No country in the world has been immune to the 21st century media revolution. A time when three networks and a daily newspaper presented Americans with similar stories and commentary is behind us. Today’s user of a personal cell phone and the Internet has immediate access to thousands of information sources from around the world. An individual also has the unprecedented power to share information that may or may not be true with millions.
Once hailed as a tool that would bring people and nations closer together, the Internet has also had the opposite effect, segmenting users into interest groups. Relying on vast quantities of data, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google “microtarget” specific demographic and cultural groups. Many observers of this media free-for-all see it as a threat to democratic institutions and individual rights, privacy and security.
Individuals or governments that want to disrupt their own societies or others exploit the freedom of media to set one group against another or to sway an election. Some websites appeal to emotions, including fear.
Join us to learn how technology is shaping the flow of information and how it is used. Where do people in most countries get their news and other information? Will traditional media survive, and in what form? How are visual images especially effective in shaping our understanding of political and social issues?
How can journalists and the public discern what is misinformation, disinformation, or malicious distortion? How are hostile countries such as Russia weaponizing media to influence politics and elections?
When repressive governments or special interests target journalists, how can journalists operate? What role are social media playing in political movements around the world?
Who should bear responsibility for media content? Is regulation of the media – especially of social media – a good idea?
David Brancaccio is host and senior editor of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, the business program with the largest audience in any medium.
His Economy 4.0 series on Marketplace focused on ways to make the economy better serve more people. He anchored the award-winning public television news program NOW on PBS until 2010. His reporting has focused on the future of the economy, regulation of financial markets, the role of technology in labor markets, human rights, the environment, and social enterprises.
David’s work has earned some of the highest honors in broadcast journalism, including the Peabody, the Columbia-duPont, the Emmy, and the Walter Cronkite awards. His feature-length documentary film about economic alternatives entitled Fixing the Future was released in theaters nationwide in 2012 and is now available from Netflix, iTunes, and on-demand cable television.
He is author of a book about Americans applying their personal values to their money, entitled Squandering Aimlessly. David has a BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in journalism from Stanford University. He is married to Mary Brancaccio, a poet and educator. He grew up in Waterville, Maine and also attended schools in Madagascar, Ghana, and Italy. His enjoys public speaking, moderating, bicycling and photography.
Nicco Mele is on the faculty at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and is the faculty co-chair of the Harvard Council on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence.
From 2016 to 2019, Nicco was the Director of the Center, where he started new programs focused on understanding misinformation on social networks; sustainable models for local journalism; institutional anti-racism in media and algorithms; and platform accountability. He continues to teach classes on technology’s impact on media, politics, and public policy. Nicco’s prior experience includes founding technology companies, working on political campaigns, and a stint as a media executive at the Los Angeles Times. He advises several startups, including Blueprint Robotics (on-demand manufacturing), Optimus Ride (autonomous vehicles), Plympton (publishing), and Cignify (data analytics). Nicco serves as the board chair of Democracy.Works and MassPoetry. He has published widely, including the international bestseller The End of Big: How The Digital Revolution Makes David The New Goliath published in 2013 by St. Martin’s Press. Longer bio available here.
The Camden Conference invites teachers and students to attend the 33nd annual Camden Conference, THE MEDIA REVOLUTION: CHANGING THE WORLD, February 21 - 23, 2020 in Camden, Maine.
The Conference is presented live from the historic Camden Opera House and streamed in HD to the Strand Theatre in Rockland, the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, and USM’s Luther Bonney Auditorium in Portland.
Special teacher-student rates are available at the streaming sites: Full-time students may attend the Conference at any satellite venue for just $50. Teachers who bring 3 or more students also receive that special $50 rate. And, the Camden Conference is approved for 1.5 Continuing Education Units for teachers!