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Jeff Achen named new executive director of The UpTake

Jeff Achen is the new executive director of The UpTake, the nonprofit online news organization based in St. Paul.

Jason Barnett, who founded The UpTake in 2007, had announced in June that he was stepping down as founding director.

The site offers citizens a chance to take part in the news gathering process, and is known for its live-streaming of news events and public hearings.

Achen is described as:

A Navy veteran and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer; has worked in television, print, and online news; and currently owns a video production and photography company. He is a longstanding member of the Society of Professional Journalists and former Minnesota Pro Chapter board member. Additionally, he spent the last four years helping nonprofits raise money online as a digital strategist for GiveMN.org.

Tom Elko, Board Chair of The UpTake, said:

“We are fortunate to have found a leader with a passion for empowering citizens through the use of video and the commitment to journalistic quality.”

In announcing the appointment, The UpTake says Achen and the board will work to strengthen the site’s video coverage, and renew the focus on “empowering citizen journalists to harness the power of mobile technology, video and social media to seek the truth and report on the issues, events and conflicts in their communities, state and nation.”

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