London's AlertNet Launches New Tool to Help Journalists and Aid Agencies Connect
Here at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, I meet so many people doing amazing, innovative things in the field - and am continually inspired. Today, I had a conversation with Ruth Gidley from AlertNet, the Reuters Foundation site dedicated to "raising awareness of crises across the globe, particularly 'forgotten' emergencies that rarely make headlines."
Ruth lives in London, but she was on campus to introduce AlertNet's latest resource, two years in the making - AlertNet for Journalists. http://www.alertnet.org/mediabridge/index.htm
While working on World Pulse Media's e-newsletters, I frequently turned to AlertNet's news feeds to find stories of women creating change even in the midst of those "forgotten emergencies," so I was excited to hear what was new. I was pretty impressed, and wanted to share it with you all.
AlertNet's project is a free set of online tools for helping journalists uncover - and then cover! - stories smarter and better, especially on topics that normally miss the mainstream front pages. But I think it would be useful for any of us...
Ruth said that these tools were created to meet the number one need AlertNet was hearing from both journalists and humanitarian workers: their need to CONNECT with each other to better tell these stories. Of course, here on PulseWire, we know connecting is the key to creating change! AlertNet is also trying to build up their bloggers(they don't have very many yet), because they recognize that we in our communities know what's going on long before outside journalists do, and that our voices are incredibly valuable. Again - here on PulseWire, getting our voices out - our stories - is exactly what we're doing.
The site's packed with statistics, country overviews, background on emergencies, lists of aid agencies worldwide and ways to contact them, media feeds, and "hotspot" mapping for the latest breaking news. One of the most valuable tools is an interactive, online training module for learning how to get out stories with real impact that newspapers will want to carry - and in general, teaching journalists to get the story right, get it deep, and then get it out there into the world.
So, I encourage everyone to check out these latest tools from AlertNet, and let's talk about new ways that we could use them - regardless of whether we wield an official "journalist" pen. Before anyone else, our own voices can tell these stories best.
photo credit: Reuters AlertNet