What occasion would invite participation from the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento Press, the Sacramento Observer, KCRA Channel 3, KOVR Channel 13, Senior Magazine, Capitol Public Radio, and Video Streaming Services Company? No – not a major train wreck at 19th and Capital. No, the Governor did not threaten to resign. Yes – free lunch was served but there had to be a more compelling reason for so many key media leaders to come together. Give up?
The fourth meeting of the Neighborhood News & Youth Media Task Force filled the Coloma TV studio this past Friday to discuss the (a) RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed for News Gathering and Distribution… What role does  the RSS feed currently play in your news gatheringand reporting? How might Access Sacramento helpin shaping future uses of the RSS feed for your organization?
What did we learn in two packed hours? We learned that each media organization is doing more with fewer personnel. We learned that each organization is “experimenting” with Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds, inviting their viewers and readers to become participants in the news gathering process. But how these new efforts help or hinder their “bottom-line” remains a mystery. “We have to invest and try new strategies but right now the return on investment is low” shared Joe Barr, News Director, Capitol Public Radio. “But this is the future… that is a fact we all know.”
And to give balance to the conversation leaders from the public and NPO sectors were in attendance ncluding: Christine Tien, The CA. Endowment, Rivka Sass, Sacramento County Libraries, Odiri Napper, Greater Sacramento Urban League, Frederick Lamora, Visions in Education Charter Schools, and more. Together they provided insight on how their agencies plan to use social media. The Task Force asked them:How might RSS feed technology behelpful to groups and organizations throughout Sacramento County telling your “story” to local media? How might NNB and YMF better help your efforts to serve your communities?
And we also heard from Fong Tran of Asian Resources and Kevin Lawless of Valley Hi-North Laguna Library, current NNB participants. Fong spoke enthusiastically about how important the “storytelling process” can be for youth he works with. “Young people feel validated when they read their work posted online at channel 10 or the Bee. They want to be involved and heard.”
Kevin was interested in exploring new opportunities for library customers. Rivka Saas was pleased with what she heard. “The Libraries are discussing how best to proceed. But we are a wonderful community resource scattered throughout the County in 28 different locations. We want to know more and see if we can work together.”
The meeting ended right on time but the conversation continues. The next meeting of the Task Force will be Friday September 9.  At that meeting we will restate what we have learned and prioritize our next steps and report back to the Board of Directors.