Alexander Heffner delivered an engaging Quello Center Lecture on the engagement of ‘millennials’ in public media, issues and discourse. You are welcome to view the lecture, delivered on 18 March 2015, by going to the video below.
Alexander is seeking, through his work on ‘Open Minds’, a way to foster a more ‘civic-minded journalism culture, non-adversarial broadcasting in the public interest, and critical exploration of prosocial ideas.’ His talk can be viewed here, along with responses from two colleagues at MSU follow his talk, Eric Freedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist at MSU, and Gary Reid, the Director of WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. The responses and discussion challenge the concept of ‘millennials’, what is ‘newsworthy’ v ‘viral’ and what the key issues are in the future of public discourse – changing audiences, business models, the role of the journalist, and the quality of discourse. Optimists and pessimists about the future of public discourse can be found in the discussion.
Alexander is a graduate of Andover and Harvard, is host of The Open Mind on PBS Channel THIRTEEN/WNET and CUNY TV. Eric Freedman is the Knight Chair in environmental journalism and director of Capital News Service at MSU’s School of Journalism. Before joining the faculty full-time in 1996, Freedman was a reporter. Gary Reid is the Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WDBM-FM, WKAR-AM/FM/TV. He is a University Distinguished Senior Specialist in the Department of Media and Information at MSU and an Associate Director of the Quello Center.
Alexander’s lecture is about 25 minutes, including my introduction, with two short responses, and discussion. We’d welcome any comments or feedback on this talk here on the Quello Center blog.
This video presents a talk by Garlin Gilchrist, the Deputy Technology Director for Civic Engagement in Detroit, with Kat Hartman, and Professor Marc Kruman responding. The presentation is about 20 minutes, followed the responses and about 15 minutes of discussion.
Garlin focused on the launch of Detroit’s Open Data initiative, and the work of his office on the role of the Internet and related information and communication technologies in supporting civic and community engagement. He discusses initiatives the City of Detroit has been fostering, as well as other ongoing special projects emerging from groups and institutions working on the revitalization of Detroit. Finally, he underscored areas that could benefit from further research by universities, and other academic institutions.
Prior to his appointment in Detroit, Garlin most recently served as the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org, where he focused on mobilizing MoveOn’s seven million members on issues of civil rights, education, and technology policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. Gilchrist also founded Detroit Diaspora, a network for native Detroiters living elsewhere to connect with one another as well as people doing positive work in the City of Detroit. He was also the former Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change, where he build a base of online supporters to advocate for public policies in the interests of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, and reflect strong community values in ways that ensure that their authentic voices are heard, amplified, and respected. More information about Garlin Gilchrist is available at: garlin.org/about-garlin-gilchrist-ii.html
Our first respondent, Kat Hartman, is a Detroit-based freelance writer, data analyst, and information designer with data visualization firm, NiJeL. She received her MFA from the Stamps School of Art + Design at the University of Michigan and enjoys finding the intersections between design and research. She has worked as a data analyst at multiple non-profit organizations including Data Driven Detroit, a National Neighborhood Indicators Partner (NNIP) with the Urban Institute. She has also designed illustrated health materials for UNICEF in Botswana and German Agro Action in Ethiopia. She is also a former fellow at the Civic Data Design Lab at the MIT School of Architecture & Planning. Her online portfolio can be found here: kathartman.com. Follow her @kat_a_hartman.
Our second respondent, is Wayne State University Professor Marc W. Kruman, who chairs the Department of History, and is the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Citizenship. Professor Kruman is widely published. His current research focuses on the development of the interdisciplinary field of citizenship studies and the history of citizenship. He has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities at Harvard University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship. In 1999 he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the University of Rome. At Wayne State University, he has received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award (twice) and a Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.
Following a presentation to visiting Korean executives, Professor Sung Wook Ji provided a brief summary of major differences between cable systems in the US and Korea. Professor JI was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University, and has recently been appointed to an Assistant Professorship at Southern Illinois University. He received a Ph.D. from the Dept. of Telecommunications at Indiana University, Bloomington. This brief video focuses on these dramatic differences.
Sung Wook Ji’s primary research interests center on the interdisciplinary intersections of Mass Communication, Economics, and Media Policy. As an economist of the media, he is interested particularly in the social and economic impact of new media technologies on the media industry, and how these technologies are shaping the media industries and society. At the Quello Center, he has contributed to a variety of research activities and organised a lecture series for the University’s International Studies and Programs that reaches out to professionals from abroad, called the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP).
Professor Constantinos K. Coursaris gave a seminar on the business models behind new media. In this short video, he is asked to summarize the new business models – and succinctly does so. Dr Coursaris is the Director of Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor and Associate Director in the Department of Media and Information in MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.
Constantinos is also a Faculty Researcher in Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting. In this area, he studies user motivations, expectations, and experiences with new media and the consequent design implications with a focus on social systems. His current research interests lie in the intersection of usability and mobile technologies for the purpose of health and/or commercial applications. You can follow him @DrCoursaris
This brief interview provides insights to key features of communication policy and regulatory processes in the US context. It is an interview with Professor Johannes Bauer, following a lecture he gave to visiting executives that allowed him to pursue these issues in depth. Discussing an overview of his more detailed presentation he gave to a Quello seminar, Professor Bauer argues that there is a new phase of experimentation around the development of principles and frameworks for the new media and information ecologies being shaped by the Internet and related innovations in information and communication technologies. Globally, many approaches are developing from the bottom-up, and there is, according to Professor Bauer, a distinctly American policy-making framework, which he outlines here.
Professor Bauer is Chair and Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. He is trained as an engineer and economist, holding MA and PhD degrees in economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria. While at MSU, he also had appointments as visiting professor at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands (2000-2001), the University of Konstanz, Germany (Summer 2010), and most recently the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2012). Much of his research centers on policy issues critical to the Quello Center, such as around the regulation of telecommunications and the Internet, including work on net neutrality and cybersecurity.
Prior to a presentation for the Quello Center, Professor Charles Steinfield was interviewed by Bill Dutton about his work on ‘enterprise social media’, the subject of this presentation. He explains what enterprise social media are, why they are becoming popular across business and industry, and their implications – intended and sometimes unintended. Charles Steinfield is a professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. In addition to his faculty position, Steinfield participates with the MSU Eli Broad College of Business Information Technology Management Program and is a member of the campus-wide Faculty of Computing and Information. He is also a research associate in the Quello Center for Telecommunications Management and Law at MSU and a Faculty Associate for the MSU College of Law Intellectual Property and Communications Law Program. Professor Steinfield’s research focuses on the organizational and social impacts of new communication technologies, with recent projects examining the social capital implications of online social network sites, understanding barriers to industry-wide diffusion to e-commerce standards, and the role of ICTs in economic development.
A recent article Professor Steinfield co-authored with his colleagues on the enterprise social media project is at: http://conferences.computer.org/hicss/2015/papers/7367a763.pdf
The Quello Center Advisory Board identified the future of content delivery as one of the Center’s most critical issues for research. Late in 2014, Professor Steve Wildman provided an overview of the prospects for new forms of content delivery to a group of visiting executives. Prior to his lecture, Bill Dutton interviewed him about the key points he planned to cover. You’ve find this video of this interview to be a succinct summary of major issues facing the future of broadcasting and the media more generally. We’d welcome your comments – whether you agree to disagree with the future painted by Professor Wildman.
His video is at: https://vimeo.com/110827928
During my recent visit to Oxford for an Advisory Board Meeting, and Awards Ceremony for the Oxford Internet Institute, I had the pleasure of an impromptu interview with the Director of Voices from Oxford, Dr Sung Hee Kim. You might enjoy the production, the American music, the images from Korea and Oxford, and might also want to challenge my views on the centrality of communication for students from any nation, called ‘Communication in the Modern Age’. The interview is on Voices from Oxford (VOX):
We had a brief interview with Professor Charles Steinfield before a seminar he presented on the role of information and communication technologies for development, focusing on their role in the agricultural context. Distilling key lessons learned from his field research with Professor Susan Wyche, he touches on the kinds of technologies being used, the implications of their use, and the barriers to further success. This brief overview conveys the substantive areas he addressed in more depth in the seminar that followed. See the short video at: https://vimeo.com/110827930
Professor Steinfield’s work is supported by USAID, which funds MSU’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI). A copy of his report with Susan Wyche on ICTs and development is available from the GCFSI web site at http://gcfsi.isp.msu.edu.
“Racism, Sexism, and Video Games: Social Justice Campaigns and the Struggle for Gamer Identity”. This was the title of the first Quello Lecture for the new academic year. Professor Lisa Nakamura introduced several extreme examples of sexism and racism, but the real issue of the lecture and of the audience’s comments was not merely the prominence of some very ugly and disgusting phenomena in the gaming world. Rather, it was the interface between the gaming universe and the real world; it was about culture and culture wars, about social justice warriors, about women and men, about feminism and anti-feminism, and about how relationships travel across these different worlds. And yes, it was about avatars as well.
To what extent do our fake images allow some of us (I mean the gamers) to be nasty – and even criminal – in the gaming world? Professor Robby Rattan, after a wonderful rap show about quantitative and qualitative research, raised the idea that if gamers could have a fake image which is far from a human one (not just human bodies without arms, for example), something totally fictional, if I may add, maybe some disgusting human characteristics (such as sexism and racism) would be vanished. You must admit that it is a very attractive idea.
Oh, I almost forgot, there was wonderful light refreshment before the lecture, and there was a drinks reception after the lecture (which I did not attend because I had to hurry for my evening walk with my wife. Sorry). The whole event took place at the very busy Kellogg Conference Center (we could hear the voices and buzz of other events through the walls), contributing to a very promising beginning for the Quello Lectures to follow.
To view more pictures from Dr. Nakamura’s lecture, please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quellocenter/sets/72157648470967778/
Avshalom Ginosar, PhD
Communication Department, The Academic College of Yezreel Valley
Visiting Scholar, The Quello Center, The Department of Media & Information, The College of Communication Art & Science, Michigan State University