These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
International Journal of Communication
Online Civic Cultures? Debating Climate Change Activism on YouTube
"This article explores the potential of video activism on YouTube to form a communicative space for deliberation and dissent. It asks how commenting on activist videos can help sustain civic cultures that allow for both antagonism and inclusive political debate. Drawing on a case study of online debates spurred by the video War on Capitalism, which called for protest against the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference, the article offers an empirical analysis that operationalizes the framework of civic cultures. In so doing, it investigates the ways in which activist videos are received by potentially transnational publics and how online modes of debate engage notions of the public sphere in contemporary online environments." READ MORE
Aid Workers Turn to Text Messaging to Improve Food Aid Delivery to Refugees in the Western Sahara
"Communication between beneficiaries and food aid providers in the Western Sahara refugee camps in Algeria suffers as the number of food distribution points increases. Rosa Akbari worked as an independent researcher funded by a grant from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to explore better communication tools to be used within the camps. What she found was a society prepped for technological innovation. By using what was already in place – a mobile phone in each household – Rosa capitalized on existing flows of information as they worked without technology and used FrontlineSMS to ease the communication within the camps." READ MORE
Insight on Conflict
What came first? The Internet or the social change?
"Monica Brasov-Curca looks at how the development of the internet is affecting social change. This is the first of a series of articles looking at the relationship between the internet and peacebuilding.
It has been five years since the 2008 Mumbai bombings flared tensions between India and Pakistan; four years since that first tweet went out in the Iranian 2009 “Green (Twitter) Revolution” three years since the world shook in despair at the mass destruction and human suffering in the 2010 Haitian Earthquake, two years since the first cries for democracy and equality were tweeted out in the “Arab (Spring) Uprising” began; and one year since the Occupy movement occupied the world’s curiosity but failed to get its full support. These events were unprecedented… all thanks to the potent combination of human determination, democratized communications platforms and an ever-enclosing digital divide." READ MORE
Can Gaming Change The World For Good?
In an interview with Asi Burak, Co-President of Games for Change, we discussed the past, present and future of gaming for social change. As Co-President of Games for Change, Asi leads on the curation, development and execution of programs and services to raise the production, quality and influence of social impact games, and serves as a spokesperson for the organization.
Rahim Kanani, Skoll World Forum: When you think about the last 10 years of gaming for good, where were we then, and where are we now?
Asi Burak, Games for Change: The concept of “gaming for good” or games for social impact / learning was in very early stages 10 years ago. The Serious Games movement started in 2002, and Games for Change followed suit in 2004 with the premise that games could live beyond entertainment and contribute to improve our society. In essence – to make the world a better place. READ MORE
Mixed bag for freedom of expression in Ecuador’s new Communications Law
On June 14, 2013, after almost four years of discussion, Ecuador’s National Assembly passed a new Communications Law, providing a legal framework for the fundamental right to communications considered in several articles of the Constitution of 2008. While this new legislation represents a great advance for internet access, along with a more equitable distribution of public spectrum that can bring more diversity and pluralism to public media, it also contains some provisions that represent a threat to freedom of expression. READ MORE
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