It Was A Wild Ride. Thank You All!

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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.

The UpTake has the strongest board than it has ever had, a stronger financial position and a strong brand. Now is time for me to grow in different directions and leave The UpTake to new leadership. There are other exciting ideas I want to pursue in technology and I need to re-engage with the Arts. I hope to be sharing some of these ideas and plans soon. I will be helping The UpTake through this transition as “Founding Director” which will be a limited role to advise and consult. Thanks again to you all for the support over the years for The UpTake. Keep watching!

Thanks for everything everyone!

Jason Barnett
Founding Director
The UpTake

Looking back I wanted to highlight some of the accomplishments The UpTake achieved in the last seven years. With our award last week from the Society of Professional Journalists for “Best Website” beating Minnesota Public Radio and the Star Tribune I feel even more honored to have worked with this team. Here are some of the other highlights over the years.

2007: The UpTake starts as a means to allow new voices to emerge in the rise of social media and video accessibility. The concept’s mission is exemplified by widespread viewing of the Critical Mass bicycle event in Minneapolis.

2007: The UpTake incorporates live streaming video to cover events in real time. The effort takes off with coverage of the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2008 presidential election.

2008: The UpTake secures its first outside funding source and gears up for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

The organization trained dozens of staff and volunteers to use emerging video technologies to explore every angle of the political event and the concurrent controversial police crackdown on citizens intent on expressing themselves outside the convention hall. The UpTake was frequently the first media organization on the scene with trained representatives using cell phones, streaming technology and Twitter to distribute news quickly and effectively to a new audience hungry for news often not covered by mainstream outlets. The coverage made the national stage and set up The UpTake’s coverage of the presidential campaigns.

After the election, The UpTake distinguished itself with live streaming coverage of the legal battle for the recount of the close senatorial election between candidates Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The UpTake’s technological expertise and even-handed approach earned praise from all sides including Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson for helping improve the public’s trust in the process through transparency.

The Center for Public Integrity named The UpTake one of the “Top 10 Websites of the Year.”

2009: After a long battle, The UpTake became the first all-digital media organization to get credentials at the Minnesota Legislature. The UpTakes live streaming and recorded coverage of the legislative process becomes a regular feature.

2009: The UpTake flies to Copenhagen, Denmark to cover the United Nations Climate Talks.

2010: The UpTake is awarded the Accessible News Outlet Media Excellence Award by the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans for Live streaming and transcribing every debate in the 2010 Minnesota Gubernatorial race

2011: The UpTake covers Wisconsin labor protests in response to proposals by new Gov. Scott Walker.

2012: The Freedom of the Press Foundation selects The UpTake as one of its first four recipients of crowd-sourcing assistance, saluting the organization for its efforts to promote government transparency and to hold power accountable.

2013: Donors to The UpTake’s Kickstarter campaign ensure documentation of Minnesota’s historic policy battle to first turn back a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and then the legislature’s legalization of gay marriage in the state.

2014: Wins “Best Website” from the Society of Professional Journalists.

[media-credit id=2 align=”alignleft” width=”336″]SPJ "Best Website" 2014[/media-credit]

Jason Barnett

One of the founders of The UpTake, Jason Barnett holds a degree in Fine Arts and was a professional sculptor before he brought his talents as a creative thinker with an interest in news, politics and technology to The UpTake, which he continues to lead. More about Jason Barnett »

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