2008 Symposium

Park Center for Independent Media Inaugural Symposium:
"The Future of Independent Media: Growth and Challenges” (Sept. 15-16, 2008)

In mid-September 2008, a unique symposium brought leading figures in independent media to Ithaca College – including a blogger whose investigative work led to the resignation of a U.S. Attorney General, a documentary filmmaker whose pioneering efforts in Internet marketing and fundraising have unnerved various corporate interests, and an editor of a muckraking book on civil liberties that became an instant best-seller thanks to coordinated blogosphere word-of-mouth.

In a period of transformation in communications technology and crisis inside traditional media, the inaugural symposium of the new Park Center for Independent Media convened two-dozen independent journalists, bloggers, TV and radio producers, filmmakers and technologists for animated, upbeat discussions of the latest, best practices in independent media. [Read more.]

To view short bios of the symposium participants, click here.

Participants included:

Safir Ahmed editor, formerly at Alternet
Christopher Bowers blogger, Open Left
Hubert Brown associate professor, Syracuse University
David Cohn Spot Us community-funded reporting
Julie Drizin J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Robert Greenwald Brave New Foundation
Paul Jay The Real News Network
Linda Jue New Voices in Independent Journalism
Roberto Lovato New America Media
Josh Marshall Talking Points Memo
David Mathison Be The Media.org
Dori Maynard Maynard Institute
Amanda Michel HuffingtonPost’s Off the Bus
Jim Miller Brave New Foundation, IC alum
Jonathan Miller Homeland Productions
Jefferson Morley D.C.-based Center for Independent Media
Denis Moynihan Free Speech TV
Hye-Jung Park Media Justice Fund
Juana Ponce de Leon New York Community Media Alliance
Steve Rathe Murray Street Productions, IC alum
Gail Robinson Gotham Gazette
John Stauber Center for Media & Democracy
Tracy Van Slyke The Media Consortium
Deanna Zandt technology consultant, AlterNet

Keynote Lecture: Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall keynoted the inaugural symposium of the Park Center for Independent Media. Few journalists have caused the resignation of a member of the president's cabinet. Fewer still have done so by blogging. Josh Marshall at the Talking Points Memo/TPM Muckraker blogs won this year's Polk Award in legal reporting for relentless coverage of the politically-motivated firings of U.S. Attorneys by the White House. The coverage led to Congressional hearings and the ultimate resignation of the Attorney General. The following is adapted from Marshall’s speech at Ithaca College on “The Growth of Talking Points Memo and the Importance of Independent Media”:

REMARKS FROM JOSH MARSHALL: We have ten employees. On any given month, we have one or two million readers. We are a combination of opinion journalism and traditional shoe-leather reporting. One of the first reporting sites we rolled out was TPMmuckracker.com. Investigative journalism is not usually a profit-center for most journalistic organizations, but we’ve tried to make it so.

The site started in November 2000 during the Florida recount. It wasn’t just fortuitous, that was why it started. At the time I was the Washington editor of The American Prospect. Three or four months later, I quit the job at the Prospect, not to do TPM, but to be a freelance journalist. I was barely feeding myself, so I didn’t have any money to invest. TPM was something I did on the side – nothing I ever thought would make any income or be a business or be anything besides a sort of side project to my freelance journalism.

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