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Public TV Docs Feature More Diverse Creators and Characters than Cable

Independent LensMore cable series than ever before feature social-issue documentaries, but public TV still stands out for diversity in both creators and characters, according to Center research that will be announced at the International Documentary Association’s 2014 Getting Real Documentary Film Conference. Read more...

Good News: Growing Acceptance of Fair Use in Documentary

At the 2014 Getting Real Documentary Film Conference, hosted by the International Documentary Association, the Center is releasing new research on the embrace of fair use in the field.

Based on a survey of 489 documentary filmmakers by Patricia Aufderheide and Aram Sinnreich, the survey finds that a great majority of documentary filmmakers understand fair use, find it valuable in their work, and have had no trouble with acceptance by broadcasters, lawyers or insurers. Read more...

Making Dangerous Docs: What We Know So Far

Zoom audio recorderThe Center for Media & Social Impact has begun a research project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation on the problems filmmakers face when they tackle deep-pocketed, powerful subjects – whether governmental or corporate, national or international. We are interviewing filmmakers, lawyers, insurers, broadcasters, and investigative journalists to find out how filmmakers can protect themselves when making these "dangerous docs." Read more...

Rebecca MacKinnon to Speak at American University

Consent of the NetworkedOn Monday, October 6, author and activist Rebecca MacKinnon is coming to American University to lead a conversation on Internet governance, privacy, free speech, and journalism in the digital age. 

MacKinnon is the director of the Ranking Digital Rights project at the New America Foundation. After establishing her journalism career at CNN, she co-founded the citizen media network Global Voices with Ethan Zuckerman in 2005. More recently, she released her book "Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom."  Read more...

Fair Use Question of the Month: Showcasing Media Literacy Assignments Outside the Classroom

Dear CMSI,

I teach media literacy in my 8th grade English class, and one of my assignments is to find examples of different media saying the same thing or carrying the same message. The students produce a multi-media work, and some of them are quite impressive. We’d like to showcase them at the school fair and on the school website, but the principal says that we’d be infringing copyright, since it’s outside the classroom. Read more...