Technology

Thank you for epic community service, Chad Johnston

Chad Johnston is the director of Chapel Hill's grassroots public access station The People's Channel. Not many people truly know the scope of the contributions he has made toward democratizing media both in Orange County and in Orange County. Sadly he's leaving us to run a station in a bigger community. The Independent Weekly has a wonderful cover story about him this week, and the public is invited to a potluck to say farewell to Chad tonight at the TPC studio on Elliot Road. If you can't attend in person, you can watch it live on TV!

I highly recommend reading the Indy article which gives a sense of how Chad has gone to bat to protect community media at the state level, as well as the thankless work of building and sustaining capacity for grassroots voices to be heard both in Orange and Durham Counties.

An experiment with SeeClickFix

I've noticed that Raleigh and other nearby municipalities are using tools like SeeClickFix.com to help residents connect and use local government. Durham's even using it's own website called http://www.liveworkplaydurham.com/ where folks can post their ideas for improving the community.

As an experiment I threw together this SeeClickFix widget.

Public Address by Lawrence Lessig – Rooting out Corruption in Politics: Complicity and Complacency by the Media

I've been a huge fan of Lessig's work for some time, and I can tell you from experience that he's a really great public speaker. You'll come away smarter after listening to him.

On March 4, the Center for Media Law and Policy will host a public address by Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.  Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Prof. Lessig taught at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will tackle one of the most challenging problems we face: corruption in politics. How have good people, with good intentions, allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, weakening our institutions and especially public trust in those institutions? What role has the media played in this weakening and what should be its role going forward?

Please join us on March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the UNC Law School when Prof. Lessig will discuss how we can root out corruption in our politics and restore faith in the Fourth Estate’s role as a watchdog of government.

 

Date: 

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Location: 

UNC School of Law

Open Data Day

Any thoughts about what we should do?

Date: 

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 12:00pm

Chapel Hill and Carrboro Should Send Gig.U RFP Back to Drawing Board

The Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Carrboro should not authorize their managers to continue with the Gig.U (aka North Carolina Next Generation Network [NCNGN]) initiative at this time. Both elected bodies should direct staff to send the request for proposals (RFP) back to the drawing board for repairs.

The primary reason to reject the current RFP is that local governments could not enforce important parts of agreements that could come from a resulting contract. Municipalities all over North Carolina have been stripped of any legal authority to franchise or regulate either cable or broadband systems. This is important because, as the current RFP is structured, this is how the towns would make sure we all have access to a new fast network.

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