University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Fighting for Democracy in the Digital Age

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 16:00 to 17:30

Do new media technologies, including the internet, enhance opportunities for citizen participation? If not, how can these technologies become better tools for creating more democratic forms of governance?

In this panel, activists and leaders in the field of new media will talk about issues ranging from net neutrality to media reform and fighting censorship in online spaces—and, in the end, how we can all contribute to promoting democracy in today’s digital age.


Candace Clement is Internet Campaign Director at Free Press, a national nonprofit based in Florence, MA, that advocates for the rights of citizens to connect and communicate. Clement directs Free Press’ campaigns to restore Net Neutrality and stop government and corporate surveillance. She also supports Free Press’ other major goals, including the fight against media consolidation.

Brandi Collins is Director of Economic, Environmental and Media Justice Campaigns for ColorOfChange, which works to make government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans. A lawyer by training, Collins previously worked at the Center for Media Justice, which fights for media rights and representation of marginalized communities, and as a Public Policy Associate at Safer Foundation.

Ethan Zuckerman is the Director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and a principal research scientist at the MIT Media Lab. His research examines what gains attention in mainstream and new media, the use of technology for international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists. He is co-founder of the international blog, Global Voices.

Moderator: An internationally recognized expert on digital government, Jane Fountain is Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at UMass Amherst and chairs the Department of Political Science. She is also the director of the National Center for Digital Government. She is the former chair of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on the Future of Government and an appointed member of the MA Governor’s Council on Innovation.

This event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Center for Public Policy and Administration, and the National Center for Digital Government