Digital Media Conference Considers Our Media and Surveillance Landscape

Digital Media Conference Considers Our Media and Surveillance Landscape

The 3rd Digital Media Conference brought together activists to consider our political and media future

  • Posted on: 29 October 2013
  • By: stannenb

John Henry, the former commodities trader and current Red Sox owner, took the pages of his latest acquisition, The Boston Globe, this weekend to explain why he's chosen to enter the newspaper business. In his essay, we learn that Henry was an activist for civil rights and against the Vietnam war in 1968, worked for insurgent presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy alongside a selection of well-known figures and was at the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention. To translate into more modern terms, it is as if Henry was burnishing his credibility by saying he was allied with Occupy.

But Henry, despite activist roots, has come a long way from 1968, and his vision for the Globe reflects that:

From Kendall Square to the newly emerging center of Quincy; from Harvard to Berklee; from the TD Garden to Gillette Stadium, will capture the vibrancy of a region on the move.

This is no accidental formulation. When Globe editor Brian McGrory came to speak at MIT's Center for Civic Media, he spoke the same way, of the Globe's focus being on areas of economic prosperity. He then faced a series of questions about economically neglected areas of Boston and Cambridge and how the Globe might over them. It's not that the Globe ignores the rest of Boston but even when they do cover an area a mile from their newsroom, it has the feel of anthropologists landing in an exotic foreign land.

It's into this media landscape, where collapsing business models require that newspapers chase money wherever they can find it, with corporate media controlling our discourse and local coverage all but evaporated, Boston's third Digital Media Conference came. The event brought together media activists, former members of Occupy, and free software advocates to lament about the state of world and strategize for change. Here's a glimpse of the conference as seen through social media.

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