Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Citizen Journalism Resources for Election Day

citizen journalism

in India

This election will be remembered as the first one where traditional media relied heavily on citizen journalism and new media. Take a look at Twitter’s Election 2008 live feed to get a feel for the political zeitgeist. Or how Free Press created “Rate the Debates”:http://www.freepress.net/debates to provide actual input from people before the pundits could formulate their conventional wisdom. Or how C-SPAN and NPR mined twitter for live fact checking, dialtests and general citizen journalism.

Well, election day will be no different. Twitter will probably end up being the place to gain a sense of the situation on the ground, but a lot of other web sites are hoping to provide people with the tools to report voter suppression, other problems and experiences. Here are a few resources:

SourceWatch.org’s Election Protection Wiki

The Election Protection Wiki is a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to build a one-stop-shop for reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity. We collect just the straight facts that are fully referenced to external, verifiable sources, and we need your help.


Wired’s Election Problem Reporting Site

Over the next weeks, if you have trouble at the polls, either during early voting or on Election Day, we’d like you to add your issue to our map. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible. You may also include links to video or audio.


YouTube & PBS: Video Your Vote

YouTube’s Video Your Vote, a non-partisan program produced in partnership with PBS, encourages American voters to document their voting experiences.

Whether it’s a video shot at the polls on Election Day, an account of your early voting experience, or you filming yourself filling out an absentee ballot — we want you to upload it here.

The Video Your Vote channel is also a one-stop-shop to view exclusive videos from voter registration experts, election reform activists, and state officials, as well as video footage from the PBS archives for a historical look at voting through the years.


Voter Suppression Wiki

This site is designed to be a hub of information and action around efforts to suppress votes in the 2008 U.S. elections.


Citizen Media Law Project Blog

Has a lot of resources on the legality of documenting your vote and the areas in and around polling places.

The New York Times Polling Place Photo Project

The Polling Place Photo Project is a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this years primaries, caucuses and general election. By documenting local voting experiences, participants can contribute to an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.

Twitter Vote Report Project

Anyone with a Twitter.com account can use their cell phones or their computers to send a message and notify voters and election monitors around the country.

I will add more to this page as I discover them.

UPDATE: Some resources to make sure your vote gets counted.

Seasons Givings: 2008

A few years ago, this blog made the front page of Slashdot with a list of “geek” charities and projects that I thought were worth my donations.

For this year, I have a shortened list- a couple of old favorites and a couple of new favorites. Let me start with the new:

DonorsChoose.org
In their own words:

DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

Proposals range from “Magical Math Centers” ($200) to “Big Book Bonanza” ($320), to “Cooking Across the Curriculum” ($1,100). Any individual can search such proposals by areas of interest, learn about classroom needs, and choose to fund the project(s) they find most compelling. In completing a project, donors receive a feedback package of student photos and thank-you notes, and a teacher impact letter.

This is fantastic- and you can select a school close to your home if you want. They funded over $6.4 million worth of school projects in 2008.

Kiva

Kiva lets you make loans to the working poor- you will be repaid, but without interest. You can fund real people, with real small business projects. They partner with expert microfinance institutions in the regions where you lend money. I’ve been lending small amounts of money to projects all over the world for a couple of years now- it works, the money has always been repaid.

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And then there are a few old favorites- no surprise if you read this blog regularly.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

If you believe in any of the things I write about here- defending your rights in the digital world- then EFF is fighting for you. Just today, they announced that they are challenging the constitutionality of the law granting telecom immunity to the companies that helped the government in its domestic illegal wiretapping.

Creative Commons

For an idea about why I support Creative Commons, check out my article about why this blog is CC licensed. I joined the Creative Commons network a couple of days ago- if nothing else, it gives you a free, privacy-protected openID profile.

And a few honorable mentions: