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Comments Submitted to the FCC's Open Internet Docket [2010]

On October 12, 2010 Center for Social Media submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission addressing the impact that the Commission’s rulemaking on matters related to the open internet will have on the ability of citizens to obtain news, information and educational resources vital to informed self-governance.

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Future of Media Submission to the FCC [2010]

This is a docket submission from the Center for Social Media to the Federal Communications Commission, in response to the Future of Media project, with an emphasis on policy strategies for transitioning from a fragmented, broadcast-oriented approach to a networked, multiplatform public media system.

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Public Broadcasting and Public Affairs

Public Broadcasting and Public Affairs:
Opportunities and Challenges for Public Broadcasting’s Role in Provisioning the Public with News and Public Affairs

In this paper, commissioned as part of the Berkman Center's Media Re:Public project, CSM's Pat Aufderheide and Jessica Clark describe the complex system of U.S. public broadcasting, the many exciting experiments that are underway and the barriers to creating a truly public media.

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Modeling Policy for New Public Service Media Networks

An article in the Fall 2010 issue of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology by Center for Social Media Research Fellow Ellen Goodman and researcher Anne H. Chen explores new policy structures for networked public media.

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Public Television Viewers and Public-Purpose Programming

This research analyzes responses from the general public to the news that a series featuring independent filmmakers’ documentaries, Independent Lens, had been dropped from PBS’ core schedule.  Viewers offer a range of responses, which share a common implication: there is currently untapped support, both financial and political, for public television, among viewers who feel themselves underserved by public television’s lighter fare.

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Many To Many

New, participatory media are fast becoming a vibrant part of the public media landscape. Filmmaker Martin Lucas presents a short video showing the new and growing promise of the "blogosphere." This is more than individuals publishing their thoughts, it's a veritable global, public conversation.

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Beyond Broadcast: Reinventing Public Media in a Participatory Culture

Billed by bloggers as 'geeks meet wonks,' Beyond Broadcast was a public conference to explore how traditional public media face a critical and unique opportunity to embrace participatory, web-based media models, such as podcasting, video blogs and social software.

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Field Report: Made in LA

This examination of Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar's film project, Made in L.A., written by Center for Social Media research fellow Kafi Kareem, looks at the terms of production for a film project that is self-funded and driven by the need to connect with its users. Made in L.A. documents the struggle for rights of immigrant textile workers who were suffering under sweatshop conditions in Los Angeles. Carracedo and Bahar began an expensive and extensive project without a real grasp of how it would evolve. They survived, and ultimately thrived, due to a relentless search for connection with their users. This project uncovered techniques that others can adopt pre-preemptively, as a way to involve potential supporters from the start in projects that speak to clear constituencies.

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Field Report: OneWorld's Virtual Bali

While social networks and virtual worlds have largely been used for entertainment and personal interaction, they have at times demonstrated the potential to serve as powerful platforms for public media. This field report assesses a project that involved the use of a commercial virtual world, Second Life, and a niche nonprofit social network, OneClimate.net, by a nonprofit media producer, OneWorld UK. By operating a public forum from the 2007 U.N. Climate Change Conference via these platforms, OneWorld was able to expand participation in the conference and create an ongoing conversation among members of a global public interested in environmental issues. While the number of online participants was limited, this experiment drew significant press attention and served as a benchmark for nonprofit and public media uses of these online tools. The OneWorld organizers noted some skepticism on the part of both reporters and other advocacy groups, but hope their example will break down barriers as they continue to use these platforms at subsequent U.N. gatherings. Questions of scale, budget and digital divides still remain.

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Field Report: "Why Democracy?"

This report is Research Fellow Greg Fitzpatrick's examination of "Why Democracy?"—an ambitious multi-platform, multi-country public broadcasting project—demonstrates the opportunities and challenges for public media born in a broadcasting environment to engage publics across global and digital divides.

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