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Hi everyone,

This evening I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of 120 graduate 
students at NYU's interactive telecommunications program. After being 
introduced by Red Burns, I spoke for about an hour about the the digital 
divide and its relationship with participatory media, or "We Media" as 
it's sometimes known. I made the argument that the participatory media 
phenomenon will remain skewed to well-off, well-educated populations as 
long as disenfranchised groups, such as low-income populations, people 
of color and people with disabilities, don't have equal access or the 
skills to participate. Unless we do more to bridge the digital divide, 
particularly in terms of 21st century skills and media literacy, 
marginalized groups will find it harder and harder to engage in civic 
participation effectively.

After giving some basics about the digital divide and its various 
manifestations, I talked about several initiatives that are beginning to 
push back by creating more equitable participatory media, from Global 
Voices Online to Atlantic City Rough Cuts. I then took questions for 
about 30 minutes; the students asked smart, probing questions and did a 
great job of reminding me of all the things I'd wish I'd said in my 
speech. :-)

I recorded a very long podcast of the speech, including the Q&A. Be 
forewarned it's over 30 megs, so download at your own peril. Meanwhile, 
the powerpoint presentation is also available. You can find both of them 

Meanwhile, tomorrow I'll be blogging from the We Media Conference here 
in NYC; assuming no one kicks my laptop again, you'll be able to follow 
along at my blog, -andy

Andy Carvin
Program Director
EDC Center for Media & Community
acarvin @ edc . org

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