Old News Archive

Milo segment of documentary in the works !

March 19, 2009 - TRC

Sunny Hughes is an assistant professor at the University of Maine in Orono who first visited Milo last fall. Hughes learned about the fire in Milo from Bill Kukyendall and was on his team that visited in November. Several of Hughes' journalism students also visited Milo to report on the aftermath of the fire and how the community was recovering. There is more to be done !

Hughes is currently producing a documentary of the state of news/journalism in Maine. This is a critical time for this issue: newspapers are closing, the digital television transition is underway, the Internet is a growing news source, and mobile phones are being used more and more to get news. The documentary will focus on rural Maine communities. Interviews are planned in May with town leaders, residents, educators and media providers. The other three towns that will be featured in the film are Lubec, Caribou and Rangeley.

There will be focus groups in May to collect information from residents about where they get news of their community and additionally about media literacy among Milo residents, media saturation, what technologies are used/available, what types of news coverage are available, their perceptions of news coverage/content, and their interest in collaborating with journalists to provide more accurate news coverage.

Proposed Focus Group Discussion Themes Include:

1. Participants’ use and satisfaction with available media outlets.

2. Participants’ assessments of tools available to them (dial up vs. high speed Internet, broadcast television and radio outlets, newspapers, online media, satellite, portable devices, cellular phones, etc.

3. Participants’ evaluation of their own technological skill sets, as well as their perceptions of technological tools and media.

4. Participants’ self-evaluations of their “uses and gratifications” of media they currently rely on.

5. Participants’ understanding and desire for availability of a collaborative journalism website in their community.

6. Participants’ response to Mobile Maine News.com as a model collaborative journalism site for Maine.

Focus group meetings lasting about one hour each are planned for groups consisting of persons who are : (1.) Town Leaders, (2.) Residents, and (3.) Youth.

Anyone who is interested is welcome to join in this exciting new project. Your input is wanted and needed to represent Milo as fully and truly as possible. It is not important to all speak with one voice - it is important for all to speak.

Questions and comments can be addressed to :

Sunny Skye Hughes
Assistant Professor of Communications and Journalism
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Maine
Orono, Maine
5724 Dunn Hall
Office: Dunn 438
Office Phone: 207-581-1943
Cell: 352-514-6756

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NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.