News Savvy: Journalists, Citizen Journalism, & the News Consumer

How can we foster media literacy when there is more information available in more formats than at any time in history? How do we encourage responsible civic participation in the increasingly narrow space between uninformed opinion and self-serving corporate propaganda? In this session, four panelists addressed the blurry nexus between news production and news consumption in an age of scaled-back print media and ramped-up internet chatter.

Bill Densmore and Meredith McCulloch from the New England News Forum facilitated a lively discussion on cooperative ventures among public libraries and local newspapers. Editor Martin Reynolds weighed in virtually with a description of just such a venture in California, where the Oakland Tribune has opened a news desk in the West Oakland branch library in an effort to give the residents access to the media and dispel perceptions that the paper is out of touch with the lives of real people in the community it serves. And Mike LaBonte gave a fascinating presentation on Newstrust, a new online effort to connect citizens and journalists to encourage informed analysis of online journalism. Check them out!