Media Monday Edmonton: Update #19

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

  • I thought Karen (pictured below with Clay Shirky in the background) did a fantastic job at Pecha Kucha Night 11, talking about what journalism needs now. She told journalists to “french kiss change” and to “hump change’s leg”. Here’s my recap, in case you missed it.

Pecha Kucha 11 - 572

  • Tonight was the opening reception for the 2011 GoMedia Canada Conference at the Art Gallery of Alberta. This is the first time Edmonton has hosted the event. More than 120 travel journalists are attending and will get the next few days to experience Edmonton and the capital region.

GoMedia Canada 2011 Opening Reception

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #18

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

Here’s a recap video of Pecha Kucha 10, courtesy of Telus TV:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: the edmontonian goes out on top

As I mentioned last week, this Friday will be the final day for popular local blog the edmontonian. Editors Jeff Samsonow and Sally Poulsen have decided to move on to new things, and they assure us that “this is not a sad decision” for them. I think it’s safe to say that it has been a sad decision for the rest of us though, as the recent outpouring of support for the duo has shown! I had lots of questions about the decision so I’m glad Jeff & Sally agreed to an interview, which we conducted via email.

In the inaugural post back on June 15, 2009, Sally wrote: “Jeff and I have some pretty grand ambitions for this bad boy, and we couldn’t be more excited to get the ball rolling.” Looking back now, Jeff thinks they met those ambitions. “I know we wanted to have a conversation with people about Edmonton, we wanted to highlight interesting and fun people, businesses, and stories, to raise the level of discourse in a "news" site’s comments section, and create our own content.” Sally agreed, and expanded on his thoughts. “I do think we were both surprised that it grew legs as quickly as it did, and that because we’d never really had any goals beyond "make ourselves laugh," "initiate a conversation," and "make news easier to understand," I think we may have lost sight of where we were going once or twice.” They feel that the edmontonian achieved its goals however, and that’s part of the reason it is shutting down.

I wondered what surprised them most about the experience of creating and maintaining the edmontonian. “How seriously people took us as a news outlet was a bit of a shock,” Sally said, noting that people would call with stories and invite them to events. “That has always struck me as funny.” For Jeff, it was “the amount of stuff we’ve done.” With more than 1500 items posted to the site, they’ve certainly had a busy three years. “It reinforced for me that Edmonton is full of good stories,” Jeff said. “And it said that passion, from anyone, is what’s going to create content. A paycheck won’t crank out post after post about the city, it’s going to come from individuals who want to tell stories and explore their community.”

One of the things I have always loved about the edmontonian is the humorous side of the blog. Sure I love reading Jeff’s more serious commentaries, but the funny stuff really made it unique, in my opinion. I asked them if there was anything that they tried that bombed, and Sally wrote: “There was that time we tried to keep the municipal airport open. That didn’t really work out like we’d hoped.” Thinking about posts that made me laugh, I asked who will write about abandoned couches now? Jeff says to tweet him if you have couch photos to share! “Seriously, make sure you @ me on your couch photos.”

I asked Jeff & Sally to offer some advice to other Edmontonians who might want to start a blog. “Life is incredibly short,” Sally said. “Just go for it.” She also suggested that you “be for something instead of against.” Jeff noted that it’s really simple to get started. “The great thing about the Internet, and all of its many blogging, video, audio, and photo tools is that no story has to go untold.” He too says to just get started. “Buy your domain, install WordPress, and start documenting your version of Edmonton.” Jeff would welcome new voices to the local blogosphere and beyond. “There are so many great stories in a city Edmonton’s size, and so many different takes on everything, that there’s plenty of room for more media presence.”

Not that what Jeff & Sally have accomplished is easy. It takes a lot of time and effort. I wondered what the hardest part of creating and maintaining the site was. “I would say finding the time to get to events and talk to people for full stories, so it wasn’t always daily Headlines posts,” Jeff replied. With full-time jobs, doing interviews during the traditional 9-5 schedule wasn’t always possible. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get frustrated about the fact that we’d be writing this stuff on off hours, putting in all this time and energy, and then see people who made their living as reporters "borrow" our ideas,” Sally added.

Given my interest in digital archiving, I wanted to know if the site would just disappear on Friday or if it would remain online. “It will live where it is,” Sally assured me. “We can’t promise forever and ever, because it costs money to keep it there, but for the foreseeable future.” Jeff says they’ve just renewed the hosting for another year, so you’ve got time to take screenshots if you want!

There have been lots of sad tweets, comments, and messages about the decision to shut the site down, and I wondered what Jeff & Sally thought about that. “I had expected some reaction,” Jeff said, “but I wasn’t ready for the amount of conversation, the number of people that seemed to genuinely be sad to see us go. It was way more than I was ready for, and I choked up a couple of times.” Sally agreed. “I think we knew how passionate we were about the edmontonian, but it was the first time that I ever thought, wow, maybe people do know how much we care.”

Sally and Jeff - the edmontonian arrives!
Photo by Brittney Le Blanc

So what’s next for the duo? They’ve always struck me as the kind of people who are happiest when they are creating something. Like the TV show. “It was a stupid amount of work, and very much our love letter to the city,” Sally said. While confirming that they have “a couple of half-baked ideas” in the works, Sally wouldn’t share any clues. “I plan on taking many naps, and also we’re buying a couch. So that’s pretty exciting.” Perhaps thinking ahead, Jeff said that “choosing the next project out of our hat of ideas will actually be the next big step.” He was also careful to set the right expectations, however. “I’d hate to say "we’re building Edmonton’s largest pancake" and disappoint folks if that wasn’t the next project we actually undertook.” Sally chimed in with her trademark wit: “So, to review, we’re building Edmonton’s largest pancake. And buying a couch.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to take a bite while sitting on that couch. Best wishes to Jeff & Sally in whatever they decide to pursue, and thank you for three wonderful years of Edmonton stories!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #17

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

  • The biggest media news of the week is also the saddest: Jeff & Sally have decided that September 9 will be the last day for the edmontonian. They wrote: “Our heads are bursting with ideas and schemes (seriously, call the head hospital!) and this will let us make space for new things to come our way.” In other words, we haven’t seen the last of Jeff & Sally (thankfully). Here’s their first “look back” post. I’ll have more on this next week, and I can’t wait to see all of the tributes that are created over the next while. The outpouring of support today has been great to see.
  • Looking to get your feet wet with podcasting? The Unknown Studio is looking for contributors. Simply pitch your segment idea by September 30 and you could be a regular feature on the show!
  • It’s that time of year! Karen looks at education in her latest Edmonton New Media Roundup.
  • Erin Despas did an interview with Julie Matthews, Global Edmonton’s Trouble Shooter. “With sixteen years of experience in journalism, the thirty-five year old journalist has been with Global Edmonton for seven and a half years. Matthews has no plans currently to leave her job.”
  • I discovered recently that Avenue Edmonton’s Omar Mouallem also contributes to the AOL Travel Canada blog! Cool to see him talking up Edmonton beyond our city’s borders.
  • I quite like the Government of Alberta’s Newsroom page. Simple, but clear and with all the relevant links and information.
  • If you’re a U of A student interested in media, swing by the Gateway offices in SUB – they’re looking for volunteers. They’re also looking for help with their weekly podcast.
  • Oil Sands Truth is an interesting site from a media perspective. It both aggregates and curates recent news, data, maps, photos, audio, and video. Does anyone know of a good site that does the same thing with the opposite side of the story?
  • This note about a new book called The Man in Blue Pajamas: Prison Memoir in the Form of a Novel came up in one of my searches: “Kurdish poet and journalist Jalal Barzanji endured imprisonment and torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein because of his outspoken writings. After emigrating to Canada in the 1990s, Barzanji, who was named Edmonton’s first writer-in-exile in 2007, finally tells his story.” Turns out Jalal is on Twitter!
  • Nice shout out to “the social media rockstars of #yeg” from Jeremy Bibaud, who recently left the United Way after four and a half years. I think he did some great work to bring that organization up-to-speed with Twitter, Facebook, and all of the other tools they have started using, not to mention the new website! Best of luck Jeremy!
  • Four members of the local media participated in a pizza eating contest on Sunday at the Viva Italia Viva Edmonton festival. Citytv’s Stacey Brotzel, the griff’s Jenny Feniak, OMNI’s Kit Koon, and SONiC 102.9’s Brandy Taylor all competed to see who could chow down the most pizza in five minutes. Brandy came away with the victory in a tiebreaker round against Kit, but no one left empty-handed: they got to take the pizza they didn’t eat with them!

Pizza Eating Contest!
Brandy Taylor, Kit Koon, Jenny Feniak, Stacey Brotzel

Edmonton Media at City Hall
The media table outside the media room at City Hall.

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

Just a quick mention: we had a very productive MediaCamp Edmonton planning session tonight, and we expect to share more on that in the coming weeks!

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #16

newsAnother week off! Can you tell it’s summer? Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

I want to finish by highlighting a couple of posts from the edmontonian. If you don’t read their daily headlines, you’re missing out. Here’s a great discussion from August 10:

Newsrooms could also have mentioned to their audiences the Journal had a story about a late-night bus on Whyte, and worked on their own stories the rest of the day. Instead, they assigned reporters, editors, producers, video editors, and camera operators to produce the same story for Tuesday night and Wednesday.

One of the topics I love to rant about. Those same newsrooms will in the same breath complain to you about how times are tough and resources are stretched.

Here’s another great one from August 17:

The race to get the story into the news machine first damages everyone involved. It hurts the credibility of the media outlets who commonly treat factual inaccuracies as no big deal, and it fails the citizens who trust these outlets for information that shapes their reactions to the world around them. Reporting the news is a tremendous responsibility, and not just a game of  ‘who had what story first.’

Couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s why I linked!

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #15

newsAfter a week off, here is my latest update on local media stuff:

Edmonton Sun: Deadmonton

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #14

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

I was away all of last week so I wasn’t paying as much attention to Twitter as usual, but I still didn’t notice as many #yegindy tweets as I expected. That said, there was some great coverage online. fusedlogicTV was recording video and posting photos over the weekend. Here’s a glimpse of what their AutoMojo show captured:

Today, Microsoft released Avatar Kinect on Xbox Live. I just had to give it a shot!

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #13

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

I wonder how much people actually like “link” or “notes” posts. They seem to be quite prominent in the local blogosphere lately. I usually do my Edmonton Notes and these media notes, Sharon does her food notes, Scott does Hitting the Links, Karen usually does a media roundup, Linda has been posting her Clicks of the Day, Dave posts Alberta Political Notes, the edmontonian posts headlines each weekday, The Charrette posts a weekly news roundup, and I’m sure there are more that I’m missing. They’re not necessarily easier to write than single-topic posts, in fact they can actually take quite a bit of time and effort. They are easy to consume, however. Thoughts?

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #12

newsHere is my latest update on local media stuff:

  • The St. Albert Gazette has written about the demise of Saint City News. The article states: “The Gazette will take on two of Saint City’s sales people and has added [former editor Glenn] Cook to its newsroom.”
  • ChrisD.ca in Winnipeg reports that political reporter Laura Lowe has accepted a position at CTV Edmonton, and will be leaving CTV Winnipeg by mid-July.
  • Here’s a detailed piece on the SEE-Vue merger. Apparently Vue is “assessing whether it will join the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association.”
  • The Edmonton Journal is seeking a Director of Digital Products “to lead the ongoing growth and development of our wide variety of local digital properties.” You can check out the job posting in PDF here.
  • The latest Edmonton Journal newsletter, available here, says the Journal’s site saw a record 592,000 unique visitors and 11.8 million page views in May. The mobile site saw 1.2 million page views that same month.
  • Check out the Journal’s Living on the Edge map, created by data journalist Lucas Timmons using data from the City of Edmonton’s open data catalogue.
  • Karen’s latest Edmonton New Media Roundup is available here. She notes that Edmonton has a new web comic called Inglorious Hipsters. Follow them on Twitter – @ingloriouship.
  • The final episode of the edmontonian presents (at least its first run) airs on Sunday, July 10 at 9pm on Shaw (Channel 10). Don’t miss it!
  • Have your say on the future of the CBC! The CRTC is hosting a consultation on CBC’s radio and television license renewals.
  • It looks like World FM is all setup in Enterprise Square now that 91.7 The Bounce has joined Sonic 102.9 on the southside:

World FM

Some Edmonton-related notes from the latest Broadcast Dialogue magazine, available in PDF here. I’m not sure how frequently it is published as I just came across it, and some of the items are older:

  • Rawlco Radio Chairman Gord Rawlinson says that up! 99.3 FM received almost 900,000 text messages in a little over a year.
  • Adrienne Pan is the new host of CBC News: Edmonton Late Night. She comes from Winnipeg though she has been here before, as part of A-Channel (this was announced in May).
  • Calgary’s Mix 97.7 relaunched as up! 97.7 in May. The up! brand was developed here in Edmonton, and Rawlco Radio says it “wanted Calgarians to have the same opportunity to feel good every time they turn on the radio.”
  • The first 96.3 Capital FM Edmonton Capital Cares Radiothon for Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta together with the Edmonton Sun raised almost $50,000.

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #11

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

Edmonton Bulletin
Visited Fort Edmonton Park on the weekend, and of course I had to stop by the Edmonton Bulletin!

Edmonton Bulletin

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!