Blog

Commentary, announcements and other notes from The UpTake

Recent Posts

It Was A Wild Ride. Thank You All!

Jason Barnett, Executive Director of The UpTake

Dear supporters and friends of The UpTake, I would like to officially announce I’m leaving my position as Executive Director with The UpTake. Since founding this organization in 2007, The UpTake has been my passion, my work, and my path to meeting so many amazing people from all over the world. It has been an honor working with all the brilliant and dedicated people over the years who have been a part of The UpTake. Many of you know my health has not been great, my back problems over the last 18 months have dramatically challenged my ability to perform my role at The UpTake. But even if this wasn’t the case I know it is time for me to move on to other things. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Design for Public Good: An UpTake video wins praise from public design group

Olsen

An eight-minute video from The UpTake’s co-founder, Chuck Olsen, and his company, VidTiger, has won notice for its skillful emphasis on the connection between good design and the public good. The UpTake is not only proud, we want to be sure our audience notices Chuck’s “mini-doc” film about the building of the Nyanza Maternity Hospital in Rwanda. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The UpTake’s Executive Director Jason Barnett: Still Making A Difference

Capitol View from The UpTake's Office

Dear friend and supporter of The UpTake:

For The UpTake, 2013 was an eventful and productive year that marked a transition to a deeper citizen-engaged journalism that brought additional recognition, a growing audience and a more solid role in telling the stories that make The UpTake unique and important. The year began on a high note, with The UpTake being honored by the brand new Freedom of The Press Foundation for its work. The Foundation’s Glenn Greenwald –- the journalist who broke the Edward Snowden NSA spying revelation – praised The UpTake for “breaking down walls of power … by pushing for transparency and access to information” in a way that serves as a model for “how to engage in real journalism.”

The UpTake pledges that we will continue to improve and expand our effort to keep you in the know -– and help you understand what it means -– by bringing you the truth as honestly and fearlessly as we can. With your help, The UpTake will continue to be on your side. Please consider making a donation now. Continue Reading →

Filed under:

School Reformers’ Choir: Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates All Sing From Same Hymnal

Minneapolis Schools: Slippery Roads Ahead

Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, The UpTake live-streamed a Minneapolis Mayoral debate on education. The candidates seemed remarkably similar in their stances, considering the intensity of the debate surrounding public schools. So we asked Rob Levine, a critic of the school reform movement, to give us his take on this important issue. Guest commentary for The UpTake from Rob Levine

“That sounded like a sermon -– wow!” So enthused Nekima Levy-Pounds, moderator of Monday’s Minneapolis Mayoral Education Forum at the Mill City Museum at the conclusion of candidate Don Samuels’ rousing remarks. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Old Media Catches On To Livestreaming — And Tries To Catch Up With The UpTake

Sen. Wendy Davis during her filibuster against a Texas bill that would have rolled bback abortion rights. Photo by The Texas Tribune

Keeping You Posted — An OpenLetter from Jason Barnett, Executive Director of The UpTake

The social media buzz sparked by the live-streamed video of Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster in the Texas State Senate is still going strong. The Columbia Journalism Review is practically fainting at the “sexy” power of this whole, new-fangled series of tubes and things we, um, call The Internet. CJR’s headline about the Texas Tribune’s video streaming of the event, which captured online viewers from coast to coast, was, “Making politics and policy news sexy,” with the breathless story focusing on the magic of this whole “live video” thing. To us at The UpTake, it was as if CJR had caught up to the invention of the trans-Atlantic telegraph. What Hath God Wrought, indeed. I have news for CJR and other folks who have just begun to tumble to the fact that delivery of public-interest events like Davis’ brave stand against a punitive anti-abortion proposal has jumped ahead of the 20th Century. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The New Watchdogs: Keeping You Posted, by Jason Barnett, Executive Director of The UpTake

What has happened to local and state government reporting in a time of legacy media budget-trimming, staff cutbacks and a loss of commitment to fearless journalism and truth-telling? I’m sure you already know the answer, and it isn’t good. That’s why I have been invited to present a panel discussion at April’s National Conference for Media Reform in Denver in order to examine the debilitated state of local government reporting across the country, and to discuss ideas to strengthen it. The title of my session is, “The New Watchdogs: Holding Power to Account.” And yes, you bet, I believe that The UpTake is one of the best emerging models out there for making sure that the public interest is upheld in the corridors of power. We’ll be talking about the decline of “accountability reporting” — the worrisome state of local political reporting across the country during an era of for-profit media disintegration and disarray, as well as strategies to improve this crucial type of reporting. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Help The UpTake continue its live Wisconsin coverage

Dear UpTake Supporter,

In order for us to continue its live coverage of the events in “The Badger State,” Spot.Us is increasing The UpTake’s fundraising goal from $15,000 to $25,000. Why the need for extra money? Our costs to provide live streaming is $2,000 a day. We want to keep livestreaming the events for as long as possible. Every day for almost three weeks we’ve been providing live insight into the Wisconsin protests. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

End Of “Quick On The UpTake”

Mike McIntee

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my last “Quick On The UpTake” show on AM950. Throughout the program’s 19-month run, our smart and savvy audience has been an integral part of the show, providing me instant feedback, information and corrections through our live blog. If you were a guest, I just had to hold the reins and let you all do the talking. If you were a behind-the-scenes volunteer, you made it possible for me to focus on keeping things on the rails. If you were one of the many people who filled in for me, you helped me keep my sanity. Continue Reading →

Filed under: ,

Welcome To Our New Website

New look, new functionalities, better search – same old reliable UpTake content.  We’re still moving into the site, unpacking the boxes and trying out all the new tech goodies so not everything is as it should be yet.  If you see something that’s not working, please send us an email Continue Reading →

Filed under:

The Dali Lama, Barbie and Commodity Fetishism

Two 50th anniversaries happen this week. It is the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule. Also in China, Mattel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barbie by opening up a six story retail emporium- complete with a restaurant & bar, and salon to get facials and manicures: say hello to House of Barbie in Shanghai.  
Written/ presented by Dennis Trainor Jr. Dennis Trainor Jr is a regular video contributor to TheUptake.org. He was a writer & media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign & a 2007 “Best of YouTube” nominee for his work as writer/ performer on “The Hermit with Davis Fleetwood.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: