Now Hiring!

The UpTake is seeking freelance reporters who will explore social issues and injustices, as well as legislative politics, in order to help the organization more deeply report on social issues and social movements.

Funding journalism and building support for independent journalism

Hello UpTake supporters –

It’s been an amazing week for our organization and we’re grateful for you. I want to talk about the stretch goal we launched last week and why it’s so important we invest in training and paying freelance journalists. First, a bit of housecleaning, we had originally announced that we had made our original goal of $4,000 on Wednesday, but there was an unfortunate accounting error (I’m always learning how to do this work better) and we did not actually meet our $4,000 goal until early Sunday. Because of your generosity, we can afford to make some absolutely crucial fixes to our website’s back-end operations and technology. You’ve shown faith in our organization, our mission, and our leadership and we appreciate it.

Big news from The UpTake

 

Thank you to all who joined us for our first Community Cafe at Sammy’s Avenue Eatery on Tues. the 16th! Many of you might not know this but The UpTake has been going through a period of transition since I’ve taken over. News organizations, including our own, have struggled to find sustainability and, even more so, we’ve struggled to understand what our role is in an ever-changing world that distrusts journalism and journalists. We also believe that it’s time for journalism to reconsider who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

Respect in Reporting project provides a new lens for my reporting

The pressure on journalists to get a stories up faster, and to craft language and headlines that generate clicks not sell papers, has changed journalism. These changes often lead to sensationalized reporting, assumptions about people and facts, and a lack of respect in reporting that contributes to white supremacy, transphobia, and the dehumanization of people. To minimize the lack of respect in a changing media culture, Press Pass TV launched Respect in Reporting, a media justice campaign. Dr. Cara Berg Powers presented the Respect in Reporting campaign in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct.

Respect in Reporting at The UpTake Institute

Guest blog post by Dr. Cara Lisa Berg Powers, Co-Director of Press Pass TV.Last week I had the incredible honor and pleasure of spending the day with the inaugural class of The Uptake Institute Conflict Sensitive Journalism Fellows. This groundbreaking pilot initiative in the Twin Cities is working with a talented group of journalists to examine and deepen best practices for covering complex and intense situations with sensitivity, cultural competency, and an analysis of the ways that journalism impacts the communities it serves. As you can imagine, I was very excited when our friends at the Boston Institute for Non-Profit Journalism (BINJ) introduced us to The Uptake and connected their fellowship to the ideas behind our Respect in Reporting Campaign. Here’s a little more about the Fellowship (emphasis mine):

The fellowship serves as an incubator for conflict-sensitive journalism—an approach to journalism that emphasizes understanding, solution finding and peace building within communities and our state. Conflict-sensitive journalism borrows from conflict resolution research and practice to help journalists understand the many types of conflict—political, social, economic, cultural, religious—that they cover on a daily basis.

The UpTake Appoints New Executive Director

The UpTake board of directors has named Jeff Achen as the new executive director for the nonprofit online news organization. The change in leadership comes at time when journalism continues to evolve and opportunities increase for citizens to participate in journalism and in their democracy.

It Was A Wild Ride. Thank You All!

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.