Throughout the world, citizens are harnessing social media tools to tell their own stories; not simply as self-interested individuals but as open collaborators for collective benefit. Journalists, filmmakers, artists, storytellers are now combining their creative content and open source tools, then sharing the outcome with others (and each other) in ways that were, until recently, inconceivable. Here, the term ‘citizen’ in citizen media is to invoke open participation for collective benefit.
Although technology is not equally available throughout the world, media tools are being successfully developed for, and used by, people with limited technological experience and computer access. Before, their perspectives were absent, often ignored or misrepresented by others but now they are adding their voices to the larger social conversation. People whose rights are violated with impunity are appropriating citizen media to document violations and distribute their stories as defensive strategies to prevent further abuse.
New work models are being adopted by media makers and their audience to gather and disseminate information at a speed and across distances that are indispensable for public mobilization. Participatory media projects that include multiple platforms, genres and issues are enriching conversations with diversity.
A goal of the Citizen Media Rendez-Vous is to encourage a collaborative exchange to learn about, and advance the practices of, citizen media that cultivate inclusive participation and social justice. The one-day conference will ask the questions: How is citizen media being used innovatively by civil society, independent journalists, media practitioners and others to better inform the public, and to what effect?
The moderators, panelists and registered participants will discuss this question from three angles:
Access to the tools
What tools are currently being used within the context of citizen media and what tools await on the horizon? How does access to electricity, cell phones, radio broadcasting, internet networks, adequate bandwidth, computers, recording devices, etc. affect a community’s ability to communicate? Who controls access and how does this affect the information being distributed? What media tools are being used for one purpose can be transferable for other uses to other media creators? What is being done to help remote communities access the tools? Will the increased use of social media tools help communities be better informed or will mainstream media commodify their use and further dilute diversity of opinion?
Appropriation of information
How are under-represented communities empowered by having their voices heard? What challenges does illiteracy bring to a community that wants to share information? Will perceptions change when communities tell their own stories rather than have them filtered through the eyes of others? How can dissenting or controversial ideas escape censorship? How can a community that speaks a local language respond to information about them created in a language they do not understand? Does social networking compromise personal or organizational information by making it easily accessible to others? Can citizen media's increased online presence help better inform the public with diverse perspectives where traditional media cannot? With an over-abundance of information distributed via social networks, how can important mobilization messages filter through the noise?
Citizen media development & mobilization
What is a social media community and how is it created and developed? What are examples of projects that mobilize illiterate communities without electricity to becoming active communicators in an online setting? How does community participation in funding news creation affect the choices of what stories get told and what is not and how does it differ from advertizement funded news gathering? How does one determine a community’s networking value for mobilization? How can social media tools help urgent issues, like human rights abuses, reach the appropriate target to prevent the abuses from continuing? What models have been successful in encouraging participation in a social media community? How has the development of Open Source software benefit citizen media projects?
View the entire conference as a Livestream Archive, HERE
Voir la conférence en français ICI
David Widgington, 2010 Coordinator
Reisa Levine, Organizing Partner - CitzenShift
Tél : +1-514-934-5999 ext. 230