Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Can African-Americans Find Their Voice in Cyberspace?: A Conversation With Dayna Cunningham (Part Three of Four)

Dayna Cunningham: Thank you for reminding me that we are talking about institutions and cultures and politics and that media are nothing more than tools within these contexts. We need social organizations, not just technology. Drat. I was hoping for a quick fix.

I saw a Washington Post poll, reported on Inauguration Day, of black and white Americans asking their views on the persistence of racism in the US. Only 44% of African Americans polled said that racism is still a major problem. A majority of blacks said it was not (whites, true to past patterns, in large majorities said that racism is no longer a major problem). However, a follow up question asked whether the respondents still witnessed or experienced racism in their daily lives and a significant majority of African Americans said that little had changed for them in their local communities and in their daily experience of racism. Most blacks reported continuing denials of service and jobs, less access to housing, and racialized police harassment.

Obama Administration: more media-friendly?

Let us hope that this will apply to all aspects of media coverage...
Hopefully this review is a good sign.

Gates orders review of policy barring military-coffin photos

By The Associated Press
02.11.09

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a review yesterday of a Pentagon policy banning media from taking pictures of flag-draped coffins of U.S. military dead, signaling he was open to overturning the policy to better honor fallen soldiers.

At least two Democratic senators have called on President Barack Obama to let news photographers attend ceremonies at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and other military facilities when military remains are returned to the United States. Obama told reporters at his Feb. 9 news conference that he was reviewing the ban.

"If the needs of the families can be met, and the privacy concerns can be addressed, the more honor we can accord these fallen heroes, the better," Gates told reporters at a Pentagon news conference yesterday. "So I'm pretty open to whatever the results of this review may be."

Global elite creates new global media for 'global citizens'

I personally have my doubts on the merits and sustainability of obsessive focus on the local, and worse, on the latest born of 'cool' beats, the 'hyperlocal'...

But the World Economic Forum's proposal for "a new global, independent news and information service whose role is to inform, educate and improve the state of the world," to quote its report, leaves me with plenty of questions. To start with, about its independence, as a quick look at who is on its Council on the Future of Media may prompt one to raise such questions...

Here is the link to the WEF's 4-page proposal, entitled "Future of Media," which starts on page 180:
http://www.weforum.org/pdf/globalagenda.pdf

followed here below by a review of the WEF's recommendation based on a report by Cliff Kincaid of of Accuracy in Media, much of which I agree with.
What do you think?

Emerging global elite to use new global media to educate 'global citizens'

A Map for Change

For lack of GOP message guru Frank Lutz, it was a project with no name. And yet it was one of the (many) precedents set during an historic election. Commissioned by Obama for America campaign, GIS consultant Karsten Vennemann used opensource components, including OpenLayers, to map voter registration in battleground states. By combining millions of public voting records with daily updates from on-the-ground troops, these interactive map helped organizers priori to map voter registration in battleground states. By combining millions of public voting records with daily updates from on-the-ground troops, these interactive map helped organizers prioritize canvassing efforts. Used in about 12 battleground states, the opensource maps proved to be a progressive tool in an already progressive campaign.

Twitter is blowing up, getting hacked in awesome ways

Wired posted this article about the many expanding uses of Twitter...including many examples of inanimate objects (lights, washing machines, computers) and living organisms (plants) triggering an auto-twitter to a recipient:

Thanks to its open-ended design and a thriving user community, Twitter is fast outgrowing its roots as a simple, easy-to-use messaging service. Enterprising hackers are creating apps for sharing music and videos, to help you quit smoking and lose weight -- spontaneously extending the text-based service into one of the web's most fertile (and least likely) application platforms.

Hardware hackers have set up household appliances to send status alerts over Twitter, like a washing machine that tweets when the spin cycle is through, or a home security system that tweets whenever it senses movement inside the house. Others have incorporated Twitter into their DIY home automation systems. Forgot to turn off the lights? Send a tweet to flip the switch by remote control.

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