About Civic Media Project

The Civic Media Project (CMP) is a collection of short case studies published in Scalar, a collaborative publishing tool founded at USC Annenberg, and an extension of CIVIC MEDIA: TECHNOLOGY, DESIGN, PRACTICE, an edited anthology to be published by MIT Press in Spring 2016.

These case studies are published by scholars and practitioners all over the world. They range from the descriptive to the analytical, from the single tool to the national program, from the enthusiastic to the critical. Each of the case studies collected in this project reflects the practices associated with the intentional effort of one or many individuals to benefit or disrupt a community or institution outside of one’s intimate and professional spheres.

The Civic Media Project is case studies are organized into four sections:

  • Play + Creativity presents cases where civic life is facilitated through deliberate acts of play or creativity, either through games, speculative design, or digital storytelling.

  • Systems + Design presents cases where the infrastructure of civic life is considered and manipulated to produce specific civic outcomes.

  • Learning + Engagement presents cases that focus on how the affective qualities of learning and engagement are mobilized towards civic impact.

  • Community + Action presents cases where people or organizations mobilize digital networks for civic or political action and where social movements intersect with social circles.

The Civic Media Project also includes a robust learning guide which can be found below.

  • Pimp My Carroca in Sao Paolo uses art to engage citizens with trash collectors
  • Students using the interactive documentary Hollow in the classroom
  • Idle No More uses social media to advocate for indigenous peoples in Canada
  • The Singapore Memory Project is an online portal designed to broaden participation in shaping cultural memory
  • Aliens On Campus is an Alternate Reality Game designed to orient South African students beginning university

    Civic Media Project Learning Guide

    This guide is designed to assist educators, students, and practitioners in exploring the intersections between media, engagement and civic life. It includes questions that take users through cases in all four sections of the website and spark discussion between readers across schools, universities and communities locally and globally. The activities bridge between global and local problems to help readers identify issues and address them through original civic media projects. Click the link below to download the guide.

  • Civic Media Project Learning Guide

CIVIC MEDIA: TECHNOLOGY, DESIGN, PRACTICE is an edited anthology to be published by MIT Press in Spring 2016. The book is anchored by a vision to better understand how digital media are fundamentally advancing or threatening the capacity of citizens across politics, activism, education, art, health, expression, games, and society writ large. Each section will feature contributions from leading international scholars exploring the intersection of media and civic life. The goal is to reach across traditional disciplines, including sociology, policy, urban planning, political philosophy, computer science, communications and art, to identify an emerging field of knowledge and practice that has shared problems, methodologies and theories. Contributors include:


  • Peter Levine (Tufts University)
  • Ethan Zuckerman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • W. Lance Bennett (University of Washington)


  • Henry Jenkins, Liana Gamber-Thompson (USC)
  • Eric Gordon, Stephen Walter (Emerson College)
  • Beth Coleman (University of Waterloo)


  • Beth Noveck (NYU)
  • Sarah Williams (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Marcus Foth (Queensland University of Technology)
  • David Karpf (George Washington University)


  • Renee Hobbes (University of Rhode Island)
  • Paul Mihailidis (Emerson College)
  • Roman Gerodimos (Bournemouth University)
  • Elizabeth Soep (Youth Radio)


  • Molly Sauter (McGill University)
  • Ceasar McDowell (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Colin Rhinesmith (University of Oklahoma)


  • Joe Kahne, Benjamin Boyer (Mills College)
  • Valerie Chang (MacArthur Foundation)

Civic Media Project News

#CivicMediaChat: The Role of Play and Creativity in Civic Engagement Transcript

#CivicMediaChat: The Role of Play and Creativity in Civic Engagement Transcript

#CivicMediaChat is a chat intended to spark conversations about the Civic Media Project's section's ...

Engagement Lab launches Civic Media Project

Engagement Lab launches Civic Media Project

Emerson College's Engagement Lab has launched the Civic Media Project, an online collection of case ...

Showcasing The Civic Media Project: Website to Weibo

Showcasing The Civic Media Project: Website to Weibo

Henry Jenkins showcases the Engagement Lab's Civic Media Project website, an extension of a new book...