canadian initiatives, as well as projects south of the border. And most importantly, it has to be a study that can be completed in four months, the length of the fellowship.

So, here goes – thus far:

Continue reading How I plan to examine/research/submerge myself in community newsrooms