Ideas, Welcome — Civic Information and Civic Media

Luc Lalande
3 min readJul 26, 2023

An evening of critical and creative conversations exploring the future of local news and innovative ideas that could shape the landscape of journalism.

UPDATES

Wikipedia Editing 101 for All (Dec 2 2023)

Image generated by Leonardo.ai — Prompt: “The newspaper as an institution is dying, over taken by monopoly ownerships”

Preamble — Re-imagining Civic Information

The newspaper as an institution is dying, over taken by monopoly ownerships. Local news coverage is suffering. The digital environment is initiating a phase transition in public and private media. Never before in human history has knowledge been so readily available. Never have humans had such an extensive, accessible, and varied media-ecology.

How do we meet these media challenges to ensure that a society has the local civic information necessary for democratic flourishing?

Do we spend our resources to save the business model that served the 20th centuries newspaper?

Can we re-imagine how to protect and strengthen public journalism to serve local civic purposes?

Today the media-ecology includes: community-based newsletters, listservs, community association, schools, universities, and of course the ongoing evolution of the Internet.

How can we harness all our local assets to better resource all of them?
How can we also generate other valuable community resources for improving our collective civil lives?

Some ideas come to mind — community wikis, interest groups, organizing volunteers and events, local birth and obituary recognitions, or re-imagining a local ‘yellow-page’ to support local economies.

Date/Time/Venue Information

Thursday September 21 (7PM-9PM)

Location: Incubator 13 (Room 124, 815 St. Laurent Blvd. — former Rideau High School-map)

Recommended Readings

The following links are suggested by participants of the Ideas, Welcome session.

It’s Time for Civic Media (Nov 17 2023)

The Consilience Project: Democracy and the Epistemic Commons (Feb 27 2021) & short video on Youtube — recommended by Max Peacock

The Roadmap for Local News — An Emergent Approach to Meeting Civic Information Needs — recommended by Luc Lalande

Center for Cooperative Media — An initiative of the School of Communication at Montclair State University — recommended by Luc Lalande

Community Info Coop — a nonprofit leading journalism innovation in the public interest by using policy, organizing, and practice to make journalism more democratic. — recommended by Luc Lalande

American Journalism Project — Empowering communities. Preserving democracy. Rebuilding local news. — recommended by Luc Lalande

Spark with Nora Young episode on “Is there life beyond algorithms?” — recommended by Stephen Fanjoy

Wikipedia @ 20 — is a book of essays about Wikipedia published by the MIT Press in late 2020, marking 20 years since the creation of Wikipedia. — recommended by John Verdon

It’s Time to Kill the Algorithm. Social Media Algorithms Are A Failed Experiment

Some Definitions

Civic Information: High-quality, verifiable information that enables people to respond to collective needs by enhancing local coordination, problem-solving, systems of public accountability, and connectedness.

Civic Media: Any practice that produces civic information as its primary focus.

Ideas

Community Servers and Personal Servers (John Verdon)

Community Wikis (John Verdon and Luc Lalande)

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Luc Lalande

Cultivating innovation by connecting ideas to people, people to ideas.