Archive for Activism


Ushahidi: Live crisis mapping

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (0)

What is Ushahidi? from Ushahidi on Vimeo.

I caught the buzz around Ushahidi at SXSW last week, and in the New York Times, but had no clue to their reach until I spent some time at their site just now.

Could this be a clue to the future of news reporting as well? I will be keeping an eye on this.


Song For Haiti: Everybody Hurts

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (0)

SKYNEWS has premiered the Haiti benefit song and video above. The performers include Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Susan Boyle, Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, and Leoni Lewis. R.E.M. has relinquished all royalty rights for the song, so they won’t be taking a penny.

Please keep giving, either via the NPR links in the right column, or keep up to date with Mashable’s Haiti Earthquake Relief: 9 Ways to Help Now. Read More→

header1 BarCamp NewsInnovation Philadelphia: Next week at Temple University

What is BCNI?

BarCamp NewsInnovation Philadelphia is the national conference in a country-wide effort to reinvent the news industry.

Using the BarCamp open grid format (what’s that?), some of the greatest minds around will discuss new ideas on how to reenergize and innovate the news industry. This is NOT a journalists-only event! Invite any friends from various industries who are concerned about the future of news. Even your friend that complains about the biased media. Especially that guy. There will be representatives from news organizations all over the country.

The event is FREE and will be hosted at Annenberg Hall on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. Doors will open at  9 a.m. and the presentations will start at 10 a.m. After an hour break for lunch at 1 p.m., the last presentations will start at 5 p.m.

What to expect:

Doors will open at 9 a.m. and there will be hour to grab some coffee and meet your new best friends. There will be a blank presentation board and a stack of post-it notes. Write down your topic and post it in the time slot of your choice. Be sure to get there early to get the time you want.

At 10 a.m. presentations will begin in one of the four floors of Annenberg Hall. Each classroom has a projector and computer, some have  more than a dozen machines. There is even a TV studio if the desire so strikes you. Presentations will continue until 1 p.m. when we will break for lunch. There are dozens of lunch trucks, pizza places and restaurants on campus at your disposal.

Presentations will resume from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. with the event closing at 6. After-party details to come.


Bad news from Cooperstown

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (2)
Inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Coopertown: Game balls from no-hitters; a Phillies Phanatic costume, memorial flowers for recently-passed famer Kell; and, fans watching Abbot and Costello performing "Who's on First?"

Inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown: Game balls from no-hitters; a Phillie Phanatic costume; recently passed famer Kell; and fans watching Abbott and Costello perform "Who's on First?"

I made my sixth pilgrimage to Cooperstown this weekend, in anticipation of baseball’s opening day. Even with some installations in progress – and some snow outside – the experience was priceless, as usual, but I got some bad news while I was there.

After 68 years, there will be no annual Hall of Fame Game on Induction Weekend. Instead, there will be an old-timers game called the “Hall of Fame Classic” on Father’s Day weekend in June.

Dissatisfied with the replacement, Cooperstown native Kristian Connolly launched and includes an email link to the deciders if you would like to voice your objection. I did.


Meet the Mothers in Charge

Posted by: Jim MacMillan | Comments (1)
facesofcourageflyer1 Meet the Mothers in Charge

Mothers in Charge Executive Director and Founder Dorothy Johnson Speight

On Saturday, I was honored to join friends, colleagues and students attending “Murder and the Media,” a lunch and forum hosted by Mothers in Charge, a violence prevention, education and intervention group for youth, young adults, families and community organizations, here in Philadelphia. The forum aimed to examine how the media reports the violence that continues to plague the Philadelphia Region.

Journalists spoke about the stress of covering the many tragic events that make up the daily news in Philadelphia, and the community of bereaved mothers made it clear that accurate, complete and balanced reporting means even more than we might expect to the victims and survivors of gun crime.

Questions planned for discussion included:
• What role does media reporting play in violence reduction? 
• Is there evidence of class or racial bias in victim coverage? 
• How can victims’ families work with the media in seeking appropriate coverage?
 The conversation went in many more directions as well. 

I can’t thank Executive Director and Founder Dorothy Johnson Speight – and her community – enough for having us.

It was a special honor to have a student on the panel from my Journalism and Psychological Trauma course at Temple University.

I would argue, however, that the arrangement was backwards. The mothers should have been at the front of the room; they are the experts and the rest of us are merely the students.

Next, stay tuned for Faces of Courage,” an upcoming book profiling several members of the organization.