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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Why Media Studies Should Pay More Attention to Christian Media...

I have been pleasantly surprised by how much interest has been generated by last week's announcement in the blog that Comparative Media Studies and the MIT Communications Forum was hosting a special event focused on Evangelicals and the media. So, I wanted to be sure to let you know that the webcast version of the event is now available.

Some people have asked why our program would help to host such an event. There are a number of reasons why media scholars should care more about the use of media by this particular population:

Dissecting a Media Scare

Shortly before I went on break, someone e-mailed me a segment from WDAZ News (Grand Forks, North Dakota) focused on the "newest youth trend" -- "Emo" (or as the reporter helpfully explains, "emotional people.") It struck me as a textbook example of the ways that youth subcultures get misrepresented on television news and the ways that adult anxieties about kids who don't look, dress, and act "normal" get turned into hysteria by misreporting.

I have long argued that we need media literacy for adults far more urgently than we need it for kids, so I figured we might use this space to collectively dissect this video and the various ways that it constructs Emos* as a threat to public safety. So, dear viewers, let me invite you to join me in a game of what's wrong with this picture?

Dissecting a Media Scare

Shortly before I went on break, someone e-mailed me a segment from WDAZ News (Grand Forks, North Dakota) focused on the "newest youth trend" -- "Emo" (or as the reporter helpfully explains, "emotional people.") It struck me as a textbook example of the ways that youth subcultures get misrepresented on television news and the ways that adult anxieties about kids who don't look, dress, and act "normal" get turned into hysteria by misreporting.

I have long argued that we need media literacy for adults far more urgently than we need it for kids, so I figured we might use this space to collectively dissect this video and the various ways that it constructs Emos* as a threat to public safety. So, dear viewers, let me invite you to join me in a game of what's wrong with this picture?

An Interview with Comics Journalist Joe Sacco (Part Two)

Yesterday, I ran the first part of a two part interview with comics journalist Joe Sacco (Palestine) as conducted by CMS Masters student Huma Yosef (herself a former professional journalist from Pakistan). Today, I continue this interview. It occurred to me as I was putting this together that it represents a fascinating contrast to the interview I ran a week or so back with comics Creator Rob Walton (Ragmop). Both artists are very interested in using comics to explore political issues but they approach these issues from very different vantage points: Sacco creates realist comics that document the everyday lives of people from war-torn countries while Walton uses fantasy and comedy to encourage us to reflect on the American political process. Between them, they suggest some of the ways that comics may function as civic media.

I now turn you over to Huma for the rest of her interview.

In what ways is your method of working akin to that of a journalist?

An Interview with Comics Journalist Joe Sacco (Part Two)

Yesterday, I ran the first part of a two part interview with comics journalist Joe Sacco (Palestine) as conducted by CMS Masters student Huma Yosef (herself a former professional journalist from Pakistan). Today, I continue this interview. It occurred to me as I was putting this together that it represents a fascinating contrast to the interview I ran a week or so back with comics Creator Rob Walton (Ragmop). Both artists are very interested in using comics to explore political issues but they approach these issues from very different vantage points: Sacco creates realist comics that document the everyday lives of people from war-torn countries while Walton uses fantasy and comedy to encourage us to reflect on the American political process. Between them, they suggest some of the ways that comics may function as civic media.

I now turn you over to Huma for the rest of her interview.

In what ways is your method of working akin to that of a journalist?

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