Today I worked on two stories while in the Community Media Lab. The first involves a Ypsilanti man found guilty of forcing four minors he brought with him from West Africa to do labor for him using force and the threat of force. The second case was an update on proceedings for Leonardo Christian, who will next be returning to court to face trial in January for multiple criminal sexual conduct charges involving teenage victims.
There was also the workshop today on navigating social media. I spoke with a couple of the attendees after the workshop concluded. One man I spoke to seemed eager to return to make use of the Community Media Lab more in the near future. I also heard about a question asked before the workshop, unrelated to it specifically, along the lines of “What’s the catch?” as far as what the lab offers.
Well, there is no catch, although we are trying to encourage community journalism – which can be as simple as us helping you share information about the topics and interests important to you. Anyone is free to come in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and visit to see what we have to offer. We offer training and help with various social media accounts, digital tools and various programs. For example, I’ve become rather accustomed to doing tutorials on how to produce videos with iMovie.
We offer workshops on a wide variety of topics and, while these topics are generally relevant to journalists like us, they can be helpful for anyone who wants to learn new techniques, such as a business owner looking for new methods of promoting their business. In all these cases the services of the Community Media Lab are offered free as a service to the community.