• A Platform for Community Media

last modified September 4, 2008 by tomlowenhaupt

This page was developed to help prepare a presentation for the March 2, 2008 Grassroots Media Conference at Hunter College. It will continue to explore the opportunities for effective community media as an aspect of The Civics Project.
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Here’s the definition of Media Justice, the 2008 conference theme, as provided by Grassroots Media (GRM):

“Media Justice recognizes the need for a media that comes from, and is responsive to, the people, a media that addresses systemic marginalization and discrimination and that speaks truth to power. Media Justice asserts that our communities and airwaves are more than markets, and that our relationship to the media must be more than passive consumption. Media Justice recognizes that the form of our current media system is not inevitable, but the result of an interplay of history, technology, power, and privilege. Media Justice seeks to integrate efforts to reform our media system with a social justice agenda, in order to create not just a better media, but a better world.”

Our presentation will be delivered by Thomas Lowenhaupt and entitled “A Platform for Community Media.” The presentation is being organized on this page. This is a wiki, join the project and provide your thoughts.

Here's the short description of the presentation from the Grassroots Media Conference (GRM) website:

"2009 will see a fundamental change in the Internet’s design with Top Level Domains being issued to cities for the first time. Cities will soon have the capability to organize and make their resources findable to the digital world via the Internet. And more importantly, if developed in the public interest, cities will be able to set aside domain names and create “digital spaces” where residents are able to identify issues and opportunities, where they can organize themselves to imagine, to meet, to present, to ponder, to govern, to decide, to help, to build. Come help decide which names are to be set aside for the public’s interest. Help decide how names like www.news.nyc, www.justice.nyc, and www.grassroots.nyc are assigned and developed and who is to operate them. For example, should www.news.nyc be operated by a single firm or operated as a shared index to the cities “news” resources?"

And the long description as provided as background to GRM:

2009 will see a fundamental change in the Internet’s design with Top Level Domains issued to cities for the first time. [ Top Level Domains, or TLDs, are website address endings like .com, .org, .edu, and .us. ]  It is expected that the .nyc, .berlin, and .paris TLDs will be issued for use in their respective cities.

With the arrival of the .nyc TLD, an entire new set of domain names will become available. Some will be set aside for traditional uses: www.mayor.nyc and www.council.nyc. Others like www.coke.nyc and www.citibank.nyc will be made available for trademark holders.

The Bright Star is that public interest domain names will also become available. Names like www.news.nyc and www.justice.nyc can provide civic “spaces” where residents can identify issues and opportunities, where they can organize themselves to imagine, to meet, to present, to ponder, to govern, to help, to build.

Thomas Lowenhaupt, founding director of the NYS not-for-profit Connecting.nyc Inc., will explain the steps being taken to acquire, develop, and operate the .nyc TLD. He will review the process for setting aside civic spaces that strengthen community justice and media and aide in the creation of a sustainable city.

He will demonstrate how his organization uses wiki technology to facilitate public engagement in shaping the development of the .nyc TLD. He will show residents how the wiki provides opportunities to answer basic questions like which domain names are to be set aside to serve New York City’s public interest needs; who is to operate them; and if names like www.news.nyc and www.justice.nyc are to be operated by a single entity or as shared indexes to the city’s “news” and “justice” resources? Attendees will leave knowing how wiki’s can be used to gather information, facilitate cooperation, and aide in project organization and development.

Preparations and follow up for the conference are as follows:

  • Outreach
    • Post on .nyc blog and website...
    • Email to list.
    • Post to CC-BP site.
  • Presentation
    • Timing - Formal presentation is from 10:30 AM until 12:00. Two people will be needed for the presentation, presenter and computer operator. They should arrive at 9:30 AM and depart at 12:15. Room C111.
    • Dress - It's a Sunday morning, sports jacket, no tie for presenter. Casual for others.
    • Have someone introduce Tom. Provide some background on him.
      • Tom provides a brief overview of the presentation: About Me, About the PowerPoint, To be followed by Q & A, Interrupt or not? (Slide #s included. But interrupt if you must.)
    • PowerPoint
        • Start with "About TLDs."
          • Do project history and status.
            • Detail the Public Interest aspects.
              • Do a good deal on The Civics Project.
                • Civic Spaces
                  • gov.nyc
                  • news.nyc
                  • sustainable.nyc
                • Civic Tools
                • Civic Education
                • This civic or that civic? (Space or education?)
                  • Perhaps this is a good place to talk about the wiki, why we want, need it, and how it works.
                • Talk about poor local media and need for community-based media as integral part of the decision making process.
                      • Talk about governance and public support and need for volunteers and use of wiki as key open and transparent tool.
                          • Here's the blurb from the "long description" website deconstructed and detailed.
                        • "demonstrate how his organization uses wiki technology to facilitate public engagement in shaping the development of the .nyc TLD"
                        • "show residents how the wiki provides opportunities to answer basic questions like which domain names are to be set aside to serve New York City’s public interest needs"
                        • "who is to operate them"
                        • "if names like www.news.nyc and www.justice.nyc are to be operated by a single entity or as shared indexes to the city’s “news” and “justice” resources?"
                        • "Attendees will leave knowing how wiki’s can be used to gather information, facilitate cooperation, and aide in project organization and development."
                    • Tabling - We have a table in Room 543 aka Black Box Theater. Arrive at 8:30 AM. Bring cords and power strips. Address questions to Mo at  mo@nycgrassrotsmedia.org.  Enter through the handicap entrance of Hunter North.  Enter at 69th street between Lexington and Park Avenue entrance via  he wheelchair accessible ramp from the subway. You will see a set of 6 glass doors, with the ramp on the left. Enter into the lobby of theNorth building on the south side of the street.

                      You can use the below email.  Let me know if you have nay questions.

                      Mo
                      917-523-1045
                       
                      • Clip boards to sign up for different help areas (or perhaps via direct entry into wiki). Help areas include:
                        • The Civics Project
                        • Governance
                        • Project Supporters "I support the project."
                      • Backdrop - possibly a flag
                      • Laptop presentation
                      • Flyers
                    • Follow Up

                    Some Questions

                    • Who gets the www.grassroots.nyc name?
                    • Who gets grassrootsmedia.nyc?
                    • Who gets www.news.nyc?
                    • Who gets www.tv.nyc?
                    • Are there any rules on how they operate these sites?
                    • Should www.tv.nyc and www.newspapers.nyc be directory-type pages?
                    • Who decides how revenue raised through .nyc is spent?

                    Resource Links 

                    Related .nyc Pages