Sourcing Through Texting
Jo Flattery / DKC
212-981-5228 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Houlihan, Director, Publicity
646-829-4497 / email@example.com
WNYC and PRI’s THE TAKEAWAY and WLRN RADIO HOLD TWO-DAY SUMMIT TO SOURCE NEWS VIA TEXTING IN LITTLE HAITI, MIAMI
Tuesday, June 29 & Wednesday, June 30
“SOURCING THROUGH TEXTING” EXPLORES HOW THE MEDIA CAN ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY THROUGH TEXTING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
(June 28, Miami, FL) – From massive government protests in Tehran last summer to unprecedented fundraising following the Haiti earthquake earlier this year, the power of mobile communications – texting – has empowered citizens and transformed how traditional media engages with them.
Public Radio International (PRI) and WNYC’s national morning news program The Takeaway and local public radio station WLRN in Miami are convening a real-time summit and experiment to explore how texting can help in another context: connecting public media journalists with citizen-sources to access more authentic intelligence, better understand hyper-local perspectives, and uncover meaningful if underreported stories – particularly in communities that public radio does not yet reach.
On June 29 and 30, producers and journalists from The Takeaway, WLRN and The Miami Herald, as well as representatives from Public Radio International, the Institute of Design at Stanford, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network, and texting company Mobile Commons, will meet with Miami-based community leaders, community organizers, residents and others to brainstorm and experiment with stories, projects and investigations that can be done in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. The experiments will use the established power of the Public Insight Network fed by the outreach and interactions made possible, via text, through Mobile Commons.
“We will have five teams of five people in Miami seeking out local stories that are important and relevant to people in the Little Haiti district, from disparities in public services to traffic concerns” said John Keefe, Executive Producer for News at WNYC Radio and event manager for The Takeaway. “Clearly, Little Haiti has experienced great change since the earthquake, not only with the influx of families who were able to leave Haiti following the devastating earthquake, but also with an increased sentiment of empowerment and desire to help themselves and their neighbors. Our goal is utilize technology to tap into that sentiment, access a deeper level of intelligence, and hear directly from citizen sources.”
“At WLRN, we’ve been following with growing interest the progress of citizen journalism as it has taken root and flourished in various communities across the country. During these two days, we’re going to be asking the question: where does citizen journalism start in our community and how does it lead to robust engagement?” said Peter J. Maerz, Programming and Operations Manager at WLRN radio. “Public radio is the ideal medium to explore this idea of new communication since we have always taken the lead on how people use and propagate local news. Plus, this is a burgeoning audience for us, and we’re going in to meet them and learn about them in a way that isn’t being done elsewhere.”
“The mission of The Takeaway, from the very beginning, was to transform not only how people received their news, but also how they interacted and engaged with the news,” said Mark Effron, General Manager of The Takeaway. “This summit, which builds upon the one we held in Detroit in May, is a natural extension of what we seek to do on our program, and will possibly even continue to evolve as a result of what we learn.”
The group will collaborate to design several test projects that WLRN journalists can then test within the Little Haiti community using the PIN and Mobile Commons technology tie-in. One of the projects will be presented – and tried -- at a WLRN community gathering in Little Haiti the evening of June 30.
The event will take place at WLRN Studios and various locations throughout Miami’s Little Haiti.
Additionally, WLRN will hold an Evening Under the Sun on Wednesday, June 30th, at 6pm at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep School in Little Haiti. The evening will feature musical performances, live interviews, performance art and audio excerpts from Under the Sun's upcoming radio special about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Guests will also be treated to an early peek at a Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald documentary on Haiti that will be released next year. The evening will be emceed by Under the Sun co-creators Dan Grech (Radio News Director of WLRN Miami Herald News) and Alicia Zuckerman (senior producer of WLRN's Florida Round-up). The free event will raise money for Haitian relief through the nonprofit Food for the Poor.
WHAT: SOURCING THROUGH TEXTING – an experiment in developing citizen-sources
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29 & Wednesday, June 30
WHO: Public Radio producers, journalists, and Miami community leaders and residents
WHERE: June 29: Locations throughout Miami’s Little Haiti and June 30: WLRN Studios (172 NE 15th Street Miami, FL 33132)
Press wishing to attend should contact Jennifer Houlihan, WNYC Director, Publicity, at (646) 829-4497 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested parties may also follow the summit on Twitter at #sourcetexting.
“Sourcing Through Texting” is being made possible through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Takeaway is co-produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International, in editorial collaboration with The BBC World Service, The New York Times, and WGBH Boston. For more information, please visit www.TheTakeaway.org.