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Future of Public Media

SXSW: Privacy, Surveillance and Media

Edward SnowdenThe focus on Internet privacy and surveillance at SXSW 2014 had implications for both techies and media makers.

Edward Snowden’s precise and elegant presentation, delivered via Google Hangout (irony duly noted) and along seven (!) proxies, was well-paired with another beamed-in interview with journalist Glenn Greenwald, who reinforced Snowden’s concern. Read more...

How Shall We Think about Teens Online? danah boyd Explains It All to You

It's ComplicatedWhy are teens burying their faces in their screens? How can we protect young people from online predators? And stop cyberbullying? Oh, and can those digital natives fix our phones?

At a talk at the New America Foundation, communications scholar danah boyd showed why all these questions are the wrong ones to ask. Teens, she explained, are mostly using social media as a way to enable and enhance social life, often because their access to each other has been limited by curfews, suburbanization and school choice, and parental panic, to mention some larger social factors. So don’t blame them for texting, any more than you decried teen phone use or note passing in study hall in the past. Read more...

Remembering Stuart Hall

Stuart HallOne of the inspirations for the founding of the Center for Media & Social Impact, Stuart Hall, passed away this month. The range of voices remembering him was as broad as his influence. While 20-something activists mourned his passing and cited his influence on their organizing on Facebook, visual artists celebrated his role in building an artistic movement, and scholars recalled his unpretentious and enthusiastic engagement with popular culture. Read more...

Class Dismissed: Engaging Dropouts and Communities on Public Media

American GraduateWhen the Corporation for Public Broadcasting threw down the American Graduate challenge, Catherine Stifter and friends in California’s Central Valley took it on, and learned 5 key lessons in how to produce engaging public media. Read more...

"State of Play" Reexamines Gatekeeping Forces in the Media


State of Play: The Gatekeeping of Micro-documentariesSelf-publishing has removed traditional barriers to distribution, but the result is what Nick Michael calls "a soup of undifferentiated content" that makes it harder for filmmakers to get their audiences' attention. These days, the problem isn't putting your message out there; it's finding people who will listen to you.

In today's world of YouTube, Facebook, Wordpress, Tumblr, and Twitter, anyone can self-publish content. The gatekeeping power of the "old media" is no longer a necessary obstacle for mediamakers. But self-publishing platforms are not as "gate-less" as they often seem. Read more...