Empowering Media That Matters

The Center for
Media & Social Impact

The Center for Media & Social Impact at American University is an innovation incubator and research center that creates, studies, 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 Successes in the Visual Arts at #CAA2016

At the College Art Association’s annual meeting, where each of the thousands of participants received a copy of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, panelists from various backgrounds recounted remarkable steps forward in applying fair use to the visual arts. Each shared their experience with the code that ultimately led to success. 


Sundance Awards Women

This year’s Sundance documentary awards showcased some of my favorite recent films, made by and about women.


Defending fair use: Good for YouTube’s business--and for us

YouTube Netflix logosWhy is Google promising to defend some YouTubers who regularly remix copyrighted work, if they are charged with infringing? Because fair use is central to its business plan. Oh, and to the future of creativity. That too.


U.S. public media steps up at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

This article was originally posted on Current.org.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has become increasingly important for U.S.–based public media. Producers and filmmakers from PBS’s creative documentary strands come to make deals and make friends, showcase new work and get inspired by the state of the art.

Director Stanley Nelson takes questions at IDFA after screening his Independent Lens film The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. (Photo: Nichon Glerum)

This year’s IDFA, Nov. 18–29, was a meeting ground for 3,271 documentary professionals from 93 countries, including producers from Independent Lens, Frontline, POV and American Masters, and executives representing PBS, New York’s WNET and the World Channel based at Boston’s WGBH.