Andrew Whitacre

by Andrew Whitacre

I’m helping MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media put together a talk on how better to cover slow-motion disasters, and I’d like your thoughts. The bursting of the housing bubble, for example, cost the American economy $8.3 trillion. Yet for a decade, national media missed signs of the coming disaster, acting instead to simply keep [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

We’re in the midst of another wartime disconnect, though it’s different this time around. During the Vietnam War, the disconnect was between the government and its citizens. With the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, the press solidified a long-suspected belief that the government, through its spokespersons and the military, was misleading the public about the [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

Imagine you’re sitting at the back of a classroom. The lecture is on a fascinating topic — the American Civil War, say. The professor has started a riveting back-and-forth with students in the front about the Union’s initial motivations for fighting. The professor says, “And then Harriet Jacobs wrote ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ which galvanized many [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

This week, all past and present Knight News Challenge winners descend here upon the MIT campus as Knight Foundation and the MIT Center for Future Civic Media co-host the 2010 Future of News and Civic Media conference. There has been an interesting evolution in the conference’s — and the News Challenge’s — focus: the question [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

In a recent Idea Lab post from the Center for Future Civic Media, Jeff Warren wrote about using inexpensive balloons and cheap cameras to make pseudo-satellite imagery of a given area. He had been using it to help people in poor areas establish title to their land (Google Maps satellites don’t map poor areas as [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

The MIT News Office recently interviewed one of our colleagues at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, Mitch Resnick. Resnick is a long-time Media Lab professor best known for helping develop and deploy Scratch, a programming language for kids. But this month Apple rejected an app that would allow kids to view Scratch programs [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

Yesterday colleagues of mine at MIT were brainstorming plenaries for an upcoming media conference. Data visualization came up, but each of us grumbled. “Overdone,” one of us said, to nodding heads. We’d done a session on that at every one of our conferences and forums, as had others at theirs. Data visualization had become tragically [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

If you want to know what it’s like pitching a new media project, just go to the experts: This South Park clip, a classic in its own right, is a favorite around the MIT Center for Future Civic Media because every single new media project — ours and those from our Knight News Challenge colleagues [...] more »

by Andrew Whitacre

Poor Clifford Stoll. His 1995 Newsweek essay The Internet? Bah! Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana resurfaced last month and, yes, is still so curmudgeony that it makes Dennis the Menace’s Mr. Wilson sound like Pangloss: What the Internet hucksters won’t tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean [...] more »