Somehow I always took the idea that Open Media Boston would make it five years as a given. As hard as it sometimes is to produce original journalism about grassroots struggles for democracy on the metropolitan level week-in and week-out - getting the necessary technology online, recruiting trained journalists and training new journalists to put in the field, scraping together a gradually growing budget, and building a community of viewers - I knew that all the many people who have walked the road of this project with me would get us to this milestone. And beyond.
Every once and a while, we've found that it's a good idea to remind our viewers - especially viewers representing progressive labor, community and religious organizations - that Open Media Boston is always looking for op-eds to publish in our Opinion section. While we don't guarantee that we'll publish every submission, we generally accept all those that are timely and meet basic editorial standards. However, we realize that people may not have written an op-ed before; so this editorial will cover the basics of what we expect from our Opinion writers.
Much as our staff likes the name of our publication, Open Media Boston, we're toying with the idea of changing it. Naturally, you all will be wondering why we're even considering such a move. Well, we're just starting the process of building a new website (finally!), and if we're ever going to change our name, now would be the best possible time to do it. When I first came up with the name in July 2007, I had a few reasons for choosing it over other ideas. First, I wanted something that fit with the spirit of the then-emerging online community news media. Open. Descriptive. Blunt.
We know that non-profits typically do lots of fundraising before the December holidays to attempt to catch people in a giving mood. But here at Open Media Boston, our strategy has been like "yeah, we know we're not going to compete with the Humane Society and the Children's Hospital while people are sober and dieting to be able to blow their Jenny Craig points at holiday parties - we need to catch people when they're bloated, logy, hungover and willing to toss us their pocket change to make us go away." Which is why we always make our main funding pitch to them in early January.
A year ago today, the City of Boston destroyed the Occupy Boston encampment at Dewey Square in an early morning raid by the Boston Police Department - following a pattern that was repeated at most of the major Occupy camps around the country. A couple of days later, I wrote an editorialattacking the city and the cops for trampling on protected speech and stopping the press - including this reporter - from doing our jobs until all the tents were ripped down at the campsite and all the Occcupiers driven off or arrested.
It's been an odd last several months here at Open Media Boston; so I thought I'd just catch folks up on what we're up to. And talk about a new program we're trying out that I think will generate some interest among underemployed journalists in our fair city. Regular OMB viewers will recall that I've been finishing up my MFA in Visual Arts at a local university. My increasingly large thesis artwork has been demanding at times - forcing me to stop most of my editorial duties for several weeks thus far this year.
Yes, No, and Yes on Mass. 2012 Ballot Questions 1, 2, and 3 (and Yes on the Budget for All Question)
Getting back into the swing here after being on a school-related hiatus from journalism for a few weeks. I've been quite busy working on my MFA in Visual Arts for the second stretch this year, but decided to spend more time on my thesis artwork and finish up next semester. Which means I'm back in the editorial saddle just in time to write something about tomorrow's elections. Of course, Open Media Boston is a non-profit; so we can't back political candidates.
Last Monday evening, September 10th, I went out to cover what I thought would be a routine, paint-by-numbers story for Open Media Boston. But it turned out to be anything but routine. And I feel that the resulting conflict serves as an excellent cautionary tale for progressive non-profits, unions and co-operatives on how not to run their public relations operations.
A quick editorial for Labor Day. OK, the day after Labor Day, since I didn't ... you know ... labor yesterday. Today's Boston Globe had a nice news piece about some vile labor practices by 15 construction contractors working on the $18 million renovation of the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel in Copley Square.
There have been a couple of related alarums sounded in the Boston press over the last few weeks. The first is that our fair city has crazy high rents. True, this is not precisely news to anyone that lives here.