Cambridge Community Television will present a half-day forum entitled "Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism and Grassroots Media" at the Cambridge Public Library on May 4th. The Berkman Center's Digital Media Law Project and Cyberlaw Clinic are pleased to be co-organizers, along with MIT's Center for Civic Media.
The event will explore the quickly expanding world
of citizen journalism: how technology is fueling its growth; how that
growth is changing the way we see our world, enact change, and
disseminate the news; and how people in communities around the world are
taking the initiative to share stories that are left untold by the
mainstream media. It is free and open to the public.
The DMLP and the Clinic will participate in a
workshop addressing legal issues facing those who gather news. State and
federal laws provide tools and protections on which reporters can rely
in collecting the facts on which their reporting is based -- enhancing
access to government records, shielding from disclosure certain
communications between journalists and their sources, and ensuring that
journalists can record the acts of public officials in public places.
But, these tools and protections are subject to limitations that can
frustrate newsgatherers and impede their ability to practice their
craft. The session will explore some of the important protections
available to citizen journalists and others in the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts and the hurdles that reporters face as they engage in
Other workshops will address the ways in which
Cambridge residents are filling the void in local news in Cambridge and
highlight tools being used by citizen journalists. Exhibitors will be on
hand to present the latest technologies available for community
reporters, and attendees will learn how to tap into local news outlets
as well as how to get started reporting on local news.
Content will be geared toward consumers and creators of local news
content; journalists and media professionals; independent and
collaborative website owners; legal professionals; and everyone who
values local information, civic participation, and social justice.
"Filling the News Gap" commemorates the 25th anniversary of Cambridge
Community Television. The event is presented in memory of Karen Klinger,
a correspondent with CCTV's NeighborMedia program and community
activist who died in December after a six-month battle with cancer.
Karen was in the original group of NeighborMedia journalists chosen in
2007. She focused on her neighborhood, Porter Square, particularly on
issues related to development, safety and cleanliness. The community
looked to her to cover vital issues in Cambridge. Karen was one of very
few professional journalists in NeighborMedia, and brought a fierce
commitment to the journalistic principles that guided her career. Her
efforts to ensure journalistic integrity have had a profound impact on
the structure of the NeighborMedia program.