Empowering Media That Matters

The Center for
Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact is an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs and showcases media for social impact.

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The Center's latest report examines risks and resources for filmmakers challenging the status quo. 

Visual arts community launches Code of Best Practices in Fair Use!

Just Released! Public TV remains leading source of diverse programming.

“Stand Up Planet” Impact Evaluation Demonstrates Power of Comedy for Change

Our latest report takes an in-depth look at the range of media impact tools currently available.

Media That Matters

Can Public TV and Indie Filmmakers Get Along?

At the University Film and Video conference in August, the challenging but rewarding relationship between indie filmmakers and public TV was celebrated—by pubtv insiders as well as indies.

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What makes a documentary durable?

Michael RabigerCILECT North America’s Docu-Day conference opened at American University with a manifesto-like volley from professor emeritus and field leader Michael Rabiger, who asked, “What makes a documentary durable?” His answer: Film art, featuring creative use of elements ranging fr

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Q&A and Case Study With Claudia Myers, Director of FORT BLISS

Director Claudia Myers on the set of Fort BlissClaudia Myers (Kettle of Fish) is a producer/writer/director and an associate professor in the Film and Media Arts Division of the School of Communication at American University. Her latest feature film Fort Bliss (2014) chronicles the story of a female army medic who returns from her tour of duty and struggles to reconnect with her son. The film touches upon issues of managing work and family, PTSD and sexual assault. CMSI sat down with Professor Myers to discuss the film and its social impact since its release last year. Professor Myers also shared with CMSI a case study of the film's impact and reach thus far.

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Fair Use Question of the Month: Digitizing Archives of Copyrighted Work

LetterDear CMSI,

I am part of a team in the special collections unit of my university library working on the recently acquired personal archive of a regional artist. We’re hoping to make the correspondence between the artist and various collectors and institutions digitally available. The archive came with a donor’s agreement allowing digital display, but there are a lot of items in the archive that are actually copyrighted to others. So what we want to know is, can we employ fair use here? If so, how?

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