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Join us on May 20 for a community journalism workshop

Tone Madison is partnering up with the Madison DSA and The Progressive to bring together Madisonians interested in changing the local media landscape.

Anyone who cares about the state of local media and is thinking about getting involved is invited to participate in Community Journalism In The Pandemic, an online workshop Tone Madison is hosting on May 20 in partnership with the Madison-Area Democratic Socialists of America and The Progressive.

This event will last about an hour and will offer an introductory-level, big-picture discussion of the media landscape and the need for greater participation in it. We hope it will be the first of a series of workshops that get deeper into the nitty-gritty aspects of reporting, writing, pitching, and understanding one’s audience. We’re also hoping to learn about, well, what people around Madison want to learn and what skills they’d find useful in this context.

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The Progressive associate editor Emilio Leanza and I will kick it off with a presentation on why we see a need for more people to learn and use the skills involved in journalism. Alice Herman and Dayna Long, who’ve both written for Tone Madison and contributed to activism projects around town, as well as writing for the DSA’s Red Madison publication, will give an overview of the basics of reporting and writing. After that, all of us and labor activist Andrew Sernatinger will open it up for questions and discussion.

The past few months have been incredibly hard on publications everywhere, and especially on outlets that provide crucial reporting and connections at the local level. Conventional media business models have been collapsing, and so have conventions around “balanced,” “both-sides” journalism. As terrible as the situation is, it also gives us opportunities to create a more representative media landscape. Of course, it’s also not as simple as declaring that anyone with a smartphone can become a journalist overnight. It’s going to take support, skills, diligent work, and a moral commitment to our communities. We welcome that challenge and hope we can at least make a start toward something better.

Get all the details and registration info on the Facebook event.

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