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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Video: Civics in Difficult Places

In a live demonstration of globe-straddling communication technologies like Skype, this forum connects to citizen journalists and activists around the world, some of whom frequently test the limits of governmental authority. Moderator Ethan Zuckerman wonders if these new digital forms are fundamentally liberating, providing users access to public spaces they might otherwise be denied. He pursues this line of inquiry in a series of internet conversations with correspondents covering some of the world’s most ravaged or oppressed regions.

Wanna Come Out and Play? Community Engagement & Technology Development

[This post originally appeared on the MIT CoLab Radio blog, in Danielle Martin's Media Mindfulness column.]

When my old friend and collaborator Leo Burd returned to MIT as a research scientist for the Center for Future Civic Media (C4FCM), we started to gather some like-minded folks to discuss how media and mapping tools and youth civic engagement can intersect in the world of the Media Lab. Both of us have often been called a bridge or a translator between technology developers and underserved community members. We see a value in equalizing the power that comes from self construction, blurring the role of creator and user.

This Week in Civic Media 05.14.10: Jeff Warren maps the Gulf oil disaster, coverage of Josh Levinger's platform

From the Center

  • Citizens map the Gulf oil slick with balloons and kites @c4fcm's Jeff Warren reports
  • Some coverage of our Josh Levinger's platform, an internet toolkit for collective financial action

FrontlineSMS gets $350k from Omidyar

  • @FrontlineSMS: Omidyar Network announces $350,000 funding to help us take FrontlineSMS to next level

Hero report in North Cambridge

  • Cambridge fire and police crews save life of suffocating newborn at oil change station

Your actual privacy options with Facebook

  • @Info_Activism: U own the content u put on #Facebook: export it, delete it, take control with via @jilliancyork

And elsewhere

What Reality Television Tells Us About the Arab World: An Interview with Marwan Kraidy (Part One)

Reality television is often depicted as the trivialization or tabloidization of American culture. I can't tell you how many people I know have told me with a sneer that more Americans voted in the most recent American Idol than voted in the last presidential election. It turns out to be a myth -- since people can vote as many times as they want for American Idol, there's no way to translate the number of votes cast into the number of people participating, and my bet is that if we could have voted for the candidate of our choice on speed dial in the last election, the numbers there would have looked much more impressive. Yet, the comment suggests the ways that reality television is often depicted as a distraction for democratic citizenship.


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