Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Community Radio: Radical Media Opening Channels For Communities

In its 2008 report entitled “Fighting Poverty: Utilizing Community Media in a Digital Age,” the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters features a piece by Bruce Girard, a community based media expert. His essay, “Community Radio, New Technologies and Policy,” lays out a brief history of community radio in relation to its growth over time thanks to both technological and policy based advancements. He laments the fact, however, that at the time of publishing, community radio stations across the globe were not doing enough to take advantage of significant innovation and interest within the ICT (information communication technology) world. The essay concludes with a number of recommended policies that will help community radio grow and help surrounding communities flourish via technology.

Satellite Sentinel: Meteorologists of Human Rights Abuses

For a long time, genocide has been put in the box of great dark operatic human evils... We are the meteorologists of human rights abuses.

-- Nathaniel Raymond

This week's Thursday lunch was with the Satellite Sentinel Project. Based at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, they correlate data from satellites with other sources to track human rights violations, sometimes before they happen. Where possible, they threaten potential violators with exposure, release reports to the press, or pressure international organisations to take notice. By doing this, they hope to prevent genocides, stop large scale human rights violations once they begin, or at least to document atrocities after the fact.

Check out the new My Dot Tour video!!

The My Dot Tour video is now live on YouTube at or embedded at Have look:

Shot and edited by Igor Kharitonenkov in very short order, this 4-minute documentary gives an excellent summary of the My Dot Tour initiative. Props to Kate Balug (GSD alum, co-founder of the Dept. of Play, and a good friend of the Center) for all of her incredible work on this project!

The MIT Center for Civic Media contributed in the overall planning of the project and with the implementation of the technical infrastructure that supported the neighborhood tours. In particular, this project proved to be a good application of the Center's VoIP Drupal platform, an open source framework that makes it easier to build communication systems that integrate phone, SMS and web together (

Discussing Public Spheres in a Networked World

This post is a summary of our class discussion on September 19, 2011 on Dialogic Approaches: From Public Sphere to Networked Counterpublics facilitated by J. Nathan Matias. Our collaborative class notes are located here. Before our discussion began, we read articles covering the emergence of counterpublic ideas from public sphere theory to what counterpublic means in the networked world. Our discussion began by summarizing these texts and ended by reflecting on how the ideas of these text fare today in the ever-evolving networked medium of the Internet.

Below is a summary of keys points from our discussion:


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