The RegulationRoom project and the rules it presented garnered a lot of media attention this year. Prof. Farina has done radio interviews on Regulation Room, and has been interviewed by the Washington Post, New York Times, Federal Computing Week, and other conventional and online media.
Dmitry Epstein of CeRI and Jeff Hancock of Information Science at Cornell will be the keynote speakers at the first annual New Media Gathering Africa, to be held in March 2012. Dmitry will speak about the impact of emerging media on democratic institutions and political deliberative processes. Conference registration opens in January.
On September 30, 2011, CeRI Executive Director Mary Newhart spoke at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association of Law Libraries of Upstate New York (ALLUNY) in Binghamton, NY. Prof. Newhart gave a quick tour of the Regulation Room website and talked about the current rulemaking on Air Travel Accessibility, including efforts to certify the site as WCAG 2.0AA compliant. She also discussed the research project from the perspectives of law/government; computing and information science; conflict resolution; and civic democracy.
In September 2011, CeRI researchers Rebecca Vernon and Dima Epstein presented a new paper, Broadening the Spectrum for Participations: Lessons from Experiments of Online Public Engagement in Rulemaking, at the by-invitation experts' workshop New ICTs + New Media = New Democracy? Communications policy and public life in the age of broadband. Held at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. and co-sponsored by the Penn State Institute for Information Policy and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative, the three-day event featured experts from universities across the United States and around the world, as well as government and industry leaders.
The paper describes how Regulation Room is purposefully designed to address various digital divides. Drawing on the work of Jan van Dijk, Paul DiMaggio, and Pippa Norris, it discusses the ways in which Regulation Room's information architecture and moderation protocols attempt to bridge divides of access, technical ability, and participatory skills to enable a broader array of the public to engage more meaningfully in important government policymaking. The paper generated much excited discussion at the workshop about potential future applications of the Regulation Room website and CeRI's research. Rebecca Vernon is an Affiliated Researcher and was the first CeRI Open Government Fellow. Dima Epstein just completed his PhD in Communications and is the first CeRI post-doc.