Media Policy Reporting and Education Pilot Program
The Media Consortium is excited to announce the third year of its Media Policy Reporting and Education Pilot Program, which will support and promote reporting by four Media Consortium members on media policy. To change the public conversation and understanding of media policy, journalism produced through this program will support regular reporting on nitty, gritty policy issues as well as reporting on the everyday implications of these policies on the ground. For more information about this project, click here.
The United States needs to find new energy sources, but is hydofracking, tar sand drilling, or mountaintop removal to get to deeply buried coal the answer? A coalition of Media Consortium members have begun an intensive, 18 month collaboration to explore the growing pressure to develop energy resources through extreme measures.
Over 65% of Americans support women’s right to choose, and higher numbers support easy access to contraceptives and information on reproductive health. However, state by state, women’s choices are being narrowed by local legislation. A coalition of national and local independent media has formed to collate data on local restrictions in order to better inform and engage Americans to pursue reproductive justice.
Media for the 99%
The Occupy movement has a message: the political process has ignored the needs, wants, and wishes of 99% of U.S. citizens. As members of the independent press, Media Consortium outlets serve the public–stakeholders, not shareholders; citizens, not any particular administration. In October 2011, we committed to giving voice to the messages of the Occupy movement, and have through weekly briefing calls between Occupations and the media; through special web and broadcast content; and through an ongoing partnership with media at different Occupations.
An ongoing beat for many TMC members is the critical issue of how money influences elections. In the 2010 election alone, outside groups spent an estimated $400-$500 million to influence the results.
From October 21-November 4, 2010, The Media Consortium organized, supported, and promoted reporting and analysis from seven media outlets on the short- and long-term impact of the Supreme Courts Citizen’s United ruling in the Campaign Cash project. You can see the Campaign Cash round up blogs here. For phase two of this project, The Media Consortium partnered with the We the People Project (WTTP), a campaign founded by Jay Harris, former publisher of Mother Jones, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation and Jim Hightower of The Hightower Lowdown. WTTP worked with progressive media, labor, policy groups, business, netroots and grassroots organizations, cultural figures, and elected officials to coordinate an autumn 2011 campaign that will dramatically raised awareness of how corporate power lies at the root of so much of current policy. to support special investigative coverage that tracks corporate influence on American politics. See the results of that campagin, as well as ongoing Campaign Cash stories, at www.campaigncash.org
Incubation and Innovation Labs
The Incubation and Innovation Lab is The Media Consortium’s dynamic program to support its members in conducting rapid prototyping as a low-cost way to test new business, technology and content development models at a scale that they would not be able to achieve alone.
At the end of each lab cycle, participating members will share experiences and lessons learned with MC members and allies, creating a ripple effect in which education, deployment of practices and evolution of experiments moves outward to benefit the whole independent media sector. Experimentation creates strategies and space for media outlets to identify and implement a long-term formula for ongoing sustainability and impact that will support their critical journalism. Click here for program requirements/overview.
Media Consortium members have qualitative evidence that our work has deep and significant impact–on individuals, on organizations, and on government policy. Yet, we so far have not been able to develop a quantitative measurement of that impact. Recent advances in semantic analytics now make that possible. In the spring of 2012, we will be embarking on a Consortium-wide lab to test how metrics can measure impact. Stay tuned!
Media is nothing without an audience. Today, there are more tools than ever to help media understand audiences, yet the multiplication of data is worthless unless it can be collated and analyzed. This lab is designed to help outlets integrate their various data on their audiences.
Mobile II: Mobile Strategy
The Media Consortium and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies plans to offer a lab on mobile strategy in the summer of 2013.
How it Works
Independent media outlets are tight operations. Often one person holds 2-3 different jobs, and most professional development happens on the fly. The Media Consortium’s monthly How it Works webinars are tailored for these kind of multitasking staffers. Each webinar provides a deep, one-hour dive into a technical, business or editorial issue. Recent How it Works webinars have included “Open Source HTML for Interactive Maps; IRS rules for Tax-Exempt Media; and Building a Donor List.
Support Your Media Day
The Media Consortium’s first annual collaborative fundraiser, held in 2012, emerged out of an Innovation and Incubation lab on revenue generation. The fundraiser is based on the premise that underlies all our work, that we are better together. On Support Your Media Day, all participating members drive their donors towards one website, the Support Your Media Day website. There, donors can give to any of the independent media participating and learn about the work of the sector as a whole. In 2012, 20% of donors gave to more than one outlet. Look for Support Your Media Day next year!
In 2005, when progressive media leaders were shaping The Media Consortium, there were few places for progressive media leaders to interact, build deep professional relationships and address large structural issues. From the beginning, The Media Consortium has been dedicated to building a strong movement by providing space for these interactions. We’ve developed a number of projects and tools to assist in relationship-building but none are more essential than our meetings and listserv.
Media Consortium members convene once a year in a location chosen for its strategic value. Our member meetings provide a space to build new relationships and nurture existing collaborations. The agenda promotes cooperative strategic planning, working toward our vision for the future of the independent media landscape.
The listserv is used to solicit ideas and convey updates on Media Consortium activities, projects, and events. It is also a place for members to share ideas and information with each other. It is a key resource that facilitates action, dialogue, and collaboration around Media Consortium projects.