Civic Media in Porto Alegre
Enabling citizenship to play an active role in the process of information creation, distribution and democratic access through mobile media.
MIT Mobile Experience Lab, in collaboration with Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) - Porto Alegre (Brazil), is developing an innovative mobile & web platform to enable citizenship playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting and disseminating news and information related to the urban life. This civic media experiment will enlist the support of students of the Media Communications Department (FAMECOS) at PUCRS that will become street journalists during the entire period of field research.
News and reports will be created, collected and shared in real-time on Locast website through mobile devices running a specifically designed software. According to the democratic participation enabled by the project, the whole citizenship is invited to join the conversation on Locast social media platform and to contribute with further content created through personal mobile devices, cameras, webcams, audio-recorders.
The proposed research project aims at exploring location-based civic media as a tool to enhance local inhabitants' awareness of events and social dynamics taking place around them. More importantly, it enables the local citizens to actively participate and engage the community in the reporting of these events through Locast. Furthermore, it can help to reinforce the relationship between citizens and between institutions and citizens.
The main objective of the project is to understand how mobile social networks could impact the city, its media representation and help people to stay informed, socialized, and participate actively in the media production process, involving local communities.