Jason Barnett

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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 →

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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 →

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UpTake To Launch Live “Community Innovation” Coverage With $50K Bush Foundation Grant

The UpTake Logo

With the help of a $50,000 grant from the Bush Foundation, The UpTake will be engaging the public through live town halls and web video shows with the goal of finding solutions to Minnesota’s thorniest problems. The town halls and shows will help document ideas to help Minnesota. The UpTake and its professional and citizen journalists will follow-up and report on the best ideas and conversations. Continue Reading →

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Today’s UpTake: Dayton’s Team Begins to Take Shape

Governor Tim Pawlenty and Governor-Elect Mark Dayton

No sooner did Minnesota Governor-elect Mark Dayton appear at a joint news conference with outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty yesterday, did he begin to announce his staff for the administration that begins Jan. 3. Continue Reading →

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Today’s UpTake: Governor-Elect Dayton Appears with Pawlenty

Governor-Elect Mark Dayton

Today, five weeks and two days after the Nov. 2 election, former Democratic Senator Mark Dayton is now officially Governor-Elect Mark Dayton. As such, he’ll appear today at 2:45 p.m. in the Governors Reception Room at the State Capitol with Minnesota’s soon-to-be outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty. Continue Reading →

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