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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

AT PBS IDEALAB: Helium Balloons with Digital Cameras Create Grassroots Maps

The latest C4FCM post from the Idea Lab blog:

NuVu Boston harbor flight

I'm getting ready for day five of a two-week workshop for high schoolers at Beaver Country Day School in a suburb of Boston. The subject is my project, Grassroots Mapping, which helps teach people -- often young people -- around the world how to be activist cartographers and how to make their own maps. There's a twist, however: Instead of just marking a Google Map, or walking around with a GPS tracker, we construct simple capsules to hold a cheap digital camera, and send the whole package up on a helium balloon or a kite.

News Challenge winner "MediaBugs" unveils beta to track news errors

We're stoked to hear our friend Scott Rosenberg and his colleagues have unveiled MediaBugs, a Knight News Challenge-funded project. The MediaBugs idea is simple: take the bug-tracking methodology used by software developers and apply it to reporting.

MediaBugs is one of those unique developments of the Internet age: in the past, you simply couldn't update an article that was already out there in the world. The error was permanent, save for a tiny "we regret the error" update in the next day's newspaper.

Podcast: Communications Forum: "Civics in Difficult Places"

This global call-in show, hosted by MIT Center for Future Civic Media fellow Ethan Zuckerman, featured a number of journalists, advocates and programmers who utilize new technologies to gather information in contentious geographic regions:

  • Cameran Ashraf, Iran
  • Mehdi Yahyanejad, Iran
  • Georgia Popplewell, Haiti
  • Huma Yusuf, Pakistan
  • Ruthie Ackerman, Liberia
  • Brenda Burrell and Bev Clark, Zimbabwe
  • Lova Rakotomalala, Madagascar


Choose Your Fictions Well

By now, hopefully, you have read Peter Ludlow's account of recent events in Second Life and perhaps have also followed along with the comments and disputes that have surrounded this post. By now, hopefully, you've started to form your own opinion about what happened, why it happened, what it all means, and perhaps, what constitutes the borders between griefing and anti-griefing in this context. The following set of comments were crafted between Ludlow and myself as we reflected on these events and what they may tell us about the interplay between fantasy and politics in virtual worlds. We hope it will provide a springboard for further discussion both on this blog and elsewhere.

Choose your fictions well.
by Henry Jenkins and Peter Ludlow

Congratulations to MIT Comparative Media Studies on its 10th anniversary

The Center for Future Civic Media would like to congratulate one of its two institutional homes at MIT--the Comparative Media Studies program--on its 10th anniversary.

CMS is set to have an anniversary symposium next Friday, at which alumni, faculty, students, and fans will get together to discuss the past ten years as well as the next, both for the program and the field as a whole.

CMS has also just posted a colorful 60-page publication featuring pieces from an MIT dean, CMS director and Center principal investigator William Uricchio, staff, and alums covering these last ten years. If you go to the symposium, you'll have first dibs on the printed copies, but for now here's the digital version I just uploaded...again, congrats to CMS!


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