Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show Made Politics Cool Again…and Young People Followed

Parazit co-host Kambiz Hosseini and The Daily Show host Jon Stewart on the set of The Daily Show  (Photo: Kambiz Hosseini).

Though the studio lights have dimmed for the last time on Jon Stewart’s tenure as host of The Daily Show, his brand of political satire -- which aimed to keep leaders accountable, the media honest and youth interested in government -- shines on through its immense success with young audiences at home and abroad. The Daily Show sparked a new era of political satire, a step beyond the traditional editorial cartoon, satirical magazine and occasional political joke on late-night television. In the United States, Stewart’s style of “fake news” revolutionized not only satire in (and of) the media, but how youth engage with politics.

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Red Innovación at 3 Years: Connecting Democracy Activists Throughout Latin America

Dan Wagner, CEO of Civis Analytics and National Analytic Director for the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns, participates in a Red Innovación Google Hangout on campaign strategies.

Since its launch three years ago, online platform Red Innovación has helped activists throughout Latin America efficiently share tools and materials that contribute to political reform and good governance initiatives. In honor of next month's launch of the new Virtual Diploma in Communication Policy, which is hosted by Argentine partner Civil Association of Popular Studies (Asociacion Civil de Estudios Populares, ACEP) in partnership with Red Innovación and will provide training on new communications strategies, here is a recap of Red Innovación’s successes.

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Accessibility in the Digital Space: Making the Internet Open for Everyone

Credit: Kathryn Cyr

Barriers to participation are not always obvious to those without a disability, but something as simple as a wheelchair ramp can ensure a citizen's ability to exercise her right to vote. People with disabilities, who comprise 15 percent of the global population, are often blocked from aspects of public life. Efforts to improve the accessibility of physical spaces, such as polling stations and government buildings, are important, but in an increasingly digital age, it is also critical that people with disabilities are able to access and share information online. On June 16, NDI hosted an internal discussion with Nick Bristow, a lead web accessibility developer for the 18F team within the U.S. Government’s General Services Administration. During his discussion with NDI staff, Nick shared concrete skills on how to plan and design an accessible website, and cultivate organizational awareness of the needs of people with disabilities.

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The Open Data Community Comes Together to Talk Data, Power, Politics

The Third International Open Data Conference in Ottawa last week brought together more than 1,000 open data advocates from a diverse array of countries and professional backgrounds for discussions intended to add transparency to government Compared with the First International Open Data Conference -- a small gathering of technologists at the World Bank in 2010 -- the event’s growth constituted a clear statement that open data is here to stay and the global community of advocates is growing.

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Going to the International Open Data Conference? Come say hello to NDI

This week, NDI joins thousands of open government advocates, civic hackers, policymakers and journalists in attending the 3rd Annual International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Ottawa, Canada. It is going to be a week of workshops and discussions exploring open data issues and strengthening coordination among open data initiatives. Throughout the week, NDI will be hosting or participating in several events where we'll address how citizens can use data to make government more transparent and accountable. Whether your interests are in opening up election data or in promoting a parliamentary code of conduct, we'd like to talk to you at these events.

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Social Media Insights on Crime and Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Social media analytics on crime and violence in Honduras. The colors represent the sentiment -- positive, negative or neutral -- associated with the context in which the words pandilleros (gang members) and pandilla (gang) were used.

The words “crime” and “violence” seemingly go together when talking about the Northern Triangle countries of Central America (El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala). The words “data” and “hackathon” go together when discussing technical innovation, intricate computer applications and groups of hackers writing computer code to create the next billion-dollar application. Rarely do these four words merge on the same plane, but when they do, opportunities abound for conversations that have lots to do with innovation and more to do with citizen security and social development. I had the opportunity to take part in such conversations during a USAID-organized hackathon on April 30 and May 1, focusing on security levels in Central America and the Caribbean.

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Nigerian Innovations in Technology for Democracy

In March, TMG observers across Nigeria tested systems that were used on election day to independently verify election results. Using coded text messages, the observers sent massive amounts of data to a national information center for analysis. Credit: TMG-Nigeria

Nigerians went to the polls last month to choose their next president. The outcome was a largely peaceful transition of power between the ruling and opposition parties, and technology played a key role.

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The Floor is Yours: Bosnia's New Online Citizen Engagement Platform

NDItech, NDI’s Technology Programs team, sat down via Google Hangouts with NDI’s Asja Kratovic, resident program officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), to discuss the recently released Imate Rijec website. The site brings together the voices of politicians and citizens on some of Bosnia’s most pressing social and political issues.

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TweetTalk: Gender, Women & Political Parties

As part of the celebration of International Women’s Day 2015, NDI’s Political Parties and Gender, Women and Democracy teams held a crowdsourcing and networking event on Twitter called a “TweetTalk” to share ideas, best practices and lessons learned when helping to engage more women in political parties.

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A Renewed Vision: DemTools 2.0

DemTools are a set of open-source solutions developed by NDI’s Technology for Democracy team (NDItech) to address some of democracy’s most common problems. The tools, which were released in August to NDI partners, the development community and general public, focus on scalability – providing advanced technologies to make their work more effective, while reducing maintenance and sustainability burdens. NDI recently received a renewed National Endowment for Democracy grant for the continued development and expansion of DemTools. In deciding where and how to allocate these funds, we reviewed current features and updated our roadmap for product development and version release timelines. We determined that better support, enhanced multilingual capacity and increased usability were priorities across all of the tools.

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