Social Media

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 "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

First Amendment 

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first of 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights

Starting August 2021

“A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. “

James Madison, Letter to W.T. Barry (1822-08-04).

“... journalism - that used to tell a grand, unfurling narrative - now also just relays disjointed and often wildly contradictory fragments of information.”      Adam Curtis

Rumors and conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus have run rampant on social media in China, yet social media has largely untapped potential as a platform for education and communication from trusted sources, says Winnie Chi-Man Yip (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health/Harvard China Health Partnership). This Forum event was presented jointly with The World from PRX & WGBH on March 2, 2020.

March 27, 2020

How to make information matter 


The COVID 19 Pandemic: The Challenge and Opportunity of Social Media 


What the COVID-19 pandemic reveals about the current state of the media, social media  and journalism  and what can the coverage of the pandemic  teach up about how to build a media ecosystem that serves informed citizens in a republican democracy. 

Examining the function of the media in the COVID 19 Pandemic in order to develop a framework for the future. 


What is the role of the media in the current COVID 19 Pandemic?


Six months into the COVID-19 Pandemic, as we head into the next phase, with new challenges facing the global community, and the impact of the measures to contain it are becoming more clear,  it’s worth looking back to assess how the  media performed, how it could have done better as the virus broke out of China and headed to the US, how could it have helped frame public opinion, how can it provide reliable up to date information, how to report on the political and related policy response locally, nationally and globally. By examining critically these areas with a complexity lens  we develop a new framework for the media, journalism and public opinion for the current moment.

Description of Stakeholder:

Media outlets coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic illustrate the challenges and opportunities for the media in reporting and covering  complex and complicated biological,  social, economic, political  issues. As the shapers of public opinion, the media plays a crucial role within the COVID-19 Pandemic. When complete this section will include the latest articles, social media, lectures and related information relevant to the COVID-19 Pandemic Case. Their role however is diminished by the changing nature of the business models reshaping the media landscape. This is particularly unfortunate given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic  is having  on so many levels of American society. 


The goal of the media stakeholder section is to explore the challenges of and provides a journalistic framework that can enhance the performance of the media. The approach addresses the many challenges facing the media in the digital era. The “ symptom” of the COVID 19 pandemic is explored as a vehicle to address the challenges Madison foresaw in the body politic and to provide a case study to help understand the complexity of challenges facing our ”body politic” and potential for the Media (The Atlantic ) to contribute to the role for “Public opinion” in political discourse.

The Challenge:


Media outlets coverage of the COVID 19 pandemic illustrates the challenges and opportunities for the media in reporting and covering complex social issues. As the shapers of public opinion, the media plays a crucial role within the COVID 19 Pandemic ecosystem.


The Role of the Media in Addressing Social and Political Challenges 


In the political ecosystem, the media plays a central role in providing a framework and process for citizens to be part of the solution. We offer a comprehensive journalistic approach to address the complex challenges associated with the pain opioid epidemic. 


Points to Consider 

  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 has dramatically reshaped social relations in many ways as well as the flow of information around the globe. 

  • The media plays an important role in maintaining and enhancing our democracy, yet more and more Americans distrust the fragmented media.  (Print, Radio, TV, internet, social media, podcasts) .

  • As the shapers of public opinion, the media plays a crucial role within the  COVID-19 Pandemic ecosystem.

  • Media outlets coverage of the  COVID-19 Pandemic illustrate the challenges and opportunities for the media in reporting and covering  complex social issues. 

  • The COVID 19 Pandemic presents an  opportunity to test a way to be more relevant to major social challenges and test a journalistic approach that is consistent with your vision and challenges confronting all of the media. 

  • The ultimate question is how to reclaim public reason and what is the media’s responsibility for promoting the “public welfare”. 

How the media covers the COVID 19 pandemic: Examining leading media's coverage of the COVID -19  Pandemic? 

The Complexity of the Social Media Landscape

Take part to: 

  • Connect to developing checklist

  • Connect to the media ecosystem 

  • Examine the experts 

  • Help with the timeline 

  • Develop topic specific citizen briefs to understanding the information


Live COVID-19 Question / Answer with Dr. Seheult - June 7, 2020


Mid-Week Musings from the Trenches, June 11, 2020:

Harris Cohen, M.D.

The citizen role in democracy and the importance of media 

What would Madison’s expectation of public opinion as a foundation of democracy contribute to the role of the media… The media’s societal purpose, supported by the founding fathers view of the essential role of the media to promote public discussion that promotes government action. In a changing media landscape with digital platforms proliferating how can we leverage these developments to support citizens in their political engagement.


James Madison and Public Opinion: The Role of Citizens in the American  Republican  Government 

Blog article:

Setting the stage for the media in the 21st century: The Challenge and Opportunity of Digital Technology and Social Media for Western Democracy


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