INVITATION: "The New(s) Revolution," April 7 / UMass-Lowell

Dear teacher, journalist, blogger, engaged citizen:

Your're cordially invited to a one-day, interactive seminar on Saturday, April
7, 2007, at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell for teachers, journalists,
local and political bloggers, community videographers and active citizens
exploring how changing media is changing civic engagement. Come prepared to
actively participate -- to share your ideas, success stories and innovation.
This event starts a multi-disciplinary New England town-meeting style dialog --
because we all have a stake in the future of news. Key topics:

     -- Blog coverage of the New Hampshire presidential primary
     -- Bloggers in courts and jail; shield laws
     -- How news can advance civic education in schools
     -- The changing press-public relationship



***Register before March 14 and save 25%***
($28 general; $10 students, includes box lunch)

SEE WHO'S COMING (registration just opened):

Event sponsors include VillageSoup (
***Reaching beyond print and online news**
**Creating places to learn, share and shop.**


In the last year, America's major media organizations have chopped jobs and
embraced the Internet; they have debated the definition of journalism, and
journalists. A video blogger-journalist has been jailed and another subpoenaed.
In New England, citizens are becoming reporters, like pamphleteers. They are
writing at local online news websites and vigorously debating politics online.
Governments are learning how to connect with citizens via the web and
multimedia technology. Meanwhile, teachers and students are unsure of how to
connect in the classroom with -- or contribute to -- this vital stew of new and
evolving media.

On Saturday, April 7, the New England News Forum invites teachers, journalists,
bloggers and active citizens to share ideas and hopes for this new, engaging,
media stew during a one-day interactive seminar at the University of
Massachusetts in Lowell. Designed to involve every participant in dialog, "The
New(s) England Revolution" will include circle-round discussions, speak-outs, a
keynote talk, plenary panel and end-of-day summation. We'll emphasize
networking across disciplines and communities.

Come to a converted mill in Lowell -- a showcase of the first industrial
revolution -- to consider the growth of an information-age revolution in the
way we conduct participatory democracy. The most important discussion you have
may not be with a headlined speaker or convenor, but with the person from
another state or another town, in a different profession, who will unexpectedly
share with you a special tool or tip for making media or government work

We expect between 100 and 150 participants, including teachers, journalists,
local and political bloggers, community videographers and active citizens from
the six New England states. We expect blogging and possibly some traditional
news coverage of what is the kickoff event of the New England News Forum.


The New England News Forum (NENF) is an experimental collaboration among
journalists, educators and the public to inspire active citizenship through
discussion and spotlighting of media issues. We aim to increase public trust
and deepen public understanding of the news media by promoting the practice of
trusted, thorough, and accountable journalism. The forum is supported by a seed
grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is based in the
journalism program at UMass Amherst. Here are links to our About page and to a
page listing a few of our founding collaborators:


We expect a key service of NENF will be our website. On it, we will moderate an
ongoing discussion among members, citizens, editors, journalists and bloggers
about important civic and journalism issues.

Please be among the first users of the new site -- still in preview mode -- and
come on April 7 to Lowell with your suggestions for how to improve it. If you
register between now and April 1, we will automatically make you a member of
the New England News Forum for one year without paying dues.

All registered users automatically get their own blog. Real names are

To register, start at:

You can help seed our community of concerned, active New Englanders by:

     -- Posting fact-based accounts or reports on media issues in your

     -- Briefly summarizing (or originate) accounts of important
      developments affecting New England policy issues:

     -- Volunteering ideas -- or your time -- on one of our proposed

     -- Talking with your local library, or news organization, about
      holding a media-citizen "listening session." For example, we're
      planning events May 10 in Springfield, and May 17 in Boston or
      Brookline. Sample format:

     -- Letting us know if you would like to apply to become a
      moderator for your state, region or city:

     -- Syndicating the front-page posts (or other sections) of the
NENF website to your own or your organization's RSS reader.