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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Youth Media Workshop in Jabaliya refugee camp, Gaza – Week 1

Voices Beyond Walls and Les Enfants, Le Jeu et l’Education (EJE) began its first participatory digital media and storytelling workshop in the UNRWA Woman’s center in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza from July 4 – 25, 2010.

The three-week workshop is being conducted with five local staff members from the woman’s center and 5-6 volunteers (from youth organizations like Tamer and Sharek), all of whom participated in the Training of Trainers (ToT) course previously conducted by Voices Beyond Walls at the Canaan Institute of New Pedagogy from June 28-30, 2010. The workshop participants include 25 children (boy and girls aged 10-15) from Jabaliya camp.

Another “comparison group” of 25 children are participating in a Dabke (traditional Palestinian dance) workshop conducted in parallel at the center, as part of the pilot research study led by Dr. Nitin Sawhney, examining the role of interventions supporting participatory media, creative expression, and civic engagement among marginalized children undergoing conditions of protracted conflict.

Pre-workshop Planning and Preliminary Focus Group Evaluations

Help Us Develop the Junkyard Jumbotron

The Junkyard Jumboron is a really quick, web-based way to combine many people's laptops (9, 12, 20...) into a giant, eye-catching display.

It's useful for...
...when you're organizing a rally, and you wan to draw the interest of passers-by.
...when you've assembled a cool collection of people, and you want to capture a unique photograph of the event.
...when your organization has a storefront, and you want to call attention to your cause.

All it takes is 3 steps to set up a Junkyard Jumbotron

1. Collect people's laptops, smartphones, etc and arrange them in a grid (on a table, in people's arms, etc). Any device with a web browser will work.

2. Point each device at a special url

3. Take a picture of the screens and the special "glyphs" that show up on them (thanks to the special url) and send it to a special email address (see left image below)

Now anyone can send arbitrary images to the Junkyard Jumbotron via email (see right image below)

My job, let me show you it

Recently, C4FCM sent out a job posting looking for a new outreach coordinator. As the current outreach coordinator, I'd like to share some insider secrets about how awesome working here is. (Spoiler: very!)

Civic Media: A Syllabus

Over the past few terms, I've been sharing here the syllabi of the new courses I am developing at the University of Southern California, courses which build upon my own research interests and are intended to open up space for students to pursue their own projects. In the fall, I am going to be teaching two classes, both graduate seminars -- Civic Media for the Journalism School and Medium Specificity for the Cinema School. I am sharing my Civic Media syllabus here and will share the Medium Specificity syllabus later this summer. I am sharing these in part in hopes they prove useful to other researchers and teachers and in part because I am hoping to help spread the word to USC students who might be interested in learning more on these topics. The Civic Media class is intended, as the syllabus suggests, as a nexus between Communications and Journalism students, but I also assume it may appeal to students in Political Science, History, Education, perhaps even some in Engineering or Computer Science who want to build tools for supporting civic engagement or activism. If you know of someone at USC who might be interested in this class, please pass the word.

The Need to Know

"The press has done an admirable (albeit belated) job with the technical complexities of MMS's (Minerals Management Services of the Interior Department) administrative failings. What is not being asked, and what the press needs to focus on, is whether MMS's problems are endemic to the entire federal government."
From Nieman Watchdog

Two stories in the media raised an eyebrow in June:

One was a front-page takeout on June 10 in USA Today on adult pools in Las Vegas. A legitimate story, to be sure, reflecting the world we live in. What was remarkable, considering the BP disaster and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was that for the next five days on the top of the USA Today website the pool story continued to be No. 1 among the Top Five Most Popular Stories on the site.

On June 15 — five days after the original pools story ran — it still led the list. The most popular stories were:

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