My name is Anne Callahan. I'm a second-year graduate student in Art, Culture and Technology, a studio-based art program at MIT descended from the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. I'm taking Introduction to Civic Media to follow my interests in publishing history and relationships between medium and content, and because in my life's work I want to help cultivate a lively, diverse, ethical media culture. I had many good experiences with Center for Civic Media and Comparative Media Studies public programs last year, and taking this class seemed like a way to get closer.
Of the ten principles of civic media we came up with in class last week, I keep coming back to 6, "Civic media educates and empowers users to be creators as well as consumers," because I think taking up these two roles simultaneously—creator and consumer—is the key to our meaning of civic, as in "civic duty" or "civic pride." The statement is open-ended about what we are creators and consumers of—civic media might help us become creator-consumers of govt policy, of the built environment, of maps, of food, of electronics, or of media itself.