November 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
What does civic engagement look like in a digital age? What does it mean to participate in civic life when the lines between online and offline, political and social, organization and network are increasingly blurred? We define civic media as the “technologies, designs, and practices that produce and reproduce the sense of being in the world with others toward common good.” We offer this intentionally broad definition to accommodate what we see as a growing range of civic practices. And we hope that the term is generative, not restrictive – that it sparks the imagination about what it might include. But this isn’t simply a casual investigation. There is urgency in defining the term, as there is danger of these emerging practices of civic engagement simply getting lumped into larger media trends, or on the flip side, getting written off as anomalies narrowly defined. The term civic media suggests an “acting with” as a means of achieving a common good. It is inclusive of the range of intentional actions that people take with and through technologies, designs, or practices (aka media). Throughout the book, civic media is exemplified not through products or outcomes, but through the processes and potential of using the tools available to strive for the common good.
Join the editors and contributors of the new book Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press 2016) for a discussion on the role of civic media in the changing face of democracy around the world.
Eric Gordon is the founding director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson. He is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Eric studies civic media and public engagement within the US and the developing world. He is specifically interested in the application of games and play in these contexts. In addition to being a researcher, he is also the designer of award winning "engagement games," which are games that facilitate civic participation. He has served as an expert advisor for the UN Development Program, the International Red Cross / Red Crescent, the World Bank, as well as municipal governments throughout the United States. In addition to articles and chapters on games, digital media, urbanism and civic engagement, he is the author of two books: Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (Blackwell 2011, with Adriana de Souza e Silva) and The Urban Spectator: American Concept Cities From Kodak to Google (Dartmouth 2010). His edited volume (with Paul Mihailidis) entitled Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice will be published by MIT Press in 2016.
Paul Mihailidis's research explores the nexus of media literacy, young people and engagement in civic life. He is the Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, a program that annually gathers scholars and students from around the world to investigate media and global citizenship. His book Media Litearcy and the Emerging Citizen: Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture (Peter Lang 2014) explores the competencies young citizens need to thrive in the digital age.
Mihailidis has published widely on media literacy, global media, and digital citizenship.In addition to Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen, he has edited two books: Media Literacy Education in Action: Theoretical and Pedagogical Perspectives (w/Belinha DeAbreu, Routledge 2013) and News Literacy: Global Perspectives for the Newsroom and the Classroom (Peter Lang 2012). He has two forthcoming anthologies: The Civic Media Reader (MIT Press, w/ Eric Gordon) and the International Encyclopedia of Media Literacy (Wiley, with Renee Hobbs)
Mihailidis sits on the board of directors for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), is the co-editor for the Journal of Media Literacy Education (JMLE), and the Associate Director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College. Mihailidis has presented his research to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), UNESCO, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and traveled to China to join the board of the Academy for Global Media in Chongqing. As Director of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, Mihailidis oversees a program that gathers over 60 students and a dozen faculty from five continents for three weeks every summer to create multimedia media literacy products that are used in over 100 countries around the world.