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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

"Random Acts of Journalism": Defining Civic Media

I have found myself this week struggling to put together my thoughts on the concept of civic media in light of a series of conversations and encounters I had last week: for one thing, there was the public conversation which the MIT Communications Forum hosted last Thursday between myself and Yochai Benkler (The Wealth of Networks) about how participatory culture was impacting how we access and process news and information. For those who'd like to hear the podcast of that conversation, you can find it here. For another, I listened to the earlier exchange which the Forum hosted involving Dan Gilmore (We The Media), Ellen Foley (The Wisconsin State Journal) and Alex Beam (The Boston Globe) on the rise of citizen journalism and its impact on established newspapers which can be found here.

"Random Acts of Journalism": Defining Civic Media

I have found myself this week struggling to put together my thoughts on the concept of civic media in light of a series of conversations and encounters I had last week: for one thing, there was the public conversation which the MIT Communications Forum hosted last Thursday between myself and Yochai Benkler (The Wealth of Networks) about how participatory culture was impacting how we access and process news and information. For those who'd like to hear the podcast of that conversation, you can find it here. For another, I listened to the earlier exchange which the Forum hosted involving Dan Gilmore (We The Media), Ellen Foley (The Wisconsin State Journal) and Alex Beam (The Boston Globe) on the rise of citizen journalism and its impact on established newspapers which can be found here.

Cory Doctorow as Exemplar

Throughout the fall term, I am going to be sharing with readers more of the work we have been doing for the MacArthur Foundation on new media literacies, building up to the release of a significant new white paper in late October which makes the case for a new set of social skills and cultural competencies which we need to be incorporating into American education. We are already hard at work putting these ideas into practice, developing curricular activities and supporting materials that will help teachers and after school programs respond in more meaningful ways to the challenges and opportunities of the new participatory culture.

Cory Doctorow as Exemplar

Throughout the fall term, I am going to be sharing with readers more of the work we have been doing for the MacArthur Foundation on new media literacies, building up to the release of a significant new white paper in late October which makes the case for a new set of social skills and cultural competencies which we need to be incorporating into American education. We are already hard at work putting these ideas into practice, developing curricular activities and supporting materials that will help teachers and after school programs respond in more meaningful ways to the challenges and opportunities of the new participatory culture.

City Blogging in Beirut

Part of the pleasure of starting this blog has been building closer contact with my existing students as I develop posts around some of their research and hearing back from former students who tip me about media developments in their part of the world. A little while ago, I got e-mail from a former undergraduate student Rania Khalaf. She had been a student in my Introduction to Media Studies class years ago and was reminded of the class by recent developments involving digital media in her native country of Lebanon.

In this case, I wanted to share with you the story in her own words and through the images being produced by artists in the Middle East but circulated around the world.

Here's what she wrote to me:

I have been thinking a lot about that class lately and was thinking you'd find the blogging about the Lebanese-Israeli war, especially by the art community, to be an interesting phenomenon... Now, the blogs are seeping onto the walls of cities.

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