Information Ecology

The Master Switch

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 2, 2010

According to Columbia professor and policy advocate Tim Wu, the great information empires of the 20th century have followed a clear and distinctive pattern: after the chaos that follows a major technological innovation, a corporate power intervenes and centralizes control of the new medium--the master switch. Wu chronicles the turning points of the century' s information landscape: those decisive moments when a medium opens or closes, from the development of radio to the Internet revolution, where centralizing control could have devastating consequences.

Where's MPI?: Media Policy Initiative Week in Review

October 15, 2010
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We took a week off here at MPI’s Week in Review, but we’re back now with lots to talk about. Let’s call this post a “Two Weeks in Review.”

As part of the release of Fiona Morgan’s MPI case study on the Research Triangle, North Carolina, based on The Knight Commission Report on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, the Triangle Community Foundation hosted a forum on Oct. 8 in Durham, N.C. Moderated by MPI Fellow Tom Glaisyer, the event brought together a variety of prominent figures in Triangle media (both traditional and new) to discuss the state of Triangle media, as well as the implications of Morgan’s report.

Media policy and the online community news start-up

October 1, 2010

I attended the Block-by-Block Community News Summit in Chicago on Sept. 24, an event sponsored by the Reynolds Journalism Institute, where I spoke to hyper-local and community news start-up founders about policy issues they are facing in journalism's digital age. Below is a summary of the issues, followed by the founders' comments. 

Where’s MPI?: Media Policy Initiative Week in Review

October 1, 2010
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Plenty going on this week.

On Sept. 29, Fellow Jessica Clark published a blog post on behalf of American University’s Center for Social Media, “Making the Case for Public Media at the RIPE Conference.” The RIPE conference (Re-visionary Interpretations of the Public Enterprise) in London early last month was the site of a discussion on the role of public media, specifically public service broadcasters (PSBs), in the digital age. 

Where's MPI?: Media Policy Week in Review

September 24, 2010
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Today through tomorrow, Michigan State University College of Law is hosting a conference with an intriguingly global title: “Bits Without Borders: Law, Communications & Transnational Culture Flow in the Digital Age.”  With immigration as an integral element of American culture, it is easy to see that such “transnational flow” of all kinds of information is both active and growing within the U.S. MPI fellow Phil Napoli will be joining a panel on “Diversity in Digital Global Age” and has submitted a paper entitled “Persistent and Emergent Diversity Policy Concerns in an Evolving Media Environment: Toward a Reflective Research Agenda.

Seattle

  • By
  • Jessica Durkin,
  • Tom Glaisyer,
  • Kara Hadge,
  • New America Foundation
September 23, 2010

Seattle, Wash., could be considered a city singularly suited to develop a healthy democracy in the digital age. The city government, citizens and business have created a productive environment for the next generation of information-sharing and community engagement.

Scranton

  • By
  • Jessica Durkin,
  • Tom Glaisyer,
  • New America Foundation
September 23, 2010

In the past several years the Scranton, Pennsylvania, news media have steadily lost workers. In parallel, the space to publish quality journalism in the leading local paper has been reduced. In Northeast Pennsylvania residents and local governments have been slow to adapt to new online information practices despite high-speed Internet access in the area and readily available online publishing software. In addition, the Great Recession has battered local media, highlighting the limitations of the Scranton news and information ecosystem.

Community News Start-Ups 2010: Where do we go from here?

September 23, 2010
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It’s a good thing for community news start-ups that the web is not dead.

Indeed, for the more than 100 online community news founders, innovators and researchers expected at the RJI Reynolds Block by Block Community News Summit in Chicago on Friday, the web is the future.
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Where's MPI?: Media Policy Initiative Week in Review

September 17, 2010
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Version 1 of the Media Policy Initiative’s latest information community case study, The Research Triangle, North Carolina: A region oflocallyowned media outlets and entrepreneurs on the verge, was posted to the website on Sept. 16. Fiona Morgan has reported on the “information health” of the Triangle area, i.e. Durham, Wake, Orange, and Chatham counties, according to The Knight Commission Report on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.

The Research Triangle, North Carolina

  • By
  • Fiona Morgan,
  • Allie Perez,
  • New America Foundation
September 16, 2010

The Triangle is a complex and varied metropolitan area of 1.6 million people, a place in which local identity and regional identity often exist in tension. Connected by highways and by the institutions that employ, educate and entertain, them, Triangle residents tend nevertheless to limit their civic interests to the local communities in which they live. This tension presents challenges to media outlets that cover the Triangle as a metropolitan area.

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