CBC News has published an interactive database on carcinogens in the workplace. The visualisation is the result of a collaborative project between the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, CBC and CAREX Canada, a research initiative cataloguing Canadians’ exposure to carcinogens while on the job. The aim of the collaboration was to highlight exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace. The project involved Candis Callison and myself from the j-school faculty, together with Anne-Marie Nicol, an assistant professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health and executive director of CAREX. Two j-school students, Aleksandra Sagan and Sam Eifling worked as researchers on CBC News database.
My paper on the BBC Action Network has been published in the eJournal of eDemocracy & Open Government. It looks how the BBC tried to encourage civic engagement through its Action Network project, originally known as iCan. In the paper, I argue that the initiative suffered from a “fundamental tension between the BBC’s desire to empower grassroots civic action and the corporation’s historical and entrenched obligations as an impartial public service broadcaster governed by a paternalistic and elitist Reithian ethos”. I suggest that rather than hosting e-participation platforms, broadcasters and other public institutions should embrace Web 2.0 approaches that enable citizens to engage on different levels and at different times, depending on contexts. I hope the paper will be of interest to journalists, academic and public policy makers involved in issues of the media, e-democracy and participatory culture. It is available as a free PDF download, under a Creative Commons license The paper is part of a special issue of JeDem on sustainable e-participation.
I am very pleased to announce the successful launch of the Canadian Music Wiki. The site is the result of a partnership between CBC Radio 3 and the UBC Graduate School of Journalism,which gave recent grad Amanda Ash a unique opportunity to research and develop on wiki over the past eight months. Since the wiki went live in May, it has received more 14,000 page views and has more than 2,300 wiki pages. It has been featured in major daily newspapers including the Vancouver Sun and the Edmonton Journal, as well as music magazines such as Exclaim! The project came out of a idea by CBC Radio 3 director Steve Pratt and myself to set up a user-generated online music encyclopedia. The wiki aims to be the most comprehensive online resource on Canadian music and related topics, with contributions from artists, fans and media professionals. Since it uses wiki software, just about every any page can be edited by anyone at any time. We are grateful for the financial support provided by MITACS Accelerate.