April 15th, 2013. What a day? Last year I was standing exactly where the first bomb exploded waiting for my friends to cross the finish line. What a world? Who would think that festive Boston would turn into a crime scene in fragments of a second.
On Patriots Day, late afternoon, a tweet interrupted the Sandbox Summit at MIT. A participant raised his hand to break the news about the explosions nearby the marathon finish line, and instantly everyone was on their smart phones, tablets and laptops checking the updates. Everyone knew someone that could be a potential victim, and everyone who knew us in that room thought we might be hurt. In view of the tragic events, everyone was hungry for information. Continue reading
Last Tuesday I did not have a chance to watch the live broadcast of SOTU. Later on that night when I got home I had a look on twitter, then read the Facebook comments of my friends which where complemented by articles from the New York Times to the Onion and Politico. Next morning I watched the speech on YouTube, read individual blogs and visited international news sources mostly from the EU.
Following this online journey…naturally I had a story to tell about the State of the Union as captured by the people!
Media ownership is heavily debated as it holds the media conglomerates accountable for disseminating censored and filtered information preventing the audience from objective information. Consistently, the literature points that media ownership types have insignificant impact on the news agenda when comparing for example family and state owned agencies. One major difference though is the quality of news production where the large corporations have the funding and thus the comparative advantage in contrast to small local stations. These are no surprise since in general media companies are profit oriented. Determined to please their consumers, tailor-made stories reach the audience instead of objectivity, leading to the formation of biased mis-perceptions such as the story of the Iraqi nuclear weapons possession among the US population.
Few of the courses I have taken in grad school allow students to undertake projects with real value. One of these is the Media, Politics and Power in the Digital Age at the Kennedy School. The Professor, Nicco Mele, gave us the option to choose between a research paper, a policy memo and a Wikipedia contribution for our final project. Taking into account the utility of all those upon my personal advancement and their potential application to my master thesis made this decision hard.
My thesis is an academic research exploring the notion of participation and how governments as well as corporations are looking to encourage citizen or employee participation in decision-making via on line platforms. Currently I am working on the development of a new participation classification model, and considering how this would become a useful tool to make both governments and corporations more participatory.