Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Putting Voldemort into the Guardian: Remixing the News with Hackasaurus

Hackasaurus is a great project by Mozilla which makes it easy to see the structure of a web page and remix it. In education, it's a great way to combine learning about composition with learning about how to make.

Today in the Media Lab's class on Technologies for Creative Learning, we met with Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance, an organisation which mobilises Harry Potter fans for social good. We also had a great conversation on the ideas of Henry Jenkins about participatory culture and participatory learning (for more, see this report by Jenkins funded by the MacArthur Foundation).

working interview questions

This is a collaborative blog post with Mary Kenefake.

Interview Questions:

-Minorities participating in Boston TV:
Based on personal experience working in the Boston TV industry how have the demographics change in the past ten years?
(minority participation then and now)
As a minority working in the television news industry, do you feel there is a disparity in the types of stories that you are interested in covering compared to other reporters?
What is your opinion in the diversity of stories that get covered in the television news industry?
-If not enough, what do you suggest to change the coverage?
Do you think the news industry workers and the stories that they cover are reflective of the populations they serve?

From the Barricades to the New Normal, or, from Indymedia to the Age of Citizen Journalism

I begin this class discussion review post with an admission: I really disliked being the scribe. Often trying to keep up, I found the collaborative electronic note taking to be quite distracting—a strong contrast to my preferred method of pencil and paper. Perhaps it was made slightly more difficult, however, by the fact that this particular class session was packed thickly with background, lecture, and perspective; Sasha's experience as a participant in the Global Justice Movement and IndyMedia provided significant insight and context.

Initial research on Costa Rica's media ecology

So I am going to do a longer post later on this week that would potentially be the introduction to the project (in Spanish), but for now, I am just going to do a quick overview of some of the changes in the project, and progress made so far.

After our project workshop, I thought about the suggestions and concerns on the vagueness of my proposal, and how if I could focus some of the research on what is happening specifically in the context of Costa Rica, I would be able to be more concrete with my investigation on how the different topics we have discussed in class are reflected in the country's media ecology, and how this, in turn, would help inform the decisions on the development of a participatory media prototype (test page here).

Project Update, w/Charts

To better visualize ICT accessibility and usage in Ukraine, I've created a few very rough charts based on data from the World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report from 2010-2011 (find it here:, I've also highlighted results from the US, Russia, and Estonia for broader context. (I chose Estonia because it is an EU memberstate that is rather democratic and technologically developed despite its Soviet past). The shaded areas represent the other countries on the list (138, in all). As far as I can tell, digital ICT accessibility and usage is not necessarily correlated to GDP. For example, Internet users in Zambia, Mongolia, and Madagascar all utilize virtual social networks more heavily than Ukrainians. Apparently, respondents in Senegal felt that there was better Internet access in their schools than did their Ukrainian counterparts. Bolivia enjoys a faster international broadband speed than Ukraine, etc. Continue reading to see the charts.

Here we go...


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