How Social Media Are Changing Journalism and Politics

UBC Continuing Studies collaborates with other members of the UBC community to provide an ongoing series of free lectures, dialogues and debates on topics of interest to the general public locally, nationally and internationally. The Lifelong Learning Series is held in the fall and winter terms at UBC Robson Square and its webcasts sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of its webcast collection.

Sunday November 20th 2011, 7pm at the Chan Centre for the Perfoming Arts

Activists around the world are turning to social media tools usually used for more pedestrian purposes: the sharing of family videos and videos of cats flushing toilets. But these tools can be extremely   powerful in the hands of activists, as they are pervasive, easy to use and difficult for governments to censor. Zuckerman looks at “the cute cat theory” of internet activism, as it helps explain the Arab Spring protests, aggressive internet censorship in countries like China and Vietnam, and the challenges for the corporate owners of social media platforms in an era of online speech.  This event is a hosted by UBC Continuing Studies, UBC School of Journalism, Yahoo!, and the Laurier Institution.


Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and a principal research scientist at MIT’s Media Lab. His research focuses on the distribution of attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists.With Rebecca MacKinnon, Ethan co-founded international blogging community Global Voices. Global Voices showcases news and opinions from citizen media in over 150 nations and thirty languages, publishing editions in twenty languages. Through Global Voices and through the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where he served as a researcher and fellow for eight years, Ethan is active in efforts to promote freedom of expression and fight censorship in online spaces.

Are you interested in more about this area?   There are open access resources available online selected by UBC Librarians

UBC Library Books for further reading

The art of strategic listening : finding market intelligence through blogs and other social media by Robert Berkman [David Lam Library – HF5415.2 .B456 2008]

Advertising 2.0: social media marketing in a Web 2.0 world by Tracy L. Tuten [David Lam Library – HF6146.I58 T88 2008]

The Googlization of everything: (and why we should worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan [UBC Okanagan Library – HD9696.8.U64 G669 2011]

Deep search: the politics of search beyond Google edited by Konrad Becker and Felix Stalder [Koerner Library –  HM851 .D4344 2010]

The media and social theory edited by David Hesmondhalgh and Jason Toynbee [Koerner Library – HM1206 .M389 2008]

UBC Library Resources

Subject Resources for Social Media and Web 2.0 Marketing 

Educational Resources of Interest

One Laptop Per Child –

For more information, please contact Allan Cho

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.