In this conversation, hosted by the SSRC’s Media & Democracy program, program officer Mike Miller revisits an often overlooked topic—expectations and predictions for the internet in its early days—with Sarah J. Jackson (Northeastern University) and David Karpf (George Washington University). Understanding the pessimistic and optimistic outlooks journalists, entrepreneurs, and others had for the internet, where these predictions fell short, and whose voices were listened to, sheds light on the digital age’s present and future shortcomings.
From Our Programs
Programs and activities of the SSRC are focused on scholarly innovation and border-crossing, deepening understanding of major public issues, and providing opportunities for the next generation of social scientists. This section of Items provides a window into what we are learning from current work at the Council including intellectual breakthroughs and challenges; building networks across fields, institutions, and parts of the world; impacts on practice and policy; and the craft of organizing social knowledge production, dissemination, and use.
In designing solutions to youth disconnection—young people who are both out of school and out of work—the issue of transportation may not immediately come to mind. Yet, a new report by the SSRC’s Measure of America program, Making the Connection: Transportation and Youth Disconnection, investigates the role lack of transportation infrastructure and services play in the lives of disconnected youth. Here, Kristen Lewis, the report’s author and Measure of America’s director, and Clare McGranahan summarize the report’s findings. While disconnection continues to decline post-recession, the pace is slow and youths of color are disproportionally affected. The report provides suggestions for how greater access to public transportation can improve youth reconnection.
The SSRC’s Media & Democracy program has launched a series of workshops that put current controversies and debates into historical and cross-disciplinary perspectives. Here, Mike Miller and James Kirwan provide the key takeaways from a recent event on “A Modern History of the Disinformation Age.” Scholars at the workshop engaged the roots of our “epistemic crisis” regarding what counts as facts and as “reality.” Participants focused on actors who benefit from the questioning of truth claims, and how institutions that once served as gatekeepers for such claims have been weakened and unable to adjust to new media ecosystems.
In this conversation hosted by the Media & Democracy program, program officer Mike Miller discusses the trajectory of campaign financing in recent elections with Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (Stetson University) and Heath Brown (John Jay College of Criminal Justice). In particular, they address the impact of online fundraising and small-dollar contributions.
How Drug Courts Fall Short: A New Report Investigates this Policy Model’s Performance in the Americasby Cleia Noia
The SSRC’s Drugs, Security and Democracy program has recently released a report titled Drug Courts in the Americas. Here, program manager Cleia Noia provides an overview of the report’s findings and recommendations. In discussing how drug courts became the preferred alternative to incarceration not just in the United States but Latin America and the Caribbean, she highlights their limitations—especially their continued connection to the criminal justice system.
The Media & Democracy program has released a report on the proceedings from its April 2018 conference on "Social Media and Democracy." Here, program codirector Kris-Stella Trump provides an overview of the report and discusses the motivation behind the convening.