Report for Fred Fletcher

Project summary
Nov 12, 2006

Things are picking up with the project. This weekend, broadcast students under the direction of Kathleen Bazurk, who instructs the remote broadcast component of the program, will be recording a presentation by Richard S. Katz, from John Hopkins University (Baltimore), an expert in democratic reform. The tapes will be sent to TVO for them to post to their site.

We are preparing for our broadcast in Peterborough at Gzwoski College on Dec. 5. Several emails were exchanged with Jeff Dunk, TVO’s point man. We need to make sure we have the technical specifications both for the room and for TVO’s requirements.

We intend to undertake several forms of coverage on the day of the event. One report is going up in advance. She will take a video camera and talk with people, seeking an answer to the question: “If you could change one thing with the current electoral system in Ontario, what would it be?” The result should be a streeter-type of response. While not terribly scientific, it provides a glimpse into the everyday person’s mind and raises awareness. We hope to have a business card size handout with the name of our website and the URL so people can see themselves and others.

We are also hoping to set up several key interviews with knowledgeable citizens, key leaders in the community who do not normally get interviewed around this type of topic, but influence community thinking. This is in tune with public journalism’s tenants to seek out voices not always sought in compiling information about a story.

Meanwhile preparations for the January 16, 2007 event in Belleville proceed. This will be organized in conjunction with the Citizen’s Assembly representative Cornelio Reyes and Loyalist faculty.

Two student research assistants are working on plans to hold a special Citizen’s Assembly Day at Loyalist College with a panel and a guest speaker. The Online Pioneer will sponsor the event and provide a number of stories in advance, as well as, full coverage on the day. The event will also be filled with online opportunities to participate. This is scheduled for February. Plans are still be finalized.

Until this point, the majority of work was focused on the development of the Online Pioneer Plus (http://pioneerplus.ejournalism.ca), an e-journalism supplement to our current Online Pioneer (http://www.thepioneer.com). Following some research and building on work done in the summer, it is important to look at how this technology works and why it is significant. Using the umbrella perspective of communications technology, considerations were given to the use of content management system software and the impact on presenting news on the Internet {Grant, 2006 #15}.

First posted: November 12, 2006