Media, a meal & the big reveal: What we learned designing an experience to reduce bias in media

Media, a meal & the big reveal: What we learned designing an experience to reduce bias in media

The first prototype of the Para∆igm project went down in early November, bringing about a new curriculum for media makers and consumers to help increase awareness of bias and grow inclusiveness. There were, as with any prototype, a great deal from which to learn and steps to be taken. 

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The messy business of the paper prototype

No one said this would be easy...

I spent the afternoon pulling ideas out of my head, trying to put together different pieces I had acquired through conversations and observations. The process expanded and contracted with the force of a human lung during a sprint.

The overall goal of this prototype is to figure out how to get people below the surface of their media consumption and making experience -- to see their habits and the opportunities for empathy and understanding those habits deny them.  

The plan, at least for now, is to follow the path that keeps emerging within the overall media design project: 

Media shapes belief --> Belief inspires Action --> Action shapes culture --> Culture shapes Media

It's a cycle that goes 'round and 'round -- and it doesn't always go in one direction. Sometimes it goes clockwise. Other times it goes in reverse. 

This isn't, of course, a final version of anything other than the final initial peel of raw content out of my head. But it's my process. I am thinking this may be an initial worksheet to give to people to help spark empathy across different barriers. There's a while and a lot more work between what's on this board and the somewhere-close-to-finished experience. Stay tuned.

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Emi Kolawole

Emi Kolawole earned her B.A. in international relations and theater studies from Wellesley College and studied abroad at both the Panthéon-Sorbonne and the National Theater Institute.  She joined the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org in November, 2005 after working as a news researcher for Congressional Quarterly on issues of defense, foreign policy, intelligence and homeland security. Previously, she was a production assistant at PBS's "NOW With Bill Moyers," and worked in the Washington area office of a defense contractor.

In addition to her work as a staff writer and researcher for FactCheck, Emi was the host, writer and video editor for FactCheck.org's weekly video feature "Just the Facts!"  She is a level 1 certified Final Cut Pro editor and earned her master's degree in producing for film and video at American University. She also led the fact-checking review effort for "UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation."

Emi served as the associate producer for "Washington Week with Gwen Ifill & National Journal." In June 2010 she joined the Washington Post as a producer for PostPolitics. She served as the founding editor for Ideas@Innovations (now "Innovations") and co-host for the Post's daily news program "59 Seconds." In 2011, Emi was named a Young Global Shaper by The World Economic Forum. In 2013 she was listed among The Grio 100, was named a French-American Foundation Young Leader and accepted an invitation to become the Editor-in-residence at the d.school at Stanford University. She has served for the past three years at the d.school, most recently as a senior media designer working on the media experiments collaboration between Knight Foundation and the d.school. She is currently the founder of the media and design consultancy Dexign LLC. 

Dialogue, design thinking, race & the media: The start

Dialogue, design thinking, race & the media: The start

Often, design thinking is taught with empathy first. But that can prove difficult when your initial problem statement is incredibly broad. In this case, the problem I'm trying to address is this: how might we marry dialogue practice and design thinking to help people better identify potential racial bias and guide them to engage in ways that are more constructive and less harmful to the ongoing national conversation on race? 

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A first step into the arena

A first step into the arena

Welcome to ParaΔigm - my digital laboratory for media experiments.

Okay, so what does that mean? I am currently on a two-year exploration of media and the ways in which design thinking can be used to improve media overall -- everything from media literacy, education, journalism, entertainment ... and the list goes on. It's a huge undertaking that the Stanford d.school is taking on in collaboration with Knight Foundation. I'm fortunate enough to be a part of the five-person team gifted with the challenge. If you are working in media, this is the stuff of dreams -- really.

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