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The Center's New Look

CMSIYes, you are in the right place. This is the Center for Social Media website—in our new incarnation! We’re excited to relaunch, in order to best serve our historic mission as an innovation lab and research center that studies, designs and showcases media for social impact.

Our new name, Center for Media & Social Impact, helps with that mission. In the era of Twitter and Facebook, it more clearly expresses who we are. It also fits our ever-growing research agenda on measuring impact—and designing media—for social good. Read more...

Social Change Through Comedy

Caty Chattoo

How can we view social issues differently if the lens is unexpected and maybe even a little controversial? How do we follow a comic’s joke to its sources in real life? What happens when we use comedy as a lens for examining the most pressing issues in global development?

These are some of the questions that Executive Producer Caty Borum Chattoo , Creative Director at the Center for Media & Social Impact , has been working to help raise over the past year with her latest project, “ Stand Up Planet .” Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Cultural Reporting and Criticism

Image by Abee5/Flickr

Dear Center for Media & Social Impact,

I am reviewing the latest work of a novelist, and want to quote some text from his earlier novel, as well his current one, to show how differently the novelist uses language in his current work. I know I have permission to quote from the current work because the publisher requested that I write this review. But I am grappling with whether it is appropriate to quote from the novelist’s earlier work. 

Melanie Read more...

Fair Use, YouTube and Larry Lessig

Photo by iSummit global icons/FlickrThe future of fair use is threatened by bogus and even sometimes feckless demands for takedowns on digital content platforms like YouTube. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is once again challenging a copyright holder's inappropriate demands, in an incident triggered by copyright lawyer Larry Lessig's work. Techdirt has the storyRead more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Incidental Audio in Journalism

Photo by ejmc/FlickrDear Center for Social Media,

I'm a radio reporter, and I was interviewing some protesters at a rally where the police had given the occupiers an ultimatum. Behind my interviewee, you can hear some of the protesters are chanting, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” Actually, it's more like they were singing that line from the John Lennon song. This is pretty much the best interview I've got. Do I have to  use another interview instead? Yoko Ono is known to be really litigious. Read more...