‘Filling the News Gap’ gets a look at Saturday library forum

The Cambridge Main Library is to host a free journalism forum Saturday. (Photo: Eric Herot)

The Cambridge Main Library is to host a free journalism forum Saturday. (Photo: Eric Herot)

The editor of Cambridge Day and other local citizen journalists will be part of a free Saturday forum called “Filling the News Gap in Cambridge and Beyond: Citizen Journalism,” organized by Cambridge Community Television, the Center for Civic Media/Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the Digital Media Law Project and Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

The forum will explore the quickly expanding world of citizen journalism, including how technology fuels its growth and how that growth changes the way we see the world, enact change and disseminate the news.

Organizers are calling it “a must for both 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.”

The day begins at 9 a.m. with coffee, refreshments and registration; the first panel, “Oases in the News Desert,” runs for an hour starting at 9:45 a.m. and includes Marc Levy, editor of Cambridge Day.

“Newsgathering and the Law: Hot Topics for Citizen Journalists in Massachusetts” starts at 11 a.m.

“The Most Experimental Storytellers: Citizen Journalists” starts at 12:30 p.m.

“Covering Chaos” is a recent addition to the day that looks at news coverage starting when shots rang out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology late April 18. “Events in Cambridge were covered in ways that have few precedents,” organizers said. Dan Kennedy, assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University, will moderate a discussion among some of the nontraditional journalists who jumped to cover unfolding events, including Josh Stearns, journalism and public campaign director for the Free Press; Catherine Cloutier, a producer at Boston.com; and Taylor Dobbs, a student at Northeastern University who tweeted from the scene of the Watertown shootout and manhunt.

Other presenters for the forum include: Christopher Bavitz of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center; Joe Bergantino of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting;
Denise Cheng of the MIT Center for Civic Media; Jeff Hermes of the Digital Media Law Project at the Berkman Center; Joanna Kao of The Tech; Andy Sellars of the Digital Media Law Project; David Schalliol of Gapers Block; CB Smith-Dahl of the Oakland Local; Saul Tannenbaum of NeighborMedia and Cambridge Happenings; and Robert Winters of the Cambridge Civic Journal.

The forum is dedicated to the memory of Cambridge journalist Karen Klinger.

The event is scheduled to be held at the Cambridge Public Library Main Branch, 449 Broadway.

Register for the event here.

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