Recent news from the Center for Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

This Week in Civic Media: Video, "Design for Vulnerable Populations"; VoIP Drupal webinar Thursday

From the Center

  • Video: Civic Media Session, "Design for Vulnerable Populations" http://cot.ag/k3oKc3 moderated by @cdetar

Events this week

  • VoIP Drupal webinar, Thursday 1pm. Learn how easy it is to use VoIP Drupal to build websites that pick up the phone, make calls, record messages, broadcast audio, and more.

More on VoIP Drupal

  • Leo Burd and Owen Barton discuss VoIP Drupal, a platform to integrate voice and web through Drupal... http://cot.ag/jCQoAR

Between the Bars, our prison blogging platform

  • @ReganStP: New Site Helps Inmates Blog from Behind Bars http://cot.ag/kqN9PS via @TechNewsDaily @c4fcm

Bin Laden death

What can Journalists Learn from The Daily Show: An Interview with Amber Day (Part Two)


What do these news comedy programs add to our understanding of contemporary life which may be missing from mainstream news?

What these programs excel at is deconstructing the scripted quality of the contemporary political conversation. Though we may be aware that politicians and corporate spokespeople are all carefully groomed and staged, and that their PR people are experts at getting the talking points on television, the news media rarely actually point this out, nor do they do the work of moving the conversation beyond the talking points. Satire, then, offers a way of satisfyingly breaking through the existing script. Stewart and Colbert (as well as their counterparts in other countries) have built a reputation on their repeated attempts to demonstrate the ways in which the public political conversation is being manipulated, and to gesture to some of the very real issues that are being obscured.


Is there anything journalists could learn from and emulate from these forms of political humor which would not compromise their self-construction as neutral and objective voices?

Video: Civic Media Session, "Design for Vulnerable Populations"

Designers often want to help people that they perceive as being in need -- whether those affected by natural or human-caused disasters, the economically or physically disadvantaged, or those who are on the losing end of a cultural power dynamic. However, naive attempts to "help" through simplistic techno-centric design can be at best ineffective, and at worst counter-productive.

What can designers do to better connect with the communities and individuals they wish to serve? How can design projects avoid patronizing attitudes and economic colonialization? How can a designer be effective in promoting social change while following their conscience?

This panel brings together designers who have worked in the mental health industry, international development, the prison system, and community environmental action to discuss what has worked and what hasn't, and what approaches designers can take to increase their chances of success.

  • Charlie DeTar (Moderator) Co-founder of Between the Bars, a blogging platform for prisoners. Fellow at the Center for Future Civic Media, and PhD student at the MIT Media Lab.
  • Patricia Deegan Creator of the CommonGround web application which supports shared decision making in psychopharmacology consultation. Adjunct Professor at the Dartmouth College School of Medicine and at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
  • Liz Barry Director of Urban Environment at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, a collaborative developing inexpensive and community-led means to explore environmental and social issues; Co-founder of TreeKIT, an initiative to collaboratively measure, map, and manage urban forests.
  • Nathan Cooke Born and raised in California, USA, Cooke works at MIT’s D-Lab documenting technologies and working with students on design projects. He has previous experience working for Frog Design in San Francisco and at Autodesk as part of their Sustainability division.

Download!

What can Journalists Learn from The Daily Show: An Interview with Amber Day (Part One)

In case anyone was wondering, I'm not dead...yet. I seem to have spent the past few weeks AWOL on this blog, having gotten my rhythm thrown off over a particular intense period of activity on my part. Every day, I've been deluding myself into thinking I'd jump back into the swing of things, and I've been busy planning some really cool stuff for the summer which I will be announcing soon, but I've been silent. Sorry, guys.

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 http://cot.ag/jul8rz
  • VoIP Drupal webinar, May 12. In just 1 hour, learn to use a Drupal site to make and receive phone calls! http://cot.ag/dNE97p

ExtrAct, natural gas accountability

  • Us in Reuters: "MIT Web Tools Help Small Landowners Navigate Gas Leasing Frenzy" http://cot.ag/iQTPV7

Osama bin Laden killed

  • @newyorker's Steve Coll: bin Laden compound was built on Pakistani military land http://cot.ag/jfycou

Wikileaks

New Media Lab director

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