At last year's Civic Media Conference, I pitched and won a small media innovation grant to make a video based on a public radio piece. The idea was to explore a way to raise radio's profile in an online environment that tends to favor video. Below is cross-posted from the Knight Foundation blog.
Submitted by natematias on June 23, 2012 - 10:13am
If anything sums up this year's Knight MIT Conference on Civic Media, it was Joi Ito's argument for creativity and risk, encouraging us to pursue visions that we do not yet know how to describe. The Civic Media Conference is a new breed of gathering for networked thinking and doing: action research woven with creative diversity and energised by funding model innovation.
Part SXSW, part Barcamp, the conference combined hackdays, funding announcements, panel discussions, and stand-up storytelling. As a flagship demonstration of Ethan Zuckerman's vision for the emerging field of Civic Media, the conference was spectacular. But for Civic Media to flourish while bridging so many communities, this new ecosystem needs to foster stronger, more diverse ties.
This is a summary post. Each session gets one or two paragraphs, with the video embedded. Each section also has a link to amazingly comprehensive and detailed posts by our liveblog team. If any of these ideas interests you, the liveblog is the best place to find in-depth discussion.
Michael Maness leads the Knight Journalism & Innovation Program. In the closing presentation of the conference, he takes the stage to present "moments of profundity": the key takeaways and open questions generated over the past two days.
Michael Kupperman, author of Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010, is a writer of what Ethan likes to call "civic fiction." For more portrayls of civic fiction, Ethan is a fan of Benjamen Walker, who hosts Too Much Information on WFMU. It's one of the more unusual shows you will ever listen to on the Internet. It's hard to figure out, according to Ethan, if it's an interview, a serious news piece, or storytelling that blurs the lines of reality.
If we were to start CNN today, it might look more like one of the networks featured in this panel. We take a whirlwind tour of new news networks and new models for reporting and sharing information in our connected age.
Mitch Resnick, director of the Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group, introduces the panel by describing the culture of the Center for Civic Media and the Media Lab at large. There isn’t a central planning committee that assigns projects to the students and researchers.
The Extreme Data and Storytelling plenary session showcases people who are out on the frontiers of storytelling, and who are analyzing and presenting data to make sense of large-scale, complex human issues. They include a scientist using data to unpack the mysteries of economic development, a cartographer working to make poetic, public visualizations of place and a storyteller who's going to amazing lengths to tell the story of human migration. How do you map the world in ways that people can make sense of? Data visualization for legibility is one thing but visualization is also a form of poetry. How do you create images that stay with us for a long time?
As media makers and members of the public, we increasingly have access to rich data sets that contain information about our communities, our politics and our government. Our panelists explore their strategies for finding and sharing stories embedded within sets of data.
Was Kony 2012 okay in seizing attention for a cause?