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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Reporting-quality death spiral

Gawker today features a run-down on the future of newswires (AP, Reuters):

So instead of paying all the money to have its own exclusive correspondents on the ground, Thomson Reuters can pay much less to license content from the standards-less content mill—the world's largest "news" organization, LOL! Plane Crashes in Dubuque; Local Chinese Restaurants Unaffected, Reports Dubuque Chinese Restaurant Examiner Armond Potash.

The first subscriber is Tribune. This will perfectly complement their "TV news without anchors or reporters" journalistic paradigm shift.

The basic economics are that major newspapers want to save money, so they lay off reporters. They replace that reporting with content from newswires (AP, Reuters). But the newswires themselves need to save money too, so they lay off reporters, replacing that reporting with content from specialty sites that already don't do their own reporting.

This Week in Civic Media 12.10.10: UN Global Pulse, reporting Wikileaks, and Wales disappears

From the Center


UN Global Pulse Camp 1.0

(Photo credit: Christopher Fabian of UNICEF & Global Pulse)

Just got back from the UN "Pulse Camp 1.0".

Global Pulse is a new and quite ambitious UN initiative "to improve evidence-based decision-making and close the information gap between the onset of a global crisis and the availability of actionable information to protect the vulnerable" (Full overview at

While they're hot: Video now available from our "Slow-Moving Crises" forum

For anyone who missed the great forum on slow-moving crises--on those complex stories that never seem to get the right kind of coverage--video is now available on TechTV:


Clips of the individual speakers are also posted:

Video: "Communications Forum: Public Communications in Slow-Moving Crises"


Governments, corporations, and communities plan for sudden crises: the White House drafts strong responsive rhetoric for the next terrorist attack; Toyota runs reassuring national TV spots within hours of a product recall; and 32 Massachusetts towns successfully publicize water distribution sites following a water main rupture.


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