Lewis A. Friedland is Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Departments of Sociology and Educational Psychology (affiliated), University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he directs the Center for Communication and Democracy. He teaches and conducts research on theory of the public sphere and civil society, the impact of new communication technology on society and community, social networks, community structure, public television, and qualitative and social network research methods. Friedland received the Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University (1985) and his A.B from Washington University in St. Louis (1974).

Friedland’s most recent book is The Politics of Consumption/The Consumption of Politics (with D. Shah, D. McLeod, and M. Nelson). He has also authored Public Journalism: Past and Future (Kettering Foundation Press, 2003). With Carmen Sirianni, he has published The Civic Renewal Movement (Kettering Foundation Press, 2005) and Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy, and the Movement for Civic Renewal (University of California Press 2001) and is co-founder with Sirianni of the Civic Practices Network (www.cpn.org), the first major website on civic renewal, established in 1994. In addition, he is the author of Covering the World: International Television News Services (Twentieth Century Fund Press, 1992) and more than 40 monographs, book chapters, and articles on community and civic life, public journalism, public television, new communications technologies and democracy, and international communication. Friedland has conducted research on civic journalism for the Pew Charitable Trusts, conducted case studies of public journalism for the Kettering Foundation , and consulted for the Ford Foundation on the development of new programs on communication and democracy. He has consulted with newspapers, public television stations, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s National Center for Outreach.

Friedland created one of the first online newspapers, Online Wisconsin, in 1994 and the Madison Commons project, an early experiment in civic and hyperlocal journalism in 2006 which continues today. As a documentary producer and executive producer he has won national awards, including the du Pont-Columbia Silver Baton, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold, Society of Professional Journalists National Award, Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, and others. Friedland is currently authoring a book on civic communication for Polity Press. Research projects include modeling the media and civic ecologies of local communities and developing civic mapping software and methods that can be used in a wide variety of community and journalism settings. He is Principal and Managing Partner of Community Knowledgebase, LLC, a community network software company which holds an SBIR contract with the National Science Foundation for developing a new social media-based system of volunteering and has done work for the U.S. Department of Education developing civic mapping curricula and software for American high schools, The company is developing a new generation of semantic software for local newsrooms in partnership with the University of Missouri School of Journalism. 

Jim Smiley started the hyperlocal news blog Frankford Gazette in 2007  in the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. Four years ago, Smiley felt that his hometown was undercovered by local media—especially when compared to Northern Liberties, where he lived for a time after graduating from Drexel University in 2003. He started the Gazette to advocate for a part of town that doesn’t get much attention, except when there’s criminal activity. An applications developer by day, Smiley is interested in the always-growing connections between technology and journalism, and has worked on data projects with NEast Philly and Technically Philly. Find him on Twitter: @jimRsmiley.


Christopher Harper is an associate professor at Temple University, where he is co-director of the Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, which produces www.philadelphianeighborhoods.com. Before joining academia, Harper worked for more than 20 years for the Associated Press, Newsweek, and ABC News in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Beirut, Cairo, Rome, and New York. He has written and edited six books about the media.

Karen Araiza is Managing Editor of NBC10’s online content. Her journalism career spans the technology era that took us from the typewriter to the tweet. She started on the broadcast side in Temple, Texas as a producer and reporter at KCEN-TV, made her way through tornado alley with stops at television stations in Austin, Oklahoma City and Kansas City before coming to Philadelphia in late ’94. Karen describes herself as more of a listener than a talker in Social Media circles and believes SM can not only help us build better relationships with our audiences, it helps us become better journalists. On Twitter: @Karaiza

Kate Harner is originally from Hanover, PA.  She attended Temple University and graduated with a degree in Communications and Political Science.  As a student at Temple, she was an Owl Ambassador with the Undergraduate Admissions Office, and completed her final semester in Rome, Italy at Temple’s campus abroad.  After college, Kate worked with the Roxborough YMCA & The Columbia North YMCA (just off TU’s campus) in leadership for Membership, Program Management, Community Outreach, Financial Development and Operations.   She participated in a nationwide coalition with the YMCA, as funded by PepsiCo: The African-American Hispanic-Latino Collaborative, dedicated to developing new ways to engage with minority populations in urban areas with severe gaps in food, health, education, and recreational access.  Kate currently works with MiND: Independence Media as Senior Director of Revenue Development.


Hannah Sassaman is an organizer living and working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hannah is a member of the Board of Directors for the Allied Media Projects, which hosts the Allied Media Conference every year.  As the longtime campaign director at the Prometheus Radio Project, Hannah helped lead and design the grassroots organizing and legislative strategy that resulted in the passage of the Local Community Radio Act in late 2010 — a bill that will open up the FM dial to potentially thousands more community radio stations nationwide.  As the senior field analyst at New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, Hannah is now working to help support the stimulus-package funded buildout of 77 computer labs and thousands of hours of internet and community technology training across Philadelphia.


Heshimu Jaramogi is a broadcaster with 29 years of experience as a news reporter & anchor, program host and producer. He has worked as a radio reporter at WDAS AM & FM, WUSL FM, WPEN, WCAU and WURD. Jaramogi also produced and hosted public affairs programs at WHYY, WRTI WDAS AM & FM, WPEN and WUSL, as well as on local cable television. He has produced documentaries locally and nationally for commercial and public radio. He has been a correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network for 20 years. Jaramogi is a former President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and Deputy Regional Director of the National Association of Black Journalists. He is an Adjunct Professor in Temple University’s Department of Journalism, where he has taught Public Affairs Reporting, Radio Reporting and in the Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.


Doron Taussig is the Project Manager for “It’s Our Money,” a project of the Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY. He is also a graduate student in communications at Temple University. Previously he worked as Staff Writer and News Editor for the Philadelphia City Paper.

Jessica Clark is the Media Strategist for the Association of Independents in Radio (airmediaworks.org), and a Senior Fellow at American University’s Center for Social Media, where from 2007-2011 she led the Future of Public Media Project. A 2010-2011 Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation, and co-author of Beyond The Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media  (New Press, 2010), Clark is an internationally recognized analyst and commentator on the transformation of journalism in the digital age. Find her on Twitter at @beyondbroadcast.net.