Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

"Zonie Report" calling it quits, for now

(Update: Adam Klawonn responds below. Post has been updated with his noted correction.)

The Zonie Report, a project by Adam Klawonn, has decided to shut its virtual doors, for now. Klawonn writes:

I learned some hard lessons in my idealistic crusade to bring better, more innovative journalism to the expectant masses. I’m leaving a lot out, but I’d like to share of them with you now and hear more about your own observations. Feel free to share.

First, the Internet audience is incredibly fickle, so the expectant Zonie Report masses weren’t there. (It turns out there were only about 8,000 of them in a state of 6 million-plus residents.)

Second, the way we consume media online does not lend itself to a deep-reading format, so short stories and truncated video (from car accidents to Britney Spears sightings to bar fights in Scottsdale) proliferate. This says something about the format, about us and about news outlets in general.

Grassroots Mapping: Neutrality and cartography in Cantagallo

Cross-posted at GrassrootsMapping.org

Another day, another new grassroots map! After working with residents of Cantagallo at the beginning of February to produce the first map of their community with Daniel Miracle of Escuelab, we met with members of another of the 3 groups of Shipibo living in the same zone in the center of Lima. Upon seeing the maps we'd made, they were excited to make one also.

Experiencing the internet in Ireland: An interview with media scholar Deirdre Hynes

I recently presented a paper at the International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society in Berlin, Germany. Elected as a graduate scholar to moderate the stream on 'Technology in Community', I had the privilege of meeting academics from around the world (some favorites included Christine Hine, Victoria Armstrong, Kathryn S. Coleman, and Jocelynne Scutt) working on research projects surrounding the use and impact of technologies on a local and global level. One of the presenters whose work I found most interesting was Deirdre Hynes. Originally from Ireland, Ms. Hynes is a senior lecturer in the Department of Information and Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. She teaches courses on digital media production, technology and communication, and the network society; her research interests focus more on the social shaping of technology. I asked her to tell me more about some of her previous research about the domestication of technologies in everyday life.

What got you interested in studying the domestication of technologies?

Learning in a Participatory Culture: A Conversation About New Media and Education (Part Four)

This is the final part of my interview with Spanish educational researcher Pilar Lacasa for Cuadernos de Pedagogia, a Spanish language publication, about my research on the New Media Literacies. Here, we discuss learning games, mobile technologies, civic engagement, and my advice to parents and teachers.

Our challenge is then building bridges between culture and participatory democracy. Can you explain more?

The challenge is how we can help build the bridge between participatory culture and participatory democracy. I am starting to do research on what I see as proto-political behavior: the ways that these hobby or fan or game groups educate and mobilize their members around issues of collective concern. I believe that if we better understand these practices, we will be in a position to foster a new kind of civic education which starts where young people are already gathering but helps them to expand their understanding of their roles as citizens. A striking feature of these new social structures is that they are defined less through shared geography than through shared interests.

The Last Airbender or The Last Straw?, or How Loraine Became a Fan Activist

This is another installment in our ongoing series about fan-activism and the ways certain kinds of groups are bridging between our experiences with interest-driven networks in participatory culture and public participation. This chapter tells the story of Loraine Sammy and the Racebender campaign, which challenged the white-washed casting of the feature film version of The Last Airbender. Thanks to the production chops of Anna Van Someren, we are able to share much of Sammy's story in her own words, so do take time to watch the video segments attached to this piece.

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