Monday, December 7, 2009

Take a look in the "Middle"

MediaNext is really all about bringing people together to think and discuss topics around new media. And the whole phenomenon is so, well... new, that we're finding that these discussions often lead to innovative ways of thinking about new media journalism.

In November, Internews Ukraine invited David Brewer to speak at a MediaNext event. Brewer's talk was fascinating. But equally as fascinating was the dynamic group of professionals who found themselves sitting in a room together, considering how best to format their websites, what they would write on their blogs about this, and what they could "tweet" that would have the greatest impact.

After the event, Brewer coined the term "Middle Media," which I suspect will become familiar journalism vernacular before too long. He was referring to the group of people he met that day in Kyiv: a community of bloggers and journalists who have set out to fill the gap between traditional media and social networking.

Middle Media is about providing quality, verified information about things that are overlooked by the big news agencies and getting it out there to the public on Facebook, on Twitter, on blogs-- anywhere the public congregates, so does Middle Media.

The diverse voices that make up Middle Media are knowledgeable and enthusiastic and ready to change the world. They're the kind of voices you want reporting on the news.

Ukraine's Middle Media is expanding and improving thanks to MediaNext and forward-thinkers like David Brewer. The Ukrainian people are craving news they can rely on-- news that they have decided is important- whenever and wherever they want it. Middle Media is satisfying that need.

Traditional media forms might not be dead yet, but they will indisputably need to modify the way they do their job if they are to survive in an era where Middle Media is always ready to jump in and take on the tough issues traditional media has ignored and which are important to the public.

Middle Media.
Remember that term because you'll be hearing it more and more.

If you'd like to read more about what David Brewer has to say about Middle Media, check out his article on it.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What is MediaNext?

Can new media change the fundamental structure of our society?

The MediaNext team thinks it can.
The possibilities of new media are absolutely endless! Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and blogs aren't just for teenagers planning parties anymore! MediaNext is at the forefront of a fundamental transformation in journalism.

So what is MediaNext? At Internews Ukraine we call it a project with soul. We're creating a whole community of journalists who are paving the way for Ukraine into the future of media.

We're bringing together professional journalists and editors, civil journalists and media activists, bloggers, NGO leaders, and journalism students from across Ukraine - all with new-media in mind!

Ukrainian journalists who participate in the MediaNext program receive training on the latest social media techniques, hear inspiring guest speakers (we've already heard from David Brewer and Piet Bakker), and learn from each others experiences.

And it's working! Participants have gone on to create online versions of their newspapers and created flash mob events using new media. Essentially, these innovative journalists are ushering the entire Ukrainian media sphere into a new era!

The initiative is proving that we can indeed shape the structure of society through the use of new media. And along the way, we're showing how everyday Ukrainian people can decide what should be considered important to the media.

Excited yet? We are.
Stick around because there will be updates and news of MediaNext programs