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.

More about CMSI

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

Fair Use Question of the Month: Writing About Art

Image by Florin Rosoga/FlickrDear CMSI,

I've just gotten an academic article accepted! It’s a comparison of the work of two major later twentieth-century painters. I've been able to find acceptable-quality reproductions of the work I'm comparing, but the journal asks authors to get permission for all illustrations. Do I have to get permission?

More...

Roundup: PBS and Indies at SXSW

Photo by PBS via FacebookAt SXSW, PBS made a bigger splash than usual at the media/tech mecca, with seven (!) panels and three fest films. At the new-this-year PBS Lounge (swag, free beer, comfy couches, selfies posted direct to Net), you could meet filmmakers of the three PBS premieres. PBS also announced investment in theatricals. And more than two dozen PBSers were on hand to court indies. 

But it joined a throng of distributors—not just broadcasters but also online platforms—doing the same thing. At the same time, it couldn’t say what indies wanted to hear, and it demonstrated its own version of a digital divide.

More...

Like, Link, Share: New Tools for Legacy Organizations

Like Link Share Cover

New research proves that established and traditional cultural institutions--museums, orchestras and libraries--are adjusting to a new digital reality. Looking to accommodate the public expectation of engaging with culture without sitting through a long performance or attending an exhibit, these legacy institutions are changing traditional ways of thinking and operating.

More...

Bleeding-Edge News at SXSW

SXSWSXSW panels and events take the pulse of cutting—OK, bleeding—edge trends in tech for film. Seven takeaways from panels:

#1: Streaming video: Open and closed video streaming platforms are now mainstream, and funding programming. In fact, according to Buzzfeed’s Summer Anne Burton, YouTube (c. 160M monthly desktop viewers) is now a lean-back, longform(ish) medium—suitable for evening viewing.

More...