Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

This Week in Civic Media 10.01.10: Job openings, Info session for Knight News Challenge

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Knight News Challenge

Job opening: Assessment Researcher

Assessment Researcher

Apply online at MIT Staffing Services:
http://sh.webhire.com/servlet/av/jd?ai=631&ji=2487731&sn=I

ASSESSMENT RESEARCHER, Comparative Media Studies, to assess and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the research projects developed and deployed by MIT's Center for Future Civic Media. Will design and implement center-wide systems to measure the social and technological impact of the tools, applications, and practices developed and identified by the center; analyze and summarize research findings; identify best practices; advise principal investigators on center strategic planning, improvement, and new investment opportunities; and keep PIs apprised of new developments in the assessment and evaluation field and pioneer new standards and methods that impact the field. Will work under the supervision of the principal investigators.

Avatar Activism and Beyond

A few weeks ago, I published an op-ed piece in Le Monde Diplomatique about what I am calling "Avatar Activism."

Job opening: Center's "Voip Drual" project is looking for a developer

The MIT Center for Future Civic Media is hiring an experienced Drupal developer to work part-time as a contractor on the Voip Drupal platform.

Voip Drupal is a novel open source platform that makes it easier for Drupal developers to build websites that literally make and receive phone calls. In particular, Voip Drupal provides a common API and scripting system that interoperate with existing VoIP PBX implementations (Asterisk, FreeSwitch, Twilio, etc) providing Drupal users with the ability to, among other things:

  • Broadcast text and audio announcements to specific groups or locations;
  • Organize interactive phone polls;
  • Record stories;
  • Access and share information about relevant people, places and events.

We have already implemented an initial version of the call-handling and dialplan-scripting systems, and are planning to release the alpha version of the API in the next couple of weeks.

We are looking for experienced Drupal developers to work with us 20 hrs/week in the implementation of modules to provide voicemail, audio recording, extensions management, and general messaging capabilities.

Patchwork Approach

What's wrong with this picture:

Mainstream media lays off reporters (and others) left and right, because New Media appeals to a large segment of news consumers.

New Media realizes local news draws more audience, so numerous hyper-local approaches are tried. Most national attempts fail, because they don't have reporters.

AOL's wholly-owned subsidiary, Patch, thinks it can fill the local gap by hiring local journalists who generally are good at aggregating (see story on London lecture by former Washington Post Executive Editor Len Downie on news aggregators, such as the Huffington Post who he says are “parasites living off journalism produced by others”.)

Now the Patch Media Corporation has gone one step further, developing a concept called PatchU, whereby it will collaborate with journalism schools to provide students with internships that will accrue course credits.

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