I am happy to report that the Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group was able accommodate nearly all of the panels proposed for Boston, thanks to vice-chair Mary Beth Callie’s diligence.
The process depends on lining up co-sponsors for panels –– we got some excellent collaborators. CCJIG’s Boston convention program:
a. AEJMC Pre-convention, Tuesday August 4.
i. 1-4 p.m. (updated time!), “Citizen Journalism and Media Literacy in the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks” (CCJIG and COMJIG). This conference/workshop will bring together scholars of media literacy and citizen/community journalism to critically examine the practices and semiotics of south Mumbai’s blogger-reporters during the terrorist strikes of November 27-29, 2008. The goal is to highlight some key critical skills for audiences of citizen journalism to analyze and evaluate citizen messages for bias, accuracy, and fairness in times of crisis, in order to facilitate both an educated citizenry and high quality citizen journalism. Event contact: Nikhil Moro, email@example.com.
ii. 4-10 p.m (updated time!), “Journalism Jobs in a Digital Age.” This conference will address questions such as: Will journalism students, will journalists, find work in the future, and if so, will it be in traditional forms of journalism or in emerging or altogether new venues? Where precisely will the jobs be? And what skills will our students need? How will they be paid for the work they do? What will the journalism ecosystem be like? What will be the challenges to producing ethically sound, high quality journalism? What instructional adjustments must be made? The conference will be developed by the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication (currently held by Leonard Witt) and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Event contact: Leonard Witt, firstname.lastname@example.org.
b. AEJMC Convention, Wednesday August 5.
i. 8.15-9.45 a.m., “Has the Civic/Citizen Movement Brought Journalism Full Circle?” (CCJIG and History). America’s earliest printer-editors, such as Benjamin Harris, James Franklin and Benjamin Franklin, who lived in Boston, were apparently community activists more than they were editors. They were not J-school trained in reporting, pagination, or ethics. But they invariably had a finger on their readers’ pulse, an ear close to their audience's chest. Today, as America’s loftiest legacy media organizations increasingly embrace a YouTubization –– harnessing the collective intelligence of their former audiences –– to keep the news accurate, cheap and exciting, is it an indication that journalism has come full circle from the era of Harris and the Franklins? If yes, in what ways? Those are the questions this research panel will examine. Panel contact: Nikhil Moro, email@example.com.
ii. 10-11.30 a.m., “Helping Rural Journalists Better Serve Their Communities” (COMJIG and CCJIG). This PFR panel will explore university-based training programs and projects designed to help rural journalists better serve their communities. Several could become prototypes for programs across the country. Panel contact: Elizabeth Hansen, firstname.lastname@example.org.
iii. 11.45 a.m.-1.15 p.m., “Reinventing Journalism: Anatomy of a One-Year Applied Field Experiment” (CCJIG and COMJIG). This PFR panel will discuss the one-year Representative Journalism field experiment in Northfield, MN, as seen through the lens of Leonard Witt, who conceived the idea, Shayla Tiel-Stern, who observed it as a researcher, Bonnie Obremski, who worked as the journalist/fellow, and Griff Wigley, who participated as a community member. Panel contact: Leonard Witt, email@example.com.
iv. 5-6.30 p.m., “Journalists and Law Enforcement: Rights versus Security” (CCJIG and Law & Policy). This research panel will discuss how the tension between law enforcement authorities and the press has significant concerns for the development of both the practical and theoretical development of citizen-focused journalism in the United States. Panel contact: Burton St. John, firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. AEJMC Convention, Thursday August 6.
i. 8.15-9.45 a.m. Refereed research paper session, with presentations of four or five of the submitted papers accepted after blind review.
ii. 1.30-3 p.m. Scholar-to-Scholar session, with presentations of six to eight of the submitted papers accepted after blind review.
iii. 6.45-8.15 p.m. Joint meeting of CCJIG and COMJIG members until 7.30 p.m., followed by a separate meeting of CCJIG members to elect officers for 2009-10. Finally, all depart for an optional off-site social.
d. AEJMC Convention, Friday August 7.
i. 12.15-1.30 p.m., J-Lab Luncheon Panel on “Civic News Networks: Collaboration vs. Competition?” (CCJIG, CoA, and COMJIG). This PFR panel will explore whether “scoop” is disappearing from the vernacular of newsrooms. As a response to shrinking newsrooms, costly Associated Press fees, and an emerging culture of collaboration and participatory media, regional news organizations around the country are starting to build innovative consortiums for sharing content on a statewide or regular basis. Participants see it as a win-win: Securing additional feet on the street, broader distribution of their content, less “me, too” duplication of reporting. How is the public served? And can the public participate? Panel contact: Jan Schaefer, email@example.com.
ii. 1.45-3.15 p.m., “Common Health, Commonwealth: Public Understanding, Problem-solving, and Action” (CCJIG and Newspaper). This PFR panel will examine journalistic, nonprofit, and governmental efforts to inform and educate the American public about healthcare reform at the state and national levels. Panelists will focus on coverage of mandated health insurance in Massachusetts, State Children’s Health Insurance Program expansion (SCHIP) in Colorado, and national healthcare reform during the presidential campaign. Panel contact: Mary Beth Callie, mcallie@regis@edu.
iii. 3.30-5 p.m., “The Journalism Academy and the News Media’s Quest for a Digital-Age Business Model: Who Speaks for Ethics and the Public Good?” (CCJIG and Media Ethics). This PFR panel will explore the educational, professional, and ethical challenges of the digital era. Panelists will examine whether the journalism academy, frequently in tandem with other academic disciplines, can and/or should spire to a significant measure of influence on the design, values, goals, priorities, and direction of mainline and alternative media in the digital age. Panel contact: Ed Lambeth, firstname.lastname@example.org.
e. AEJMC Convention, Saturday August 8.
i. 1.30-3 p.m., “World View: International Efforts to Teach Civic and Citizen Journalism” (CCJIG and International Communication; thanks to Community College Journalism Association for the donation of a half-chip!). This teaching panel will explore the theories and skills that are being taught by journalism schools and nonprofit groups, outside the United States, which have launched efforts to teach civic or citizen journalism. Panel contact: Jeff South, email@example.com.
Boston, here we come!
Nikhil Moro, Ph.D.
Chair, Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group