Democracy Futures

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VIDEO: Harvard Prof. Michael Sandel on why news reading is critical to citizenship -- not consumer-ship

Why is journalism important?  Listen to Michael Sandel, Professor of Government at Harvard University:

Says Sandel in this five-minute video: "The newspaper is perhaps the most important instrument of civic education, because that is the way citizens learn what's at stake."

Berkman research completes exhaustive study on state of media ecosystem

A year in the making, a researcher at the Berkman Center for the Internet & Society has completed an exhaustive study on the future of American news and social media. Persephone Miel talked to hundreds of people, and criss-crossed the nation to prepare what may be the most comprehensive look to date on the impact of digital technologies on how we get our news and civic information.

Dump old consultants, embrace "netroots," say Armstrong/Zuniga in "Crashing the Gate" book

Two of the most prominent so-called progressive political bloggers -- Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitas Zuniga -- have authored a 177-page manifesto for how the U.S. Democratic Party can help its candidates win more races. DOWNLOAD MP3 (18MB, 40 mins.) / GO TO REVIEWs

POLICY: Annenberg study finds public's use of Internet for politics surges

The fifth annual study of Internet usage by the Digital Future Project at the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future at the Univ. of Southern California finds a more than 20 percent surge in the number of people who think "going online" adds to political power. REPORT PDF

Gore warns of corporate control of Internet in wide-ranging speech about the future of American democracy

In a 48-minute speech at the Associated Press headquarters delivered to executives and practitioners of "new media", former Vice President Al Gore (giraffe profile) says democracy "has been hollowed out" by pervasive advertising and entertainment, the public forum has decayed and the Internet is in danger of being hijacked by commercial interests. "And it really matters because the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: it leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt, or both," Gore says. Read or listen to his speech from HERE. Links to other audio from the "We Media" conference are HERE.

Robert Parry, "Is media a danger to democracy?"

Robert Parry, on, wonders how the healthy press of the Watergate era became the corporate media that it is today (what he calls "alternately frivolous, petulant and obsequious"), and what impact that might have on democracy. Perhaps, as Robert D. Kaplan predicts in a New York Times commentary written just before 2000, democracy will become obsolete, and the world will revert back into "the ancient structure of autocratic city-states" by 2100. [ Visit Website ]
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