Monday, September 10, 2007

Community Journalism and KAXE

KAXE is holding some upcoming trainings for you to learn about and become a community journalist.


It's a good question. Here's one definition:

We choose to define it as the reporting of news and information for a certain geographic area... a community, if you will, with the purpose to serve the best interests of that certain group.

In many ways, KAXE is a prime example of community journalism. KAXE's mission is to build community. We bring you stories of issues in this region of the world. As media changes and traditional journalism has become controlled by large corporations, real people talking about real issues is needed more than ever. KAXE relies on a network of people all across Northern Minnesota to give us their knowledge and viewpoints and connections. People like Bonnie the Plant Lady, Marshall Helmberger, Pam Perry...John Latimer. John has been reporting on the Phenology of Northern Minnesota for the last 25 years, with the help of the KAXE listening audience.

KAXE wants to take the idea of community radio a step further.

KAXE has been in Northern Minnesota for over 31 years now. The founders of KAXE would have never expected to one day have live audio streaming on the internet for the whole world to hear, or a website that enhances the programming of KAXE. But what about the future? How will we receive our news, music and information? How will we connect with each other?

KAXE has been working on a community website project that aims to include and reach outside the boundaries of KAXE's on-air community. You can find almost anything you'd ever want on the Internet, except what is happening in your local community. In some ways we are connected to a global world, and increasingly unconnected from the communities where we live. If you live in a very small town, how do you find the scores of the volleyball game or wrestling match? How do you find local businesses? How do you find out about jobs in the local area? How do you find your lost dog?

In looking to the future, we know that radio will be used if not less, in different ways than it is now. So we're looking ahead, in hopes of putting together an internet project that will serve the needs of our community now and in the future.

Are you already involved in your community? Are you a writer? A photographer? A video journalist? Maybe you are someone who is community minded and wants to make a difference. KAXE's new community web project is the place for you. In conjunction with Bemidji State University and Itasca Community College, we've got some free, community journalism training sessions coming up with Doug McGill, a former New York Times bureau chief who is at the forefront of what he calls "glocalism".

Glocalism is the idea that our local worlds are rich with global connections that support our comfortable way of life, our health, our homes, our hobbies, our livelihoods, our future prospects, and our very lives.

McGill will teach community journalism on Friday October 5th in Grand Rapids and Saturday October 6th in Bemidji. Think of it as Journalism school in a day. These classes are open to the public - and no previous journalism background is required. What is required is a desire to be involved your community. Here's some examples of community or citizen journalism in local communities:

Twin Cities Daily Planet
Brattleboro, Vermont
MN Monitor

Contact KAXE to sign up for the class, or call 218-326-1234. You can also register online.

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