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Beyond the Echo Chamber writes new news history as it happens

I’ve always been lucky that when I left a job, the people who took the position over next were so dang smart that they ended up making me look good, too.

That’s by way of a reflection as I’ve been reading Beyond the Echo Chamber, by Jessica Clark and Tracy Van Slyke. I first met Tracy just 10 years ago when she became communications director at National Training and Information Center, best known for the bank-stoppin’ grassroots action coalition National People’s Action.

You haven’t heard about progressive news outlets’ fiscal crisis much in the course of the economic disaster for other news outlets. That’s because fiscal crisis is endemic to progressive news outlets–as Tracy and Jessica, who met when they worked at Chicago’s In These Times, know much better than I.

Also, despite big exceptions such as the bankrupt Air America, progressive outlets have rolled and grown with the times. They have received huge reinforcements in the form of the progressive blogosphere.

Tracy and Jessica tell us how sites and groups from Brave New Films to Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Center for Independent Media, have joined with revamped and revitalized venerable outlets–The Nation, Progressive, Mother Jones etc. to gain voice and influence in the new millenium. Read the rest of this entry »

Best books for nonprofit communicators

I cross posted this at the Making Media Connections conference site

Pulling together a list of books for the bookseller’s table at Making Media Connections. Reams of reports on communications and other great resources are fresh and new:

  • Simon Perazza drew my attention to this one from Arts Work Fund, for arts groups, here
  • last fall’s evaluating communications guide under the auspices of the Communications Network by Edith Asibey here (you will need to scroll down to the 3rd item on the page),
  • Ford Foundation’s GrantCraft is producing a report on strategic communications next month, too

But we don’t have much between covers on our field.

Since we are having a book seller at our conference who helpfully asked us–what kind of books would your attendees find useful? we did some brainstorming but I suspect we are missing a few gems. Read the rest of this entry »


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  • Telling people’s stories, an ethnic media success September 2, 2015
        By Stephen Franklin Community Media Workshop   A 3-year-old child died on a plane from Chicago to Poland. This, Magdalena Pantelis instantly knew, was a story her readers would care about. But she needed more detail to write about it for the Polish Daily News, the nation’s oldest daily newspaper in Polish, founded Jan. […]