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SXSW Verite: Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes

The Great InvisibleAt SXSW 2014, Tilda Swinton told a packed crowd that film was an"amazingly humane opportunity to put yourselves in the shoes of someone else." Verite documentaries exemplified the best in that opportunity.


The grand jury prize winner, "The Great Invisible," was a great example. Margaret Brown’s film invites us to look at the consequences of the BP oil spill on the people most directly affected--the victims of the Deep Water Horizon explosion and their families, the seafood industry workers, and oil industry executives. Read more...

How Shall We Think about Teens Online? danah boyd Explains It All to You

It's ComplicatedWhy are teens burying their faces in their screens? How can we protect young people from online predators? And stop cyberbullying? Oh, and can those digital natives fix our phones?

At a talk at the New America Foundation, communications scholar danah boyd showed why all these questions are the wrong ones to ask. Teens, she explained, are mostly using social media as a way to enable and enhance social life, often because their access to each other has been limited by curfews, suburbanization and school choice, and parental panic, to mention some larger social factors. So don’t blame them for texting, any more than you decried teen phone use or note passing in study hall in the past. Read more...

Remembering Stuart Hall

Stuart HallOne of the inspirations for the founding of the Center for Media & Social Impact, Stuart Hall, passed away this month. The range of voices remembering him was as broad as his influence. While 20-something activists mourned his passing and cited his influence on their organizing on Facebook, visual artists celebrated his role in building an artistic movement, and scholars recalled his unpretentious and enthusiastic engagement with popular culture. Read more...

Why Fair Use Is More Dependable Than You Think

Peter JasziLast week, Peter Jaszi--the nation's leading expert on the copyright doctrine of fair use--was asked to testify before Congress on fair use and whether it needed reform. His short explanation, reproduced here for everyone who didn't make it to the hearing room, shows why fair use is both flexible and reliable, given the last two decades of court decisions: Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Hip Hop Tribute

Image by garryknight/FlickrDear CMSI,

Can you settle an argument? I work at a local blogging site, and a local hip hop artist just died. We covered the story using a short clips (less than 30 seconds!) of his best-known song, and we wanted also to use a clip from national network news from when he had a fight with another hip hop artist. Read more...