Last night Texas Forums held its first open house / idea exchange at the LBJ Library. About fifty people – a mix of first-timers and long-timers joined us for appetizers and presenteasers (not enough for a presentation, but a little more than a teaser) about how to get involved with some upcoming projects. Check here for a partial list of activities from last night. Thank goodness Marla rode home with me so I had could share the energy from the evening!
During the course of the evening, we collected 13 idea cards from participants. Over the next couple of days, I will be posting the ideas from our idea exchange along with a response and a call to action or next steps. My timing will depend on how quickly the “idea-generators” can verify that I’ve correctly interpreted their chicken scratch!
I haven’t gotten to them today because Marla and I spent all morning planning out a response to one of the ideas…moving forward on our citizen journalism track. We mapped out a six-month plan over breakfast that I think is brilliant – and that’s not just the two pots of coffee talking! I’ll post more after we get out of our p.j.s, but I want you to be the first to get the word…
Save March 14 at 7:00 p.m. Central Time for a
Texas Forums Workshop
in the Texas Forums Virtual Room
Reporting on Your Forums: What Journalists Know That You Can Use
Report Your Forums Like a Pro
(Journalist, that is!)
We’re not entirely sold on either of these names, but they are less dreadfully boring than some of the others! This first workshop will focus narrowly on applying journalistic principles to reporting on NIF forums, especially forums on the Energy Problem. While we have grander plans for citizen journalism, we’ve chosen this focus because:
- Many of us in the National Issues Forums network struggle with how to report on our forums. The NIF moderator guide contains some guiding questions for the moderator to complete after the forum, but moderators are in the worst position of anyone to reflect on the nuances of the forum because they are do focused “in the moment.”
- The energy issue will be huge on the national agenda in the coming year leading up to the presidential election.
- Energy will be the featured issue for the taping of Public Voice in May and its airing on public television in the fall.
- We believe that learning how to report on a forum will strengthen the individual’s moderating skills.
- The energy issue is a global issue, but one that local communities can work on. Having a fair, thorough record of forums will enable communities to build on the ideas of each other.
- This rigorous form of reporting will form the basis for outcome-based evaluation.
We will be looking to the NIF community to identify their needs for report-writing, and any materials they have produced.