“Wired City” Meets Elm City

Thomas MacMillan PhotoSurrounded by old-media volumes in a library with a storied past, 60 people gathered in the second floor of a narrow Chapel Street landmark to hear about new-media news websites and the future of journalism.

The gathering took place Thursday night in the Institute Library on Chapel Street. People came to hear journalism professor and media columnist Dan Kennedy (pictured) talk about his new book, The Wired City: Reimagining Journalism and Civic Life in the Post-Newspaper Age.

The book focuses on the New Haven Independent as a new model of the daily local newspaper—not-for-profit, hyperlocal, community-driven, and 100 percent online. Kennedy spent a few years studying the Independent as well as other small for-profit and not-for-profit news sites around the country; he also dug deeply into New Haven’s civic and information ecosystem, including a detailed look at the New Haven Register’s history and current efforts to innovate for the 21st Century. (Click here and here for more information about the book; click here to read a full story about Thursday night’s event by the Register’s Randall Beach.)

Kennedy read aloud from his book, then fielded an hour of questions. He expressed caution optimistic about the future of an industry that dead-tree-distribution insiders fear is dying.

Kennedy chatted beforehand with Christine Stuart of CT News Junkie, one of the sites he wrote about.

Dozens came out for the event, including Independent reporter Allan Appel and former Independent intern and current WNPR/Connecticut Mirror reporter Neena Satija, pictured in the front row.

The Institute Library’s Will Baker offered a history of the place before introducing Kennedy.

Community educator and OneWorld Executive Director N’Zinga Shani took a front-row seat.

Kennedy read part of Chapter 7 of his book ...

... then sat down for questions.

Police Officer and activist Shafiq Abdussabur asked a question about the possibilities of new-media and old-media cooperation during a Q and A period.

Afterward, Kennedy sold books ...

... and signed them.

Westville’s David Sepulveda, an Independent contributor, got his book signed.

East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker, who’s running for mayor, made an appearance.

Refreshments included cheesecake, cookies, and local beer and soda.

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posted by: cedarhillresident! on June 14, 2013  10:55am

I had every intention on going last night but plans changed. Still going to get the book, because as we all know I do think that the NHI is the bee’s knees and anything written about all the people (including the branches of the NHI) totally rocks. Thanks to all and congrate’s to Dan for the completion of it!

posted by: Dan Kennedy on June 15, 2013  8:42am

Thank you to everyone who turned out Thursday evening. It was great to catch up with folks I hadn’t seen in quite a while and to meet new people. Thank you especially to Paul Bass and Will Baker for putting this together. And what a great venue. If I lived in New Haven, I would join the Institute Library.

If you would like to learn more about “The Wired City,” please visit http://thewiredcity.org.