Posts tagged with 'journalism'

2014 Impact Awards Announced

Posted Mar 4, 2014 @ 2:00 pm by
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Second Annual Media Consortium Impact Awards Announced!

The Media Consortium has announced the Second Annual Impact Award Winners at its annual conference in Chicago. The winners are:

The Life and Death of Crystal Wilson” (Monica Potts, American Prospect)
The Horror Every Day” (Emily DePrang, Texas Observer)
Fed Up” (Michelle Chen, Ms. Magazine)
The Wage Theft Epidemic” (Spencer Woodman, In These Times)
The Science of Citizenship” (Belle Boggs, Orion Magazine)

Judges for the contest were the staff at The New Press. Twenty outlets submitted stories for these awards, which are given out to the stories that had the greatest impact on public conversation in the previous year.

Julie McCarroll of The New Press summarized the entire group of submissions as focused “very powerfully [on] the problem of inequality. …[W]hether it’s income inequality, lack of equitable education or simply powerful institutions that go unchecked, the scope of inequality [is] exposed here … without flinching, or minimizing, or shutting down.

The impact of these stories was significant. Monica Pott’s piece in the American Prospect spurred a Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to hold a hearing on differences in life expectancy due to income inequality, education level, and race. As a result of the Emily DePrang’s story for The Texas Observer, the Houston Police Department announced a pilot program to outfit 100 officers with body cameras to help resolve citizen complaints. Michelle Chen’s piece for Ms. became a rallying point for Los Angeles’ fast food workers, while Spencer Woodman’s piece for In These Times helped convince the Virginia General Assembly to vote to restore funding to the state’s wage-and-hour enforcement unit. The Orion story will have a longer tail, raising questions about testing, citizenship and democracy that will resonate over years.

The Media Consortium is a national network of independent progressive news organizations. A non-profit, its mission is to support and grow the impact of the independent news media sector.

Here is what the New Press said about each award winner:

1- The Life and Death of Crystal Wilson, by Monica Potts for the American Prospect
We loved the way this piece showed the power of narrative to bring a statistical anomaly to life. The piece was empathetic and deeply moving, and especially haunting for the glimpse it gave of the millions of women who have died in circumstances similar to crystal Wilson. The piece spurred a Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to hold a hearing on differences in life expectancy due to income inequality, education level, and race.

2- The Horror Every Day by Emily DePrang for the Texas Observer
This piece serves as a reminder that despite the progress people THINK we’ve made since Rodney King, police departments still operate with impunity. DePrang’s story showed patterns and describes a really shocking lack of accountability in the Houston PD, and holds it up to public accountability. In response to the piece, HPD announced a pilot program to outfit 100 officers with body cameras to help resolve citizen complaints.

3- Fed Up by Michelle Chen for MS magazine
We loved the way Chen’s piece integrated a number of social issues (education, poverty, access to work, access to healthcare, access to opportunity). And the revelation that, because so many of the workers must rely on social services to make ends meet, taxpayers are actually shouldering costs that fast-food companies should be paying. In terms of impact, Chen’s piece became a rallying point for protests by fast-food workers in Los Angeles in December 2013.

4- The Wage Theft Epidemic by Spencer Woodman for In These Times
As a stand alone piece, this does an amazing job of putting a name and a face on the phenomenon of wage theft – something that most salaried individuals are not aware of. It delves into the personal impact of this corporate policy and also hints what the practice means on a national level. A little over a week after the story was published—and after copies had been sent to Virginia legislators—the Virginia General Assembly voted to restore funding to the state’s wage-and-hour enforcement unit, ensuring that these workers now have advocates once again.

5- The Science of Citizenship by Belle Boggs for Orion magazine
This piece is a substantial contribution to the conversations on standardized testing and inequality in education. But it goes farther than that, to examine science education’s role in democracy and citizenship.

‘Media for the 99 Percent’ Challenges Corporate Media with Joint Coverage of May Day Protests Nationwide

Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 1:14 pm by
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This year, International and Immigrant Workers’ Day, May Day, will usher in a spring of protests fueled by the rise in anti-immigrant legislation and enforcement, a lopsided economic recovery that favors the few, and a reemergent Occupy movement poised to challenge corporate power.

If past coverage is any indication, corporate media will not tell the May Day story accurately or with depth or analysis. That’s why more than 25 independent media outlets belonging to The Media Consortium are collaborating to provide coordinated, national coverage of May Day events from around the country.

Calling themselves “Media for the 99 Percent” (, these diverse outlets will offer a live TV and streaming broadcast, an interactive map, breaking news reporting, and coordinated social media coverage across their sites, reaching a combined audience of more than 50 million Americans.

“With this May Day collaboration, independent media will show that live national coverage can reflect the breadth, diversity, and complexity of the American people,” says Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, executive director of The Media Consortium.

Independent media outlets have stayed with the Occupy story through the winter with unparalleled reporting: books by YES! Magazine and AlterNet; a weekly “Occupy the Media” TV program by Free Speech TV; cover features by In These Times, The American Prospect, The Nation, and Mother Jones; in-depth and breaking news reporting by Truthout, Making Contact, the Public News Service, Free Speech Radio News, and many others.

On May Day, the Media for the 99 Percent outlets will leverage their existing platforms and reporters to provide coordinated national multimedia coverage, featuring:

  • An interactive Map: Find out where actions are happening across the country and follow the independent media’s by-the-minute coverage with links to video, audio, photos, and blog reports.
  • Television and Live Stream Broadcast: Free Speech TV will broadcast live (and live streamed) news coverage throughout the day, featuring reports from around the U.S., as well as in-studio commentary.
  • Curated Social Media Coverage: Using the Storify platform, Media for the 99 Percent will offer a curated narrative of breaking news via blog updates, along with photos and social media posts from reporters on the ground.

All three content tools will be available for embedding by other news outlets and the public.


The New Landscape in Journalism: A Statement from The Media Consortium

Posted Jul 21, 2011 @ 9:25 am by
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The Media Consortium, a national network of independent media outlets, represents the new landscape in journalism that a recent Pew Report attempts to describe. If the twentieth century was defined largely by corporate media, the twenty-first century media sector that our Consortium represents comprises outlets that are fiercely independent, committed to accuracy in reporting, and dedicated to making the world a better place.

What model of journalism do these independent outlets embrace? It is not the so-called objective journalism of the past. As a number of historians have pointed out, objectivity was itself an ideology rather than a practice. Instead of rising above the political fray, corporate media , responding to their shareholders, have not hesitated to push their market interests in the political arena, as we see so clearly in the cozy relationships News Corporation owners and employees built with prime minsters, police, and the British political establishment.

Independent media are not responsible to the market. Whether organized as for-profits with diverse revenue streams or as nonprofits, independent media are mission-driven. We serve our audiences. By reflecting our audiences’ concerns (which may be nonpartisan or partisan, left or right), independent media ensure that the public will have access to a diversity of views. That is why the health of an independent press is so critical for a democracy.

Independent media cover issues that are critical to people’s health, well-being, and political rights but that are not on the mainstream media’s radar. And, unlike the corporate media with its cud-chewed content, the independent media is unafraid to tell the full story even when doing so threatens the market or those in power.

We care most about getting at the real story. We are not predictable. We do not pretend to give both sides equal time. And our sector is growing because, increasingly, we provide the kind of media the American public wants.

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Conclusion: The American Way

Posted Feb 1, 2010 @ 12:41 pm by
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“We’re watching hundred of billions of [bailout] dollars being spent unaccountably to support supposedly our ‘American way.’ I think at some point we have to ask whether or not the ‘American way’ includes journalism.” – John Battelle

Do Americans view journalism as a public good that is critical to our country’s intellectual infrastructure and American exceptionalism? Do they believe that the strength of our democracy depends on a diverse and free press? (more…)

New Value Chain of Journalism

Posted Jan 28, 2010 @ 12:29 pm by
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While media organizations are trying many different revenue models, the models that succeed in the long run will find a place in a new value chain of journalism. A “value chain” is a chain of activities, in which each activity adds value to a product or service. The financial success of any business model depends on the ability of an organization to capture value they create. (See graphics below. The value chain is also featured in our Big Thaw slide show.)

Journalism’s old value chain was delineated with clear roles and exchanges of value. The new value chain reflects more roles. One organization often plays multiple roles. In the old model, advertising also had clearly defined roles. It mostly concentrated on publishing and broadcasting. In the new model, advertising is spread across more players. (more…)

Will there be a new demand for quality journalism?

Posted Jan 25, 2010 @ 12:28 pm by
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The rise of free content will inevitably continue. However, some content could become more expensive as well. Stewart Brand, a futurist who created Whole Earth Catalog, WELL and Global Business Network, famously started a meme in 1984, “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.”

Brand explained,  “Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine—too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, ‘intellectual property,’ the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better.” (more…)

Slideshow: The Big Thaw

Posted Nov 17, 2009 @ 12:55 pm by
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The below slide show is a compendium to The Big Thaw. We pulled out the most thought-provoking information and implications for independent media, including:

  • The four overarching questions that media orgs/journalists need to address in order to thrive in coming years.
  • A breakdown of current industry changes, future realities and their implications for independent media.
  • Graphs of journalism’s old and new value chain.
  • Four key recommendations for independent media outlets to explore as they plan for the future.

To navigate the slideshow, just press play and use the arrow keys to go back and forth. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

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Journalism’s Old Paradigm: Resistance and Denial

Posted Oct 27, 2009 @ 11:30 am by
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“No one has been ‘caught up in this great upheaval’ about the fall of print business model. This change has been more like seeing oncoming glaciers ten miles off, and then deciding not to move.” —Clay Shirky

Technological innovations have been changing the game for over a decade. The current monumental shift is nothing new. However, there is a difference between knowing that significant change is coming and recognizing how best to react, which is a process that can take many years. (more…)

Charting a New Future: An Executive Summary

Posted Oct 21, 2009 @ 4:59 pm by
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“No society in history has ever existed without storytelling.
[Journalists] tell stories that are true and important. Sure,
there may be many distinctions between professionals and
amateurs, between breaking news and follow up pieces,
between long or short, and so forth. But these are just artifacts
of production methods rather than deep truths. And we have
to have truth tellers.” – Clay Shirky

Journalists and independent media makers will always be society’s most valuable truth tellers. However, the old media system that historically supported them is melting away. Some outlets have succumbed to the old system’s big thaw and shut down or drastically cut news operations. Others have made small changes to their journalism and business models that will keep them afloat one more day. (more…)

Executive Summary: Journalism’s New and Emerging Realities

Posted Oct 21, 2009 @ 4:56 pm by
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Four strategic questions frame the new challenges and opportunities for media organizations (outlined in the diagram below).

Graphic-Vol1-p3 (more…)