Henry | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by Henry

"What Is Civic Media" Revisited: A Conversation with Harvard's John Palfrey

Cross-posted with henryjenkins.org.

Henry Jenkins: On September 20 2007, we officially launched the MIT Center for the Future of Civic Media, a joint venture of the Media Lab and the Comparative Media Studies Program.

"Critical Pessimism" Revisted: An Open Letter to Adam Fish

A few weeks ago, Adam Fish called me out through his blog, Savage Minds, for what he saw as a harsh and unfair representation of the Media Reform movement in the final paragraphs of my book, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. He did so for the most part by simply reprinting my own words to frame a story he wrote about the recent Media Reform conference.

I was a bit surprised to find myself singled out as an enemy of the Media Reform movement. If I am the biggest obstacle to your success, you are much closer to victory than I had previously imagined. :-)

The experience was uncomfortable for me, but in a very constructive way, in that it has forced me to revisit my own words and reflect on how much my thinking has changed since I wrote them. It also hit at the end of the term so I am only now able to share some of these reflections with you.

What can Journalists Learn from The Daily Show: An Interview with Amber Day (Part Two)


What do these news comedy programs add to our understanding of contemporary life which may be missing from mainstream news?

What these programs excel at is deconstructing the scripted quality of the contemporary political conversation. Though we may be aware that politicians and corporate spokespeople are all carefully groomed and staged, and that their PR people are experts at getting the talking points on television, the news media rarely actually point this out, nor do they do the work of moving the conversation beyond the talking points. Satire, then, offers a way of satisfyingly breaking through the existing script. Stewart and Colbert (as well as their counterparts in other countries) have built a reputation on their repeated attempts to demonstrate the ways in which the public political conversation is being manipulated, and to gesture to some of the very real issues that are being obscured.


Is there anything journalists could learn from and emulate from these forms of political humor which would not compromise their self-construction as neutral and objective voices?

What can Journalists Learn from The Daily Show: An Interview with Amber Day (Part One)

In case anyone was wondering, I'm not dead...yet. I seem to have spent the past few weeks AWOL on this blog, having gotten my rhythm thrown off over a particular intense period of activity on my part. Every day, I've been deluding myself into thinking I'd jump back into the swing of things, and I've been busy planning some really cool stuff for the summer which I will be announcing soon, but I've been silent. Sorry, guys.

Akoha-- A Direct Action Game?

For those of you interested in the work I've been discussing over the past week or so on civics and participatory culture, let me strongly recommend checking out the blog which is being run by the graduate students associated with our CivicPaths research group. Recent discussions there have included considerations of zombies as potential political metaphors, reflections on the nature of "engaged scholarship," thoughts on what we can learn from the Tea Party movement, and information about playful forms of civic education around economic literacy.

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