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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Podcast: "Communications Forum: Civic Media and the Law"

David Ardia, Daniel Schuman, and Micah Sifry

What do citizens need to know when they publicly address legally challenging or dangerous topics? Journalists have always had the privilege, protected by statute, of not having to reveal their sources. But as more investigative journalism is conducted by so-called amateurs and posted on blogs or websites such as Wikileaks, what are the legal dangers for publishing secrets in the crowdsourced era? We convene an engaging group law scholars to help outline the legal challenges ahead, suggest policies that might help to protect citizens, and describe what steps every civic media practitioner should take to protect themselves and their users.

David Ardia runs the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Micah Sifry is a co-founder and editor of the Personal Democracy Forum.

Daniel Schuman is the policy counsel at the Sunlight Foundation, where he helps develop policies that further Sunlight's mission of catalyzing greater government openness and transparency.

When Politics Meets Pop Culture: The Mid-Term Election Report

I am writing this well before any election returns have come in. At the moment, I do not know for sure how well any of these candidates fared in the American mid-term elections last night (and given the likely results, I might prefer to remain in blissful ignorance for a bit.) Actually, if you are reading this it is probably because I stayed up way too late last night watching the returns.

Job Openings @ OpenPlans: Software Engineers for Open Source Transit Projects

Via our friend Nick Grossman:

Hey Everyone--

I have a great job opportunity for the right civic hacker or transit developer. OpenPlans' transportation software business is growing quickly, and we are looking to add at least two talented software engineers to our team. The job description is here:

For those who don't know OpenPlans, we are a non-profit software & media company focused on livable cities, open government, and open source software. Our transportation software team is working with transportation agencies across the US to build the "open transportation stack", beginning with multi-modal trip planners, real-time vehicle location systems, and more. You can read more at

Please pass it along!


DIY Video 2010: Activist Media (Part Three)

This is the first of an ongoing series of curated selections of DIY Video prepared in relation to the screening of DIY Video 2010 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and organized by Mimi Ito, Steve Anderson, and the good folks at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy. The following is an interview with curator Sasha Constanza-Chock designed to more fully map the contexts from which these Activist videos emerged.

Some critics have argued that the corporatized sites of web 2.0 will not allow sufficient room for progressive and radical voices to be heard. Some of the videomakers here, such as Witness, have established their own platforms for sharing their work, while others have deployed YouTube, Vimeo, and some of the other commercial platforms. How have these filmmakers worked through their relationship with commercial portals given their often anti-corporate messages?

This Week in Civic Media 10.29.10: Between the Bars interview; reporting on gas companies; Google $2m to Knight

From the Center

  • Audio: our Charlie DeTar speaks with @The_Takeaway about his prison blogging platform, "Between the Bars"
  • Our WellWatch/ExtrACT project helps Colorado resident report on gas company infiltration

Google donates $2m to Knight Foundation

Placeblogger angel fund

  • @placeblogger announces funding for investigative journalism done by local news sites

Election season tools


Subscribe to Front page feed