From Heritage’s new Community Media Lab in Ypsilanti, Managing Editor Michelle Rogers and her colleagues lead workshops for the community to help people in their community tell their stories more effectively using blogs and social media.
“The main focus of the lab is to teach technology tools and reporting skills to members of the community so they can share their voices and document the important events, traditions and news in their communities in partnership with Heritage Media,” Michelle explained in the blog post linked above.
I presented a workshop in Ypsilanti in April, as Heritage was still moving into the SPARK-East business incubator. A couple blogging stations for the community had just been set up using equipment Heritage had on hand, though we were waiting for some new equipment.
In individual coaching and in workshops using a shared conference room at the incubator, Michelle and her colleagues have helped a business set up a YouTube account, taught video production and worked with local educators.
Kathleen Murphy,editor of The Chelsea Standard and Dexter Leader, will be at the Community Media Lab from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
— Community Media Lab (@CommunityMediaL) November 1, 2012
— Community Media Lab (@CommunityMediaL) October 31, 2012
One of the things I like most about the Heritage community-engagement effort is the initiative Michelle and her colleagues have shown. Michelle proposed the project in January and Digital First Media didn’t approve this year’s community-newsroom projects until May. Michelle moved ahead with the project without waiting for approval of all the details, and when I visited in April, we still hadn’t formally approved it. She was just following our priority of engagement and making things happen.
Michelle tells the story better in her blog, so instead of going on at length here, I’ll just share again the links where she and her colleagues tell the story of their engagement success on her blog and the Community Media Lab blog. They present a great example for other newsrooms of how to engage the community and help people and organizations tell their stories.
Note: I added some photos since initially posting this.