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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...

Empowering the Human Voice: Kunal Gupta on Media That Matters

As we count down the days until Media That Matters 2014, check the CMSI blog to learn more about our #MTMDC panelists and why they engage with media that matters. 

Kunal Gupta of Baycastles and The Silent Barn will be speaking at Media That Matters 2014 on the panel Digital Games: Using persuasive play for social impact. Here is his story. 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...