news | MIT Center for Civic Media

FOLD: Part-Time Job Opportunity for JavaScript Developer

Our team at the Center for Civic Media is developing innovative new tools to re-think how people publish and consume news. FOLD is a reading, authoring, and publishing platform allowing storytellers to structure and contextualize complex stories. You can read a little bit more about us on Fast Company, Nieman Lab, and Boston Magazine.

We are looking for a Boston-area contract developer who wants to play an active role in realizing the vision for the tool and getting it ready to deploy by early March. The tool is already underway, but this will be a short development cycle and we need someone passionate, energetic, and disciplined.

The newsworthiness of women and violence towards women

This is my modest contribution to the Introduction to Civic Media course. This is about the small scale analysis of the front page news on the women's day and violence towards women in the selected Turkish newspapers for one week. I attempt to show that the Turkish media in general does not cover the issues of women on the front page as these are not being considered having news value This situation changes mostly during the 8th of March International Women's Day. This is the only day you can see invited women at TV discussion programs. They talk about women though. They are not called to express their opinions on the other areas. The expertise is largely left to men.

This small study shows that how the issues of women are mentioned briefly and ignored in the following days after the Women’s Day immediately in the press. Even though at least one in five women is subjected to violence, this does not take sufficient attention on the front page.

How Close to Home? Crisis, Attention and Geographic Bias


 Boston Marathon Bombings, April 15, 2013                Lushan Earthquake, April 20, 2013  

                               (Credit: AFP/Getty Images, National Geographic)

A Critical Geography of the News Coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings

By Catherine D'Ignazio and Luisa Beck

Panorama de medios en Costa Rica

Costa Rica puede ser un reflejo, un microcosmo, de lo que acontece en forma global con respecto a los medios de comunicación, el periodismo, la libertad de expresión, y la democracia. Siempre contiene sus idiosincracias internas, pero en el escenario globalizado, ocurren patrones que se repiten alrededor del mundo.

Por ejemplo, el dueño de uno de los canales de televisión (Repretel Canal 6) y estación de radio (Monumental) más populares en el país, es también dueño de otros dos canales de tele, y doce estaciones de radio, además de 30 canales de tele y 70 de radio en toda América Latina. Ángel González, mexicano, podría decirse que es una versión miniatura de Rupert Murdoch: extranjero, dueño de una conglomeración de medios en muchos países, capitalista de la información.

Cliff Stoll guesses wrong, and Pew study on online news shows how

Okay, enough people have (re)berated poor Clifford Stoll, whose 1995 essay The Internet? Bah! Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn't, and will never be, nirvana resurfaced and, yes, is still so curmudgeony that it makes Dennis the Menace's Mr. Wilson sound like Pangloss. To wit:

What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading. Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them--one's a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn't work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, "Too many connections, try again later."

Center launches project development blog

Chugging away quietly in the background since late summer has been a new development blog for Center projects, available at The blog features a more technical discussion of project plans, hopes, benchmarks, and solicitations for advice---in contrast to the outward facing posts at and the primetime posts at the PBS MediaShift blog.

We're making the dev blog more public now so that you can contribute your comments on our work at an earlier stage---and also because at MIT we can't help but show what's under the hood.

So it's where the geekiest of us can explore the backend of work at the Center...because who wouldn't want to see Josh and Jeff proving for their mapping research that you can create your own geolocated imagery for less than $100?

The future of news?

The lucky and talented Knight News Challenge winners have joined us here at MIT this week to explore “The Future of News and Civic Media.” As they arrive, I am preparing to depart. This farewell post for C4FCM is inspired especially by them and by four experiences here this spring:
…MIT Prof. William Uricchio observed that old media make us feel like “a passenger in the back seat of the car, howling at the driver.”
…Phil Balboni debated a skeptical MIT student about news “objectivity” at Balboni’s new online GlobalPost venture
…Harvard’s Shorenstein Center handed out prestigious Goldsmith investigative reporting prizes to mostly old media folks,