& Independence: Sharing News & Information in a Connected
World," was the first summit conference of The Media Giraffe
the University of Massachusetts at Amherst June 28-July 1:
"Journalism That Matters" special program
Traditional and citizen journalists, political strategists, educators, bloggers,
developers, technology and media researchers convened June 28-July 1, 2006 at University of Massachusetts Amherst
for the first Media Giraffe Project conference. The Media Giraffe Project, a non-partisan, interdisplinary research
effort of the UMass journalism program, hosted the roundtable summit and how-to sessions designed
recommend answers to changes to the financing and practice of journalism
Bridge the gap between new and traditional
Show and consider the impact of new media
technologies on journalism and the "public sphere"
Spotlight emerging business
Create new networks of media innovators
which bridge traditional carriers among journalism, education, politics and technology
Watch and share innovations in
Summit sponsors besides UMass
include The Boston Globe, Omidyar Network, MassLive/The Republican newspaper, the New England Press
Constituencies from mainstream and alternative media rarely meet together.
Yet new technologies are currently upending and interweaving the practice of journalism, politics and teaching.
Journalists see an erosion of traditional revenue sources which supported -- and were supported by -- their
work. It's not clear what will sustain traditional "watchdog" journalism, or how it will co-exist, or merge, with
so-called "citizen journalism." There's an atmosphere of anticipation and intense experimentation.
and Independence" -- the first Media Giraffe Project Conference -- is the crossover meeting place for leading thinkers
on the impact of Internet technology on journalism, media, education and politics -- and the place to celebrate
To accommodate attendees from citizen journalism, media, politics, education and
technology, a five-track event
is scheduled, starting with a limited-enrollment roundtable summit, followed by a four-track
Individuals working in politics, at large media, cutting-edge information technology
organizations, citizen-powered local-news web services, or in teaching and academia share a goal of fostering
participatory democracy and community. "Democracy and Independence: Sharing of News in a Connected World" will bring
them together to share what's working now and what's coming soon.
This first gathering of The Media Giraffe Project will observe changes in the structure of the U.S.
media industry, the impact of the Internet on its financing, including copyright, the new relationships among creators
and consumers of news, and how democracy is affected.
The event is a chance to meet and learn from profiled Media Giraffe pioneers. "The Media
Giraffe Citizen Journalism Bootcamp" will present case-studies of emerging local web-based news and community efforts
in a "how-to" format designed to teach citizens and mainstream journalists field-tested approaches for two-way,
There will be panels, discussions, demonstrations and workshops on specific projects underway
nationwide (many profiled at: http://www.mediagiraffe.org/profiles/) which use media in innovative,
sustainable ways to foster participatory democracy and community.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The conference is designed for:
traditional media strategists, editors and practitioners
Elected officials, political and public-policy strategists
info-tech pioneers and entrepreneurs
operators of local-news websites and blogs
podcasters and vloggers dealing with news, political and public-policy issues.
academic researchers and students
citizens who want "how-to" knowledge about participatory media
anyone interested in new innovations in web, print, film and audio news creation, delivery and
The event kicks off the Independence Day weekend, and we plan to package a variety of opportunities
for post-conference touring of New England for attendees who wish to linger through July 4. The Five
Colleges area of Massachusetts offers a remarkable combination of sophisticated,
urban amenities amid rural beauty and is less than two
hours from Boston. Access is via the Bradley International Airport (BDL),
Providence or Boston.
Media Giraffe Project
108 Bartlett Hall
University of Massachusetts
Amherst MA 01003
mediagiraffe (at) journ.umass.edu
This page is available at: www.mediagiraffe.org/conference.html