A complex vision of citizen media

Center for Future Civic Media
MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media is hosting the annual meeting of Knight News Challenge winners at MIT, and Ethan Zuckerman is there.

Aside from a Q&A session with Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibarguen and sociologist/author Eric Klinenberg about the future of news, Zuckerman posts two longer contributions about citizen media, which I thought were worth highlighting:

Iran, citizen media and media attention

“I’ve written at some length about homophily, the tendency of birds of a feather to flock together. Turns out that reporters flock, too. It’s somewhat amazing to me the extent to which reporters from really good newspapers are all asking the same questions. I’m glad that people are taking a close look at the phenomenon of social media in the Iranian protests – it’s an important, fascinating and worthwhile topic. But there’s a lot of topics out there, and I wonder whether we benefit from a thousand well-researched stories on this phenomenon rather than a hundred, and nine hundred other stories.”

Chris Csikszentmihayli and a complex vision of citizen media

“Chris closes his talk with remarks on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote not just political philosphy but “bodice-ripper novels”. These novels allowed individuals to “live in the skin of others”, experience the empathy that comes from living for a while as a servant or a noble. The daily paper, he believes, can give a sense of community empathy, the ability to live another’s experience through storytelling. That’s something we need to preserve and cultivate as we move into a digital future.”

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