Tag Archives: citizen journalism

The Right to Know: A Guide to Public Access and Media Law

Horrendous losses in the legacy print press and the spread of access tools have inexorably combined to create the citizen journalist.  The fact is, we cj’s too often lack the professional journalist’s preparation for the task.  One thing that professional journalists understand at their core is their right to access and to know.  The First Amendment Coalition and the California Newspaper Publishers Association have produced a guide that promises to equip citizen journalists, bloggers, activists and public officials to know the possibilities and the limits when it comes to access.  The Right to Know: A Guide to Public Access and Media Law is a one-stop law guide on access and First Amendment issues. It’s written by James Chadwick and Roger R. Myers, both national authorities on the right to know.  The guide is available from the First Amendment Coalition.  Purchasers of The Right to Know will also receive access online to the full text of all court decisions cited in the book and access online to new legal developments and updates.  The book is $30 from the First Amendment Coalition, 534 4th Street, Suite B, San Rafael, CA 94901, (415) 460-5060 or online at First Amendment Coalition

The UpTake Journalists Banned in Edina!

The intrepid crew from The Uptake hit its first bump in the transparency world this week when the Edina Chamber of Commerce banned all video and audio recording from Wednesday’s debate between candidates Erik Paulsen and Jim Meffert.  Not a major hurdle for the folks from The Update who have covered and shared a daunting roster of candidate forums, debates, town meetings and more during campaign 2010.


When the dust settles it will be interesting to learn just how many miles they’ve covered, camera in hand – From the Clinton visit to Blaine and Obama’s U of M appearance over last weekend to La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles in South Minneapolis, Farm Fest, the rambunctious Oberstar/Cravaak debate in Duluth and scores of other sites.  The Uptake crew covers the event live if possible, then records and posts the full program on The Uptake website.  They even offer fact check back up that is endlessly illuminating.


Today, Tuesday, The Uptake provides live coverage of the much-vaunted debate between Michele Bachmann and Tarryl Clark taking place in St. Cloud.  The enterprising Uptakers suggest that viewers watch the debate live from home or office, then contribute the cost of the gas saved to The Uptake.


At this point in the campaign every Minnesotan is burned out on sound bites and TV spots well-funded by a mix of vested interests.  The would-be informed voter might do well to take a breath, settle into an easy chair, and take time to view and listen to the candidates themselves – uninterrupted, on the spot, recorded by The Uptake.


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