Andrew's blog | MIT Center for Civic Media

This Week in Civic Media: Civic Disobedience talk this Thursday 5pm

Upcoming Public Events

  • Civic Media Session: "Civic Disobedience" this Thursday with @ethanz, @cshirky, @techsoc and @ifikra
  • VoIP Drupal webinar, May 12. In just 1 hour, learn to use a Drupal site to make and receive phone calls!

ExtrAct, natural gas accountability

  • Us in Reuters: "MIT Web Tools Help Small Landowners Navigate Gas Leasing Frenzy"

Osama bin Laden killed

  • @newyorker's Steve Coll: bin Laden compound was built on Pakistani military land


New Media Lab director

Video: "Steve Kurtz: Cultural Resistance"

A Civic Media Session about models and techniques for public interventions and soft subversions aimed at undermining authoritarian tendencies in a time of neo-liberal domination.

Known for his work in Electronic Civil Disobedience and BioArt, Steve Kurtz is a founding member of the Critical Art Ensemble, a collective of five tactical media practitioners of various specializations including computer graphics and web design, film/video, photography, text art, book art, and performance.

Formed in 1987, Critical Art Ensemble’s focus has been on the exploration of the intersections between art, critical theory, technology, and political activism.

Download! (.mp4)

This Week in Civic Media: Luciano Calestini (today) room-change, Database journalism

UNICEF Kosovo Innovation Lab

  • Room change! E14-525. Today at MIT, 3pm, RSVP req. "An afternoon with Luciano Calestini, Deputy Head of Office, UNICEF Kosovo Innovation Lab"

Future of Journalism

  • It's a question that's nagged at us too, @EricNewton1: what are the new economics of investigative journalism?
  • Want to win a Pulitzer through database journalism? Be ready for Medicare billing data should senators pass this law
  • RT @kdmc: FCC, Knight launch apps for communities contest to bring public data to digitally underserved:

Fracking/Natural gas extraction

This Week in Civic Media: VoIP Drupal workshop, "Civic Disobedience" session announced

From the Center

News Challenge, and challenges


Charlie DeTar speaks with Marketplace's Tech Report about "Between the Bars"

Jon Moe of PRI's Marketplace radio show spoke with our Charlie DeTar to get more background on his groundbreaking prison-blogging project, Between the Bars:

Listen to This Story

Prison inmates generally don't have access to the Internet. But a new program is letting them publish handwritten blogs online.

We talk to Charlie DeTar. He's a Ph.D candidate at MIT and co-founder of Between the Bars. It's a program where prisoners write out their blog entries longhand, mail them in, and then volunteers scan them and post them online. The prisoners can't look at the entries online, at least not while they're locked up, but can receive printouts of what it looks like and what comments they've received.

This Week in Civic Media: National Conference for Media Reform, Beyond Books

National Conference for Media Reform
What a great time! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and our demo session this weekend, including a huge number of fellow News Challenge winners. And an overmediated high-five goes out to the conference organizers from FreePress, especially Candace Clement and Libby Reinish, for inviting the Center to be a local host committee member, as well as to volunteer boothtenders Regan, Dan, and Jeff.

From the Center

This Week in Civic Media: The relaunch of our prison blogging platform, and Steve Kurtz at MIT

News from the Center

Events This Week

This Week in Civic Media: Transborder Disturbances, Understanding Check-Ins, and Civic Tools Videos

Events This Week

Civic Tools Videos

Civic Tools Video: "Hero Reports / Crónicas de Héroes"

Lorrie LeJeune describes Hero Reports/Crónicas de Héroes, a project currently deployed in Juárez, Mexico, to help residents report and map incidents of heroism, large and small.


Civic Tools Video: "Sourcemap"

Leo Bonnani updates the civic media community on Sourcemap, a Center-sponsored project to help citizens map where things come from...from laptop parts and IKEA beds, to campaign contributions.