Plans for Peterborough

Our first opportunity to cover a public consultation done by the Citizens’ Assembly for TVO is December 5, 2006. We assembled an excellent team of student journalists who will do the coverage. We held a meeting on Thursday November 30, 2006 to discuss our strategy.

Remembering, this is a two-track process, we must ensure solid coverage for TVO, but also the team will prepare some special materials for the e-journalism web site, Online Pioneer Plus, using our own tools.

The day’s coverage will begin with Mel Bikiuk doing an indepth series of streeters in downtown Peterborough and on Trent University campus. She will be recording digital audio responses and taking photographs in the hopes of preparing a multimedia story on the public’s response to the notion of democratic reform. We crafted questions around the idea of what to change around voting; what would people like to see done around elections; and identifying concerns around fairness. Some of these will be very short, while others are to be considered full interviews. She is to use her discretion. The idea is to give a voice to those who might not be either motivatived to participate or don’t have time or don’t feel they will be heard (unempowered).

The balance of the team will arrive about an hour before the event to set up. Barb, Eve and Kevin make up the balance of the coverage team. Mel will join them.

Mel is doing the reporting for TVO and will prepare a full set of stories that will be submitted into the blog. While TVO says it is blogging the event, previous coverage resembles essays and hard news stories. Mel and I agree we will do a multimedia story combining audio, video and text, along with some photographs.

Barb will be the e-journalist, using the Blackberry unit to file live coverage back to me, as editor. She will do this through the mailhandler module of the website, an email to blog feature. It automatically cues up all her submissions. I will edit these and then post them as quickly as possible to provide somewhat “live” coverage. This will be an experiment to see how easily this kind of immediate reportage can be done.

Eve and Keith are the television journalism crew. Eve is doing the standup portion, while Keith is camera-guy. They must produce a five-minute piece for TVO. The exact explanation for the segement is found in the guidelines. MIchael is editing.

I am not physically going to be there. I am holding the fort at the computer to ensure the live posts happen. I have set up a good communication system using cell phones. These kids are senior students and are quiet capable. I am not worried. They assure me the job will be done professionally.

To keep things simple, I believe we will file the stories exactly as requested by TVO. However, the team is anxious to undertake some e-journalism story techniques. We plan to do multimedia storytelling and use our technology to present these in new and exciting ways.

We are not running a chat, but there are forums. We may look at a chat during the Belleville consultation in January. Most definitely, we will use the chat for our Democracy Days @ Loyalist event.

First posted: December 4, 2006

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