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SXSW: Engagement and Action

SXSWAt SXSW, social-issue storytellers—filmmakers, journalists, game designers, and more--could benefit from a range of messages, not all designed for the social-issue space. Consider: Read more...

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 GREAT INVISIBLE

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...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Crowdsourcing Journalism

Dear CMSI,

fine print

I’m doing a story on the use of highly technical language in Terms and Conditions clauses, and yesterday I found a really brilliant example on an application form I had to fill out. I’d like to post the relevant page online alongside the article when I’m finished and ask readers to weigh in on how to make the writing clearer, but I assume the text is copyrighted. Do I need the company’s permission before I can post it or is this a fair use?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...