Online Symposium: Hyper-local Citizen Journalism Transforms the Shape of International News

The Internet provides individuals across the planet with the means to report news in their communities and shape the greater global conversation. A new breed of reporting is emerging—one that is at once hyper-local but also international and set to flourish in the increasingly connected world of the web. will host the first-of-its-kind online symposium to discuss the ways digital media is transforming international reporting. The symposium brings together industry leaders and top tier journalism programs across the globe.

Thursday, May 27th, 2010 11:00 AM EDT/8:00 AM PDT

In the audience – Graduate Students from:
Abu Dhabi University
Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia School of Journalism
Fudan University (China)
The London School of Journalism
New York University
San Francisco State University
Stanford University
University of San Francisco

Confirmed Speakers

  • Clay Shirky, Journalist, Author and Professor at New York University’s Graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program
  • Amra Tareen, Founder and CEO of Allvoices, Inc.
  • Scott Stearns, Voice of America Correspondent for Western and Central Africa

Speaker Bios:

Clay Shirky, American Journalist, Author and Professor at New York University’s Graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program

Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Current clients include Nokia, GBN, the Library of Congress, the Highlands Forum, the Markle Foundation, and the BBC.

In addition to his consulting work, Shirky is an adjunct professor in NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology — how our networks shape culture and vice-versa. His current course, Social Weather, examines the cues we use to understand group dynamics in online spaces and the possible ways of improving user interaction by redesigning our social software to better reflect the emergent properties of groups.

Shirky has written extensively about the internet since 1996. Over the years, he has had regular columns in Business 2.0, FEED, and ACM Net_Worker, and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, Wired, Release 1.0, Computerworld, and IEEE Computer. He has been interviewed by Slashdot, Red Herring, Media Life, and the Economist’s Ebusiness Forum. He has written about biotechnology in his “After Darwin” column in FEED magazine, and serves as a technical reviewer for O’Reilly’s bioinformatics series. He helps program the “Biological Models of Computation” track for O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology conferences.

Shirky frequently speaks on emerging technologies at a variety of forums and organizations, including PC Forum, the Internet Society, the Department of Defense, the BBC, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Highlands Forum, the Economist Group, Storewidth, the World Technology Network, and several O’Reilly conferences on Peer-to-Peer, Open Source, and Emerging Technology.

Prior to his appointment at NYU, Shirky was a Partner at the investment firm The Accelerator Group in 1999-2001, an international investment group with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and London. The Accelerator Group was focused on early stage firms, and Shirky’s role was technological due diligence and product strategy.

Shirky was the original Professor of New Media in the Media Studies department at Hunter College, where he created the department’s first undergraduate and graduate offerings in new media, and helped design the current MFA in Integrated Media Arts program.

Prior to his appointment at Hunter, he was the Chief Technology Officer of the NYC-based Web media and design firm Site Specific, where he created the company’s media tracking database and server log analysis software. Site Specific was later acquired by CKS Group, where he was promoted to VP Technology, Eastern Region.

Before there was a Web, he was Vice-President of the New York chapter of the EFF, and wrote technology guides for Ziff-Davis, including a guide to email-accessible internet resources, and a guide to the culture of the internet. He appeared as an expert witness on internet culture in Shea vs. Reno, a case cited in the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Communications Decency Act in 1996.

Shirky graduated from Yale College with a degree in art, and prior to falling in love with the Internet, he worked as a theater director and designer in New York. His company, Hard Place Theater, staged “non-fiction theater”, theatrical collages of found documents.

Amra Tareen, Founder and CEO of Allvoices, Inc.

Prior to Allvoices, Tareen was a partner at Sevin Rosen Funds. She was at Sevin Rosen from 2000-2006 to focus on investment opportunities in communications infrastructure and next generation carriers. Prior to joining Sevin Rosen, Tareen was a product marketing director at Ascend Communications. She was instrumental in growing the DSL business. She was also responsible for product positioning, competitive analysis and outbound marketing for the remote access business. Earlier she worked as the product manager for Ascend’s SS7 gateway.

Before Ascend, Tareen worked at Lucent Technologies in sales and business development positions. She was a sales manager responsible for selling Lucent VoIP and data solutions to carrier customers. Tareen began her career in Telecom working as an engineer and a C programmer for Telstra Australia. Tareen has an MBA from Harvard University and a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from University of New South Wales, Australia.

Tareen grew up in Pakistan and Australia and moved to the USA for her MBA. Tareen is married and is a mother of two young boys.

Scott Stearns, Voice of America Correspondent for Western and Central Africa

Stearns is a Africa Correspondent, handling all related news content. He is stationed in Africa.

Stearns was previously a White House correspondent. Before that, he was in Kenya where for five years he headed up the network’s East Africa Bureau. Before his tour in Nairobi, he worked in the English to Africa service where his reporting for VOA began as a Nigeria stringer in 1992. During his time in west Africa, Stearns also covered the Liberian civil war for the BBC, the Associated Press, The Economist and The Christian Science Monitor. He holds a bachelors degree and masters degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

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