Citizen Journalist opportunites for Spring 2010

Contact info: jennifer.whigham@theuptake.org

 

Happy 2010 to you!  On February 4th, the Minnesota legislature kicks back into gear.  Like last year, we’ll be streaming live each day’s House and Senate sessions on our front page. We’d like you to get involved!  There are three levels you can choose from, depending on your technical skill.

Basic needs for all levels:

-Access to a computer and an internet connection
-An interest in politics.  (You don’t need to be an expert in the Minnesota legislature or politics; if you have an interest in your government and community, you’ll quickly catch on to the issues and characters in the legislature.)
-Daytime hours.

You don’t need to be in Minnesota or a Minnesotan resident to do this – just need a passion for government.

First level:  The easiest and requires nothing except daytime hours, an internet connection, and an interest in politics.  Watch the legislative sessions on our front page anywhere you have an internet connection.  Take notes to pass along via e-mail to Mike and Jennifer at the end of your shifts.

Second level: Watch the legislative session, take notes and also live-twitter the interesting bits on our Twitter account. This requires excellent writing skills and an understanding of Twitter and social media.

Third level:
Watch the legislative session, take notes, live-twitter the interesting bits and also stop/start/monitor the actual recording of the sessions.  We use a web-based software called Livestream, which is user-friendly and intuitive.  You wouldn’t be dealing with cameras or equipment – just pushing some buttons.  (Literally.)

The part where I wax nostalgically: Mike & I handled all of the legislative monitoring last year, and while I initially thought it would be dull and uninspiring, I found myself fascinated each day.  You get to know your legislators like  TV characters, and get caught up in their plot-lines and dramas. 

 

But it’s also empowering to be so close to the action – you’re watching your government discuss your laws and your life in real-time.  You’ll be informing our audience and those around you of issues & events they don’t have the time to follow.  True – parts can be dull, but (and I might be a nerd) I was riveted and inspired most days.

Off my soapbox.  Drop me a line at jennifer.whigham@theuptake.org if you’d like to be involved.  The session starts February 4th and runs through May or June.  Hours vary at the legislature, but they’ll mostly run normal business hours. Shifts can be as little as one hour at time, or the entire day, depending on your availability and desire. 

I’ll add your name to the list, and then send out a sign-up sheet in the next few weeks.  Thanks for watching!

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