Creating Technology for Social Change

Video: “Networks Understanding Networks” with Ethan Zuckerman

Center for Civic Media director Ethan Zuckerman during the Media Lab’s fall meeting:

It’s 2011. This is a year — depending on how this year ends up — that is going to be remembered perhaps as we remember 1989, 1968, perhaps 1848 as one of these years where the world as we know it changes fairly radically.

However, as Ethan showed in great detail using visualizations of automated news coverage analysis, these revolutions may well be events that much of the world missed…

It’s very, very easy for us to miss what’s happening in the news. The story around Tunisia was completely invisible in American media. We started reporting on it on the Global Voices project December 20th [2010 …]. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire December 17th. The first time Bouazizi’s name appears in the New York Times is January 14th, which is the day [Tunisian President] Ben Ali steps down. For twenty-four days, you had a country rising up and revolting and it doesn’t show up in this country’s best newspaper.