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Media Re:public
Participatory Media – Surveying the Field in 2008
March 27-28, 2008

All events are at the USC Annenberg School for Communication 3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA.

Thursday, March 27

18:00 - 18:30       Registration                                                                       East Lobby


18: 30 - 20:00      Opening Conversation                                                     Auditorium

                             Introductory Remarks
                                    Ernest Wilson, USC Annenberg

                            Media Re:public
                            How we got here, what we hope to do together
                                    Elspeth Revere, MacArthur Foundation
                                    John Palfrey, Berkman Center

                             Our Audiences, Ourselves
                             How participatory media has and hasn’t revolutionized the news
                                    Richard Sambrook, BBC Global News


20:00                    Cocktail Reception                                                           East Lobby


Friday, March 28                                                                               

8:30 – 9:00          Registration & Coffee


9:00 – 10:30        Framing the Discussion                                                    East Lobby

                                   John Palfrey

                             Power & Media in the Networked Environment
                                  Manuel Castells, USC Annenberg

                             Agreeing on Principles
                             Defining the qualities of information our democracy needs
                                  Roberto Suro, USC Annenberg

                             The Networked Difference
                             How new technologies and behaviors are changing the news
                                  David Weinberger, Berkman Center

10:30 - 11:00       Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:30      Parsing the Political Blogosphere
It is not easy to know what is going on in the blogosphere, where authority is fluid and influence mechanism are not obvious. We look at new methods to get beyond anecdotes in exploring these issues.
         John Kelly, Berkman Center & Columbia School of Journalism
         Discussants: Ellen Hume, MIT Center for Future Civic Media; Doc Searls, Berkman Center

11:30 – 12:30      Breakouts – Research Questions                                     Auditorium & ASC 204-2

Understanding the Media Ecosystem
The discussion of participatory media needs to go beyond studying the relationships among newspapers, political blogs and citizen media sites. Social media, non-text formats, and public and other nonprofit media increasingly play a role in the news and information environment. Meanwhile, the information environment is become more global. How do we take stock of the impact of this complex mix of sources and genres, including their use outside the U.S.?

Moderator: Doreen Weisenhaus, University of Hong Kong
Presentation: Any Video Any Language
Laurie Racine, Michael Smolens, dotSUB
Proposing a Participatory Media Typology
Persephone Miel, Rob Faris, Berkman Center
Discussants: Torey Malatia, :Vocalo; Richard Vega, Yahoo! News; Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota; Ron Cooper, Access Sacramento; Ivan Sigal, USIP; Lokman Tsui, Anneberg Upenn; Mark Jones, Reuters
Background materials: Proposed typology/ies; :Vocalo case study; NGOs as gatekeepers (Annenberg East), Media in conflict zones (Ivan Sigal, USIP)

Defining Success, Measuring Impact
Dozens of experiments with audience-created content have failed; many are in limbo. Others flourish seemingly against all logic. Meanwhile, traditional media are re-examining their methods for demonstrating success to advertisers or sponsors. How should we define success for projects with different geographic or thematic, different target audiences? How much impact is enough? When are popular appeal or financial success not the right indicators?

Moderator: Jan Schaffer, J-Lab
Presentation: Tracking & Analyzing Community News Models in 50 US cities
Margaret Duffy, University of Missouri School of Journalism
Media Choices of "Poli-fluentials"
Carol Darr, GWU
Discussants: Marc Cooper, Huffington Post; Clint Ivy, Fox Interactive Media; David Poulson, Great Lakes Wiki; Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voices; Dan Gillmor, Arizona State University
Background materials:
Media Choices of "Poli-fluentials" (Berkman/IPDI)
PEJ Report on Citizen Journalism Sites

12:30 – 13:30      Lunch        (birds of a feather discussions optional)                     East Lobby

13:30 – 13:45       Citizen McCaw – Documentary film                                               Auditorium

The film chronicles events since July 2006, when editor Jerry Roberts and five of his colleagues quit the Santa Barbara News-Press, citing owner and co-publisher Wendy McCaw's abandonment of journalistic ethics, which McCaw denied. Since then, McCaw and dozens of her former staffers have been engaged in a fierce clash of wills that raises important national questions of journalistic ethics and media ownership. Citizen McCaw was produced pro bono by four Santa Barbararesidents with long film and arts careers of various types, each of whom felt that the story is important to the Santa Barbara community and its historical record, as well as to the national debate about media ownership and journalistic ethics. Filmmaker Charles Minsky and former reporters from the paper Melinda Burns and Melissa Evans will show an excerpt and discuss the making of the film.

13:45 – 14:45     Plenary II                                                                                       Auditorium

                             It’s 2013: Do You Know Where Your News Is?
Examining scenarios for the future

One of the few areas of agreement among observers of the news environment is that there is much more change to come. There are challenges and opportunities for all involved and both start-ups and legacy media are unsure whether they will survive the next decade. Decisions made in the next few years may have enormous consquences for the breadth and quality of news coverage, depending on which niches thrive and which types of media don't survive. In this session we’ll discuss scenarios that illustrate possible outcomes over the next 5-10 years.

Moderator: Jonathan Zittrain, Berkman Center
David Cohn,

Jennifer Ferro, KCRW
Jon Funabiki, San Francisco University
Jonathan Krim, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

Solana Larsen, Global Voices
Paul Steiger, Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica
Jonathan Taplin, USC Annenberg
Lisa Williams,

14:45 – 16:15  Breakouts – Translating Research into Action                  Location TBA

Supporting the Emerging Media Ecology
Traditionally, big media organizations provided a context for both readers and writers.  They defined expectations of quality for the audience while providing legal and insitutional support for journalists. As peer-production becomes part of "the news," both within and outside traditional media, how are those functions changing and what new institutions or relationships are needed to provide them to fragmented audiences and decentralized authors?

Moderator: Steve Schultze, MIT
Presentation: Fabrice Florin,; Martin Moore,

Discussants: Tony Pierce, LA Times; Wendy Seltzer, Chilling Effects; Nathaniel James, Media & Democracy Coalition; Farai Chideya, NPR
Background materials: Public media white paper (Center for Social Media, American University/Beyond Broadcast Coalition)

Finding Viable Models
The myriad experiments of the last few years are only the beginning. New models, both business and editorial, are needed to support excellent local, regional, national and international news gathering and dissemination. Are either market mechanisms or the enthusiasm of individuals sufficient to identify and create sustainable projects? What is the right role for existing or emerging public service media?

Moderator: Lisa Williams,
Presentations: Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; Doc Searls, Project VRM/Berkman;
Discussants: Owen Smith, Newspaper Association of America; Daniel Beckmann,; Jake Shapiro, PRX/Berkman; Jennifer Ferro KCRW; Lisa Williams,
Background materials: case study, VRM proposal

16:15-16:45         Coffee Break

16:45 – 17:30      Closing Conversation

Reviewing the Day, Action Points
Moderator:  Jake Shapiro, PRX


Closing Remarks
    Ernest Wilson