May 29, 2020

Showing Off Circle of Blue Colleagues and Reporting in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — On Wednesday evening October 8, 2014 Circle of Blue, the Traverse City-based global news organization, is inviting colleagues and friends to meet our talented staff and learn about the state-of-the-art multimedia work we are doing that is changing the world. This is no exaggeration. And while Circle of Blue has developed expertise and new digital tools to report on the consequences of the fierce global contest for natural resources, the successes …

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Luka Lesson and ‘Exit’ Enter Global Realm With A Rapper’s Reach

On Thursday, May 15, Jacksonville, Florida hosts the World Arts Film Festival, a three-day exploration of 21st century short videos, discussion, workshops, and creativity. One of the stars of the weekend is Luka Lesson, an Australian hip hop artist, poet, and activist. Three of Luka’s videos will be among the 100 or so shown at the festival. This is turning into a big month for Luka Lesson. On May 1 he also released ‘Exit,’ his …

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Multi-Media Environmental Journalism at Circle of Blue

Since the day back in 1981, when Inquiry Magazine dispatched me to the mountains of Cherokee County to find out why a popular defoliant was causing so much trouble in the forests and small towns of western North Carolina, I’ve been an environmental reporter. Today, Circle of Blue, where I serve as a senior editor and producer, posted “Reign of Sand,” an online multi-media report on the transition from grass to dust that is occurring …

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A Journalist Turned Environmental Activist in China

My new MacBook has a video camera and communications features (okay, don’t laugh all you Apple freaks) that enables me to dial up sources on Skype and also see who I’m talking to on my screen. On Friday morning I used these tools to interview John D. Liu, an American-born videographer, soil scientist, and founder of the Environmental Education Media Project for China, a 10-year-old environmental organization based in Beijing. My questions concerned the growing …

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Flip: As Bali Climate Conference Begins, One Man Makes a Multi-Media Difference

How useful can imagination and multi-media imagery be in helping to explain the risks of global warming? Check out this remarkable interactive map produced by Architecture 2030, the non-profit founded by Ed Mazria, an architect based in New Mexico. Each of the red hot spots identifies a coastal community that would largely disappear in a torrent of tidal flooding caused by the melting ice caps. It’s among the most immediately visual scenarios of a potential national calamity …

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Saying Goodbye To Thanksgivings With Newspapers

Thanksgiving at my house in White Plains wasn’t just the day that you could hear the trumpets and trombones warming up at the old stadium for the annual high school football game, or when grandmothers and grandfathers from both sides, aunts and uncles and cousins showed up for Mom’s turkey feast. It also was the day that the Reporter Dispatch thumped onto the driveway, a holiday newspaper stuffed with advertisements and inserts. It’s still that way in some …

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New Midwest Online News Entry

John Bebow, an active member of the association of newsies-who-became-public-interest-advocates, sent an interesting item in his weekly email alert about the emergence of online news organizations in the Midwest. John diverged from a decorated daily news career,  that included stops at the Detroit News and Chicago Tribune, to become the executive director of the Center For Michigan, a nearly two-year-old non-profit that focuses on state economic and competitiveness issues that was founded by Phil Powers, the founder and former …

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1Sky, Step it Up, and the Citizen-Media Campaign to Prompt Action on Climate

[youtube]q71cMRGXx9o[/youtube] When it came to reaching large numbers of people in the 20th century, it was all about mass. Mass marketing. Mass audiences. Mass communication. Journalist David Halberstam published an important book in 1979, The Powers That Be, that documented the influence of a handful of large publishers — Time, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times — and a broadcast company — CBS — in setting the cultural, political, and social agenda in the United States.  One of the …

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Onward to Clinton Global Initiative in New York

[youtube]9Jhu6uk3sMw[/youtube] Three years ago when he founded the Clinton Global Initiative, which has emerged as one of the most influential and prestigious annual gatherings of world leaders, former President Bill Clinton understood that the new century’s formative operating principles depended on collaboration, not hierarchy. Only through the efforts of  untraditional allies working together could people make progress on any idea or project of real significance. If you doubt this, just consider that in the 20th …

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You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

  As a lifelong member of the tribe of career adventurists it’s time to announce another turn in the journey. I am leaving the Michigan Land Use Institute to take a new position as senior editor and strategist for Circle of Blue, an independent online journalism, research, and movement building organization focused on helping to solve the freshwater crisis. What’s especially keen, along with the great promise of a new way to influence a global environmental and economic crisis, is that I won’t …

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