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The Digital Citizen Project

The Digital Citizen Project of Internews Interactive builds upon the new digital capabilities of television broadcasting and the Internet’s advances in social engagement, to bring an unprecedented degree of citizen participation to news programming for the 2012 election period. The project is premised on the belief that, when offered the chance to appear in media as “informed citizens,” a large number of people will rise to the challenge. How it Works: Digital Citizen 2012 is a cross-platform and converged media series that seamlessly connects people using social and mobile applications, to television programming of the 2012 campaign. Using well-established online engagement tools, public participants contribute video, audio, text and still images of themselves to the station’s website, stating their opinions and posing questions. Initially, the online community will vet contributions. Producers will join in, to assure the inclusion of representative groups in this process and to track contributors whose posts are popular among the community. Utilizing the digital capabilities of modern studio production equipment, a significant number of the pre-recorded contributor questions and comments will appear on the live programs. A much smaller number of contributors, whose articulate positions prove popular with the community, will be offered the opportunity to appear live via webcam on the TV program. These participants will be required to take part in a carefully designed online facilitation process that bolsters their arguments with facts, and introduces them to others with different opinions. These “informed citizens” will then be able to speak directly with journalists, experts and candidates during the programs. Supported by on-air and online promotion, and by outreach to a wide range of representative community organizations, a core group of initial participants will be found. Over the course of the series, an increasing number of potential participants are expected to join. In this way, a spectrum of rational and informed people will have a voice - and a face - in televised election discourse. Click here for the latest on Digital Citizen. Internews Interactive, a non-profit pioneer of digital media convergence, has been integrating broadband with broadcasting since 1998. InterAct draws on a 20-year history of award-winning interactive television productions that have linked citizens to each other, to their leaders and to the world. InterAct specializes in citizen participation, exploring new technologies and finding new ways to integrate the voice of the citizen into the policy dialogue that shapes the nation. InterAct productions create a nexus of connectivity, as a virtual audience of participants join our programs. InterAct has used ‘war-cams,’ on-line videochat rooms, internet cafes, and university videoconference networks as well as webcams, videomail and cellphones to connect people from within their own homes and communities to the power of television.  Programs link restaurants, schools, living rooms, and jail cells, to broadcast-quality television programs, and to a nation of curious viewers who are invited to appear on TV. Resource Link:  http://citizenschannel.org/

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  1. Evelyn Messinger Says:

    I am writing to thank you – for NCDD itself, which is such an important resource for everyone involved in dialogue, and for writing about our Digital Citizen project. I also want to convey an important development in this initiative.

    We have just launched a key element of Digital Citizen: the embeddable Digital Citizen web app is now live at http://digitalcitizen.tv. The embeddable app is fully integrated with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and lets visitors to any website post video and text comments, vote up the best contributions, and share their comments across all social networks.

    The Digital Citizen process gives communities a way to choose representatives to speak for them in public forums, and trains those who are most articulate and engaged to act as informed citizens and citizen reporters. Participation is motivated by a cooperating media outlet, which offers community members a path to be heard. In return, participating media get more deeply engaged site visitors and a pool of potential talent who are drawn from respected members of the community.

    • As the first use of the Digital Citizen app, we are proud to be working with The Bay Area News Group’s Oakland Tribune and the Maynard Institute on an upcoming forum about gun violence in Oakland, CA.

    • In July, Link TV will use Digital Citizen to find and train articulate and passionate citizens, who will report from the Democratic and Republican conventions, and appear on Link TV through the 2012 elections.

    • In September and October of 2012, the Digital Citizen app is being offered at no cost to public and commercial media interested in finding and featuring fresh voices.

    Please contact us with ideas and suggestions for our work!

    Thank you again and kind regards,

    Evelyn Messinger, President
    evelyn@citizenschannel.org

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