Regardless of the genre or platform – from entertainment to comedy to networked social channels – contemporary media can have profound social impact, from influencing awareness and attitudes to shaping policy. Through studies, case studies and other projects, CMSI investigates and reports on the ways in which media storytelling sets the public agenda, impacts audiences and shapes the future around the pressing social issues of our time.
The Laughter Effect is a series of investigations that spotlights how and why comedy can play a role in social change. Reports and studies from this project offer strategic recommendations about leveraging comedy for social justice – for change-makers, professional storytellers, and researchers.
Jessica Clark and Barbara Abrash present six in-depth case studies of high-impact documentaries, offering a snapshot of evaluation efforts, analysis of strategic design concepts, and a framework for further research.