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

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Hiring a Researcher / Community Manager for Media Cloud

Come help social change organizations understand media conversations about topics they care about, and assess how their media campaigns are doing in changing media narratives. You'll use our suite of quantitative media analysis tools built on MediaCloud to explore online media coverage of issues such as wellness and health and/or women’s rights and social norms in both the U.S. and in selected developing countries. 
 

So, What is "Speculative Civic Media"?

This is my first post here, so hello. I’m Raafat, here at MIT for a couple of years of research at the Art, Culture and Technology program. I’m on this blog because I’m taking the "Intro to Civic Media" class this semester. Speaking from a Contemporary Art vantage point, it could be argued that defining an era by time/situation (Contemporary) rather than “formal” discourse (i.e. Modernism) is a label for a transition that has been kidnapped by an external, non-art-related factor. Art today, as a ubiquitous global product conforms more to a global market (kidnapper) than to art itself. This is not to say that art needs to be autonomous, but the expectations of it in “social impact” and “cultural influence” should be assessed based on the above-mentioned reality.

Comparisons could be drawn with contemporary revolutions that were kidnapped and/or derailed by forces that are more sustainable than “careful and slow" liberation. The Egyptian revolution was kidnapped first by the Muslim brotherhood and then by the military. The Syrian war is still oscillating between resisting a dictatorship and a fear of what might replace it given derailed temporary victories around it.

We Should Have the Right to Trust Our iPhone Passcodes

Smartphones have become an almost universal tool for the masses, mainly as a simple gateway to the Internet. Though, in recent years these devices have increasingly become personalized and full of even more intimate data. Some would argue that our smartphones are extensions of ourselves because they could function as an "extended mind" and will start becoming a hub for internet connected devices that could leave behind real-time footprints of their users. The design of the devices themselves have shifted to reflect this closer intimacy between users and their devices. New iPhones have fingerprint scanners so that people can't just look over your shoulder while you type your password and iOS has tighter rules on when the iPhone requires a passcode if the fingerprint scanner is enabled.

Media, Stories, and Boston youth

"Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts." - Salman Rushdie

Story is powerful. Whether the his-stories ingested through schooling, the discourses given voice in the news or the identities composed in popular culture, we make the world and are made by the world, through narrative. Politicians get this, media scholars get this, the youth get this.

Boy Better Get To Know: Why Britain Needs to Recognise and Celebrate its Black Artists

For the past few years, grime has been making a small but significant shift in the mainstream. Artists like Wiley, Dizzee and Tinie have spilled over into the realms of pop culture. Others, like Skepta, spilled over and pulled back again, wanting to forge their own way into the limelight without conforming to polished beats and signing to major labels.


There’s no question: artists like Wiley and the Roll Deep crew set the stage for this new wave of artists. Without Dizzee’s enduring popularity, his ability to draw crowds at festivals across the globe and collaborate with some of the world’s biggest producers, it’s unlikely that artists like Skepta, Stormzy and Krept and Konan would be in a position to retain a larger sense of their roots.

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