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Government Transparency and Collaborative Journalism (MIT Communications Forum)

03/18/2010 5:00 PM 32"155
Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Director, Center for Future Civic Media; Research Scientist; Linda Fantin, Director, Public Insight Journalism, Minnesota Public Radio; Ellen Miller, Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation

Description: In December 2009, the Obama administration directed federal agencies and departments to implement "principles of transparency, participation and collaboration," and provided deadlines for making government information available online. At the same time, citizens and journalists are developing new technologies to manage and analyze the exponential increase in data about our civic lives available from governmental and other sources. What new ways of gathering and presenting information are evolving from this nexus of government openness and digital connectedness?

Speakers Linda Fantin and Ellen Miller, explore this and related questions by providing details on their respective projects.

Through anecdotes and demonstrations, Linda Fantin of Public Insight Journalism suggests that maintaining a continuous relationship with community is the best way to get stories you weren't expecting to get. The power of deep community engagement is evident when a major story breaks, as the networks of sources and newsrooms can be tapped at a moments notice.

Ellen Miller describes the work the Sunlight Foundation-a relatively new NGO- whose main mission is to use the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She sees Sunlight redefining the meaning of public information as "government in real time.". Detailing the work of the Foundation, Miller explains the work in five areas, data digitization, advocacy, tools, engagement and media production.

About the Speaker(s): Ellen S. Miller is the co"founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington"based, non"partisan non"profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington"based organizations in the field of money and politics -- the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign -- and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics. Her experience as a Washington advocate for more than 35 years spans the worlds of non"profit advocacy, grassroots activism and journalism. Ms. Miller also served as Deputy Director of Campaign for America's Future, the publisher of and a senior fellow at The American Prospect. She spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill. She blogs regularly at

Host(s): School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Communications Forum

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