Events

NOVEMBER 22-23, 2019

Twenty years ago, thousands of young activists filled the streets of downtown Seattle in a massive protest against the World Trade Organization. They stunned business and government elites around the world with their creative tactics and their use of independent media networks to spread their own anti-globalization message to the public, thus circumventing traditional corporate media gatekeepers. This conference will bring pioneers of the Seattle indymedia network, more recent activists from the democracy movements across the MENA region, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, and other movements, together with scholars committed to a more inclusive and democratic media system to analyze the lessons of the past 20 years of resistance media and the road ahead. The event features a Friday evening curated screening of Showdown in Seattle: Five Days That Shook the WTO, followed by a panel discussion on the history and future of independent media, as well as a full day conference on Saturday engaging media makers, activists, and academics.

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Research

FROM PULLMAN TO UBER: TRANSPORTATION RESISTANCE IN THE DIGITAL MILIEU

This piece takes a historical view of labor struggles and the law to shed light on the fight of gig workers from Uber to
GrubHub today. Through analysis of the Pullman strike and the broader struggle of railway workers in the 19th century,
Francesca Petrucci clarifies what is new and old in the contemporary struggle around workers’ rights in the platform
economy and is part of MIC’s series on the future of work.

THE RIGHT TO KNOW OR THE RIGHT TO NO: PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS AND INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN PHILADELPHIA

Our new report, by ASC’s Muira McCammon and Daniel Grinberg, examines how Pennsylvania-based
journalists grapple with Pennsylvania’s Right to Know (RTK) law. This report considers the
results that their records requests have yielded and includes a comparative assessment of the RTK law as a mechanism
of transparency and accountability. With special consideration to the difficulties that journalists face when they encounter
resistance from open-records officers, the report asks how journalists telling stories in and around Philadelphia can more effectively
optimize the resource of public information in service of investigative reporting.

READ THE FULL REPORT

CELL PHONES, SECURITY AND SOCIAL CAPITAL: EXAMINING HOW PERCEPTIONS OF DATA PRIVACY VIOLATIONS AMONG CELL-MOSTLY INTERNET USERS IMPACT ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR

Read MIC’s new report highlighting the intersection between emerging forms of digital inequity and long-standing socio-economic injustices. This research illustrates how low-income Americans who rely on smartphones to access the internet are aware of frequent surveillance by corporations, social media platforms and the government. In an effort to maintain data privacy, they sometimes modify online activities in ways that harm personal relationships and force them to forego professional opportunities. Study participants, generally, seemed resigned to their status as having little power and minimal social capital

READ THE FULL REPORT

Read our report summarizing the Platform Economy and the Future of the City Convening, which brought together innovative thinkers from around the US and Europe and local organizers, academics,
policymakers and workers in the Platform Economy. The 2-day event yielded intense, productive conversations and identified key challenges and opportunities. Read the recap and our recommendations here.

News

Last year’s Media, Movements, and the City: A Gathering of Media Activism in Philadelphia was a success! Held at Temple University’s Mitten Hall on September 28, 2018, this one-day convening fulfilled its mission, which was to activate a local hub of media makers, activists, artists, and researchers working towards social justice in Philadelphia. This event was the first step toward achieving a larger goal, which is to develop stronger networks of interaction and collaboration in Philly. We have published our report of this event and you can read it here.

The MIC Center publishes a Philly Media Activism Guide

This living document is meant to be a resource for academics, educators, funders, artists, and community organizers who aspire to forge partnerships and leverage communal assets.  Ultimately, we hope this guide will inspire continued growth in Philadelphia’s thriving public-interest media ecosystem. Download the guide here.

MIC Co-Director Victor Pickard pens new essay in Journalism History: “Reclaiming a Progressive First Amendment to Save Journalism.” Read it here.

MIC has received a Philadelphia News Ecosystem Collaboration Grant from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Read more here.

MIC Co-Directors Victor Pickard and Todd Wolfson pen new essay in Media Theory discussing Edward S. Herman’s antifascist intellectual roots, his media criticism and his activism in Philadelphia.

Radical Interventions: Ed Herman’s Intellectual Roots and Activism within the Political Economic Tradition

MIC Co-Director Victor Pickard and Annenberg PhD Candidate Pawel Popiel author a new report for the Benton Foundation on FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and his ‘Media Democracy Agenda.’ Read the piece here, with foreword by former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

The Media Democracy Agenda: The Strategy and Legacy of FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps

New Article out! Read: The Strange Life and Death of the Fairness Doctrine: Tracing the Decline of Positive Freedoms in American Policy Discourse, a new article by MIC Co-Director Victor Pickard in the International Journal of Communication.

Dr. Victor Pickard pens article in The Nation, calling for a new social contract with Internet giants like Facebook and a broader, bolder vision for what Facebook owes society in return for the incredible power it’s been allowed to accumulate. Read it here.