Subscribe to

Steve Schultze, from MIT Comparative Media Studies , is giving a Tuesday luncheon talk at the Berkman about the Beyond Broadcasting conference, which has as its theme this year “From participatory culture to participatory democracy.”

Chris Lydon in a video clip asks, “Is the Internet the new public?” Steve plays a clip of Rebecca Mackinnon talking about Chinese repression of speech that leads to political action. Nevertheless, she says, the Web is enabling new forms of social discourse. Before the Web, she says, you couldn’t be famous in China without getting past an official gatekeeper. Steve tells of a Chinese woman, Xiang Xiang , who uploaded an MP3 that’s been downloaded a billion times—a song about a pig. There may be political echoes to the song, apparently.

The hypothesis of the conference: “Skills that emerge in the course of participating in pop culture can become powerful forces when translated into tools of citizen engagement.”

The first half of the conference will be us listening to speakers. The second half will be working groups. Steven asks us what the working groups should be. (There’s a wiki here.) [Tags: ]

Comments are closed.