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PRESS RELEASE

IMI Celebrates National U.S. “Media Literacy Week”

Learn about the what, why and how of news at Boise State University November 6-10, 2017

(New York, NY – September 14, 2017) – The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) today announced U.S. Media Literacy Week (#MediaLitWk) will be held November 6 –10, 2017. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to raise awareness about the need for media literacy education and its essential role in education today.

Organizations, schools, educators and Media Literacy Week partners from all over the country will work with NAMLE to participate in events including #MediaLitWk classroom lessons, virtual events, online chats, screenings, PSA’s, panel discussions and more. Sponsored by Trend Micro, Nickelodeon, Twitter, and Facebook and hosted by NAMLE, U.S. Media Literacy Week has the support of numerous partnering organizations, media literacy experts and educators across the nation.

The third annual U.S. Media Literacy Week will kick off with a launch event hosted by Reuters in NYC on November 6. The event will bring together journalists, pre-K to grade 12 educators, higher education professors and researchers to create dialogue around teaching media literacy and providing the tools students need to develop critical thinking skills around news and the media. A wrap up event will be held at Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco on November 10. Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the U.S. NAMLE hosts Media Literacy Week to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations nationwide and drives conversation that creates positive social change and increased civic engagement.

“In just three years U.S. Media Literacy Week has grown into a truly nationwide event. We anticipate more than 200 partners with events occurring in all 50 states. Media Literacy, the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, communicate, and create all forms of media, is proving vital especially with the current political climate and information onslaught the public must navigate,” said NAMLE Executive Director, Michelle Ciulla Lipkin. “Our goal with Media Literacy Week is to shine a spotlight on the work educators and researchers are doing in this field and the need for a media literacy mandate in education today.”

Organizations and Educators Welcome to Contribute All are welcome to participate in Media Literacy Week efforts. Regional chairs are ready to help and provide tools, tips and materials for events. It’s up to each educator and NAMLE Media Literacy Week organization to decide how they will participate. Locally, Boise State University students and faculty will host a series of events throughout the campus and community.

For more information, contact Carissa Wolf at carissawolf@boisestate.edu

 

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PRESS RELEASE

IMI hosts discussion on Media Literacy, Fake News, Politics and Power

For Immediate Release

Oct. 2, 2017

On Jan. 17, 2018 IMI co-founder Seth Ashley will moderate a panel at Boise’s Fettuccini Forum on Media Literacy, Fake News, Politics and Power.

From fake news to real journalism, news and social media played a central role in the 2016 election and continues to be a key issue in figuring out where we go from here as a divided electorate. Without much hope for policy solutions or business model breakthroughs, media advocates turn to media literacy education to help create a more informed and more discriminating citizenry.

Panelist will discuss why the media consumer needs to be more competent than ever—from being able to spot hoaxes and fake news to understanding the technologies that have upended traditional media to recognizing the economics and politics that influence the news— in order for a self-governing society to flourish.

The IMI was founded by a group of journalists and educators that recognize the vital connection between media and democracy. The IMI aims to promote civic engagement through research, education, collaboration and the support of public interest journalism. The Idaho Media Initiative works in partnership with the university to serve as a community resource for media pedagogy, professional training and media production.

The initiative provides funding for under reported journalism projects, serves as a resource professional training and K-12 and higher education media literacy curriculum development, The IMI regularly sponsors school and community based media literacy workshops, hosts public forums and discussions and advances media literacy educational opportunities at the university.

For more information, contact Carissa Wolf at carissawolf@boisestate.edu.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

Media Initiative Invites Journalists to Apply for Funding

 

BY: CIENNA MADRID   PUBLISHED 10:16 AM / APRIL 6, 2016

The Idaho Media Initiative (IMI) invites journalists to apply for project funding through its Idaho Public Affairs Reporting Fund program. The program awards funds to public affairs reporting projects that dig into Idaho politics and public policy issues emphasizing enterprise, in-depth, watchdog and investigative reporting.

“We know that we cannot have a vibrant democracy without a vibrant press,” said IMI co-creator Carissa Wolf. “We depend upon reporters to keep power in check, inform citizens and stimulate civic engagement. Reporters are true public servants. But sadly, funding shortfalls have significantly diminished the number of working journalists across the nation by nearly a third in recent decades.”

The Public Affairs Reporting Fund is part of IMI’s efforts to find innovative ways to stimulate civic engagement through journalism production and education. All Idaho journalists are invited to apply for the funding award, which has a rolling deadline. Applicants are asked to submit a resume, personal statement, professional profile, three work samples, an editor endorsement, a project proposal and a budget proposal.

Proposals that tackle public affairs with an investigative and enterprising eye will take priority. Applicants are also encouraged to propose creative ways to fold students into their reporting process or bring what they learned through their projects into the classroom. To learn more about the award and the Idaho Media Initiative, visit http://sps.boisestate.edu/imi/grants/.

The funding provided by the initiative helps fill in the reporting gaps left by dwindling newsroom resources while also offering Boise State students the opportunity to learn from professional journalists. Last year, the initiative funded five reporting projects that examined issues ranging from homelessness to health care policy to state spending. Each project offered journalism students learning opportunities through internships and reporting workshops hosted by the award winners.

“Our students gained valuable real-world skills and insights that took their learning beyond the classroom,” Wolf said.

The IMI recognizes the vital connections between media and democracy and promotes civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration. Since 2014, the initiative has provided media literacy education to more than 400 public school students and community members, co-hosted discussions on the importance of news, boosted media literacy course offerings at Boise State University, provided continuing education opportunities to working journalists and forged partnerships with media organizations to find innovative and collaborative ways to advance news production.

To learn more about the award and the Idaho Media Initiative, visit http://sps.boisestate.edu/imi/grants/.

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PRESS RELEASE

IMI at BSU presents Wisconsin Rising

For Immediate Release                                                   

October 26, 2015

Help the Idaho Media Initiative celebrate and support intelligent journalism, documentary and media production by attending a free screening of “Wisconsin Rising” followed by a Q and A session with director Sam Mayfield on November 9 at 6 pm at the Boise State University Special Events Center.

“Wisconsin Rising” tells the story of the largest sustained workers resistance in American history. In 2011, Wisconsin was the canary in the coal mine for America as newly-elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker stripped collective bargaining rights from the state’s public employees, undoing eight decades of basic workers’ rights. “Wisconsin Rising” catapults the viewer in to the days, weeks, and months when Wisconsinites fought back against power, injustice and authority.

What started out for Mayfield as a four-day freelance assignment, turned into seven months of filming and editing. The result is a documentary critics called nothing short of dramatic.

“‘Wisconsin Rising’ captures the spirit and intensity of the dramatic events as they unfolded, and reminds us that we cannot predict the future, and we should not forget our past, even our recent past,” said Robert McChesney, PhD, Professor at the University of Illinois.

When Mayfield, a Boise State University graduate, arrived in Wisconsin, she knew history was unfolding before her eyes and she couldn’t leave. Mayfield says she felt compelled to make the film because no one else was shooting the events as she saw it.

Mayfield, who says her education at Boise State taught her to think critically about commercial media and the way our media system covers social movement and social unrest, hopes the film will provoke smart conversation about social change.

After graduating from Boise State’s Communication Department, Mayfield embarked on an international filmmaking career that took her to Mexico, India, West Africa, Palestine and Israel. Her work has appeared on Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV, PBS and in other media outlets.

Recognizing the vital connections between media and democracy, the IMI promotes civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration. The IMI works in partnership with Boise State University to serve as a community resource for news, media pedagogy and professional training through innovative partnerships, the development of alternative news funding sources, and the production of intelligent and reliable reporting.

Since the IMI gained funding in late 2014, the Initiative has provided media literacy education to high school students and civic groups in the community, co-hosted discussions on the importance of news, boosted media literacy course offerings at Boise State University, provided continuing education opportunities to working journalists and forged partnerships with media organizations to find innovative and collaborative ways advance news production.

“Mayfield’s work highlights the importance of supporting journalists and media producers. Without the work of reporters and documentary filmmakers like Mayfield, important stories will simply go untold,” said IMI co-creator, Carissa Wolf.

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For more information check out www.wisconsinrising.com or visit IMI at www.sps.boisestate.edu/imi.

 

Idaho Media Initiative Debuts Award-Winning Projects Oct. 17

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 2:11 pm / October 7, 2015

 

The Idaho Media Initiative (IMI) welcomes its inaugural slate of awarding-winning journalists to present their reporting projects at a public forum from 6-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Boise State University’s downtown BoDo building (301 S. Capitol Blvd). Afterward, the IMI will host a discussion on “Why News Matters.”

“This event serves as the official launch of the Idaho Media Initiative and will showcase IMI’s work in media literacy, journalism education and news production,” said IMI co-creator Carissa Wolf. “We’ve spent the last year educating students and the community, promoting news production and advancing the discussion about the importance of news in a free society. We’re excited to showcase what we’ve done and invite journalists and the community to join our efforts.”

Last spring, the IMI funded five reporting projects as part of its larger mission to educate, inform and engage our communities through media production, literacy and civic engagement. The award winners were selected from different media – print, radio and film – and work independently or for established outlets. Each received $2,000 from IMI this year to pursue in-depth, public-affairs stories that impact local communities in Idaho and otherwise would have gone unreported. Projects range from watchdog reporting on the loose oversight of alternative health providers to reporting that dug deep to find the hidden problems surrounding homelessness in the state.

“This project represents the findings of a year-long investigation,” said project award winner and freelance journalist Eric Hayes. His project explored wading through the legal tangle of securing access to financial documents.

The five projects are slated for publication through host media publications and will be made available on IMI’s website for free distribution by media outlets. Organizations are encouraged to redistribute the articles with proper attribution and acknowledgement of IMI funding.

In addition, each of the journalists folded educational opportunities for Boise State students and student reporters into the production and presentation of their IMI-funded projects. Later this fall, they will use their finished journalistic pieces to engage the public through events that take the issues they tackled beyond story publication and into the communities they affect.

Recognizing the vital connections between media and democracy, the IMI promotes civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration. The IMI works in partnership with Boise State University to serve as a community resource for news, media pedagogy and professional training through innovative partnerships, the development of alternative news funding sources, and the production of intelligent and reliable reporting.

Since the IMI gained funding in late 2014, the Initiative has provided media literacy education to high school students and civic groups in the community, co-hosted discussions on the importance of news, boosted media literacy course offerings at Boise State University, provided continuing education opportunities to working journalists and forged partnerships with media organizations to find innovative and collaborative ways advance news production.

“We’ve lost about one third of our working journalists across the nation in the past three decades. This has dire consequences on the health of our democracy,” Wolf said. “We’re committed to filling in the reporting gaps left by these resource shortfalls through collaborations, partnerships and project funding that engage our communities and offer our students a chance to learn real-world reporting skills.”

The IMI is one of roughly two-dozen university-based news centers and initiatives that have emerged in recent years as a response to the changing media ecosystem.

“Universities have long been places of problem solving, innovation and discovery. It makes sense that universities have stepped up to advance the future of journalism. It’s a challenge that’s in the public interest and a challenge that puts Boise State University and the Idaho Media Initiative in the forefront of media innovation and education,” Wolf said.

To learn more about the project award winners and the Idaho Media Initiative visit: https://sps.boisestate.edu/imi/imi-award-recipients/

PRESS RELEASE

Engage with IMI’s Public Affairs Reporting Award Winners 

October 1, 2015

 Boise, ID, Oct. 1, 2015 – The Idaho Media Initiative (IMI) will officially unveil its inaugural slate of awarding-winning journalists and stories at a public forum Saturday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Boise State University’s downtown BoDo building, 301 S. Capitol Blvd. Afterwards, the IMI will also host a discussion on the topic of “Why News Matters.”

Recognizing the vital connections between media and democracy, the IMI promotes civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration. The IMI works in partnership with Boise State University to serve as a community resource for news, media pedagogy and professional training through innovative partnerships, the development of alternative news funding sources, and the production of intelligent and reliable reporting.

The five award winners were selected from different media – print, radio and film – and work independently or for established outlets. Each received $2,000 from IMI this year to pursue in-depth, public-affairs stories that have an impact on local communities in Idaho.

About the 2015 IMI Award Winners (full bios available at https://sps.boisestate.edu/imi/imi-award-recipients/):

Frankie Barnhill is a general assignment reporter for Boise State Public Radio. She has interned at American Public Media, worked at Minnesota Public Radio and served as a fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. Barnhill won a grant from the city of Boise’s Arts and History Department to profile emerging artists for Boise State Public Radio in 2014. She hails from Missoula, MT and graduated from the College of St. Catherine.

Audrey Dutton is a business and health care reporter for the Idaho Statesman. She has written for numerous publications, including Newsday and the Washington Post, and has won several journalism awards, including Reporter of the Year from the Idaho Press Club and top reporting honors from the Society of Professional Journalists. She grew up in Twin Falls and returned to Idaho four years ago. Dutton earned her M.S. in journalism at Columbia University.

Eric Hayes is a freelance journalist whose professional writing projects range from studies of digital technology in agricultural production to law review articles on human trafficking at the Olympic Games, to op-eds for non-profit groups working on wilderness issues. While working on his M.F.A. at the University of Idaho, Hayes focused his studies on creative non-fiction, including the lives of historic American writers who helped create a fourth genre of writing that blurs the boundary between journalism and literature.

Cameron Rasmusson is editor of the Sandpoint Reader, where he edits other people’s work, reports and writes large feature articles and works to keep journalism alive in Northern Idaho. Rasmussen began his reporting career as an intern for the Missoula Independent. At the Bonner County Daily Bee, he worked the city and business beats and wrote human interest and arts features. Rasmussen’s stories have also appeared in the Coeur d’Alene Press, Boise Weekly and Flathead Beacon.

Zach Voss is an independent filmmaker and owns a Boise production company which makes commercial and creative videos. He also makes documentary films and related web content. Journalism introduced him to video production and now he’s looking to expand his reporting experience with the skills he developed as a videographer and storyteller. Born and raised in Idaho, Voss says he’s invested in this state and contributing to Idaho’s progress by offering compelling content to the forum of public affairs reporting.

Contact: Dr. Seth Ashley at sethashley@boisestate.edu or (208) 426-4495 or Carissa Wolf at carissawolf@boisestate.edu or (208) 353-1839

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PRESS RELEASE

The Idaho Media Initiative awards funds for journalism projects

June 26, 2015

The Idaho Media Initiative at Boise State University is pleased to announce the winners of the Initiative’s inaugural Public Affairs Reporting Awards.

Award winners received a $2,000 award to assist with the reporting and production of journalism projects that will examine under-reported public affairs issues in the state of Idaho.

“These award winners represent the best of Idaho journalists. They have dedicated their careers to educating, informing and engaging the public and stand as some of our greatest assets in the promotion of democracy,” said Idaho Media Initiative co-creator Carissa Wolf.

The winners include Idaho Statesman health and business reporter Audrey Dutton, Boise State Public Radio reporter Frankie Barnhill, freelance journalist Eric Hayes, Sandpoint Reader editor Cameron Rasmusson and independent filmmaker Zach Voss.

The funds were awarded to hard-hitting proposals that incorporated student learning opportunities into the reporting process and offered strong civic engagement opportunities that extend beyond publication.

“These awards are part of the Initiative’s mission to educate, inform and engage our communities through the production of quality journalism while creating unique learning opportunities for students at Boise State University. These journalists will take what they learned through their reportage into the classroom to give our students an unparalleled learning experience,” Wolf said.

The IMI was created at Boise State by freelance journalist and sociology instructor, Carissa Wolf and Seth Ashley, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, in order to help satisfy the information needs of a democratic society. The IMI strives to address media funding and resource shortfalls through innovative collaborations, educational opportunities and reporting projects that engage and inform our communities.

“Without intelligent, reliable reporting the public does not have the resources they need to make informed decisions, hold power accountable or participate in democracy. The awards enable these journalists to keep doing what they do well and teach the next generation of journalists,” Wolf said.

To learn more about the Initiative and how you can support journalism, visit http://sspa.boisestate.edu/imi/.

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PRESS RELEASE

Idaho Media Initiative calls for journalism funding applications

December 9, 2014

The Idaho Media Initiative invites journalists to submit applications for one of IMI’s 2015 Idaho Public Affairs Reporting Fund Awards.

Freelance and staff journalists in print, broadcast and online journalism are encouraged to apply for one of five $2,000 awards to fund public affairs reporting projects.

“Journalism is vital to a healthy, vibrant democracy and the Idaho Media Initiative aims to promote civic engagement through innovative projects and initiatives that educate, engage and inform. These project funding awards are part of our broader mission to stimulate civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration,” said IMI co-founder Carissa Wolf.

A committee of concerned journalists and educators founded IMI in 2013 in partnership with Boise State University. The IMI strives to address media funding and resource shortfalls through collaborations, educational opportunities and reporting projects that engage and inform our communities.

Awards will fund projects that investigate and explore Idaho public affairs issues that would otherwise go unreported. The IMI also aims to enhance student learning opportunities and seeks grant applications that can incorporate students in the reporting process.

“Reporters are one of our most valuable community resources. These funds will enable journalists to advance the public interest while offering unique learning opportunities for Boise State University students,” Wolf said.

Funding will be awarded to proposals that incorporate student learning opportunities into the reporting process and promote civic engagement. The deadline for funding submissions is March 1, 2015. For more details, suggestions about how to incorporate students into your project and to apply, visit http://sspa.boisestate.edu/imi/.

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Graphic announcing event from past