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March 2010 E-Newsletter

Table of Contents
Upcoming Events 

  • Making Your Media Matter Reschedule
  • Center at WeMedia  Conference    
  • Center at SXSW Conference
  • Best of Input 2010
Future of Public Media  
  • Tracking Media's Influence in a Networked Environment
  • Is There a Master Metric for Evaluating Public Media Projects?
  • Debating the News Crisis
  • Twitter Public Media Chat
  • Public Media 2.0 Showcase 
  • Voice for the Voiceless
    Table Talk

Fair Use and Copyright  


  • Lessig, Fair Use and Open Video Alliance
  • True Tales of Fair Use: The Most Dangerous Man In America
  • Putting Fair Use to Work: Critical Commons and Remix Gender Politics
  • Fair Use at Diversifying
  • Students for a Free Culture Want their Fair Use
  • Fair Use on NPR
  • Sparky Awards Announced
  • Crying Shame at UCLA
  • Fair Use Question of the Month: Unlicensed
    Footage in a Film
Evolving Doc 

  • Lori Ding, Social Documentarian
  • Where Is Your Line and MTV
  • RealScreen and Cold Realities 
Other News 
  • Voices of Terezin: Art as a Strategy for Survival
  • POV Films Academy Award Nomination
  • Research Remix Video Winner
  • Feminist Frequency --Conversations with Pop Culture
  • PBS Interactive Video Contest
  • Kartemquin Classics on DVD

The Center for Social Media    

-helping people make media that matters

We investigate, showcase and set standards for socially engaged media-making. We organize conferences and convenings, publish research, create codes of best practices, and incubate media strategies.

We are a part of
American University's School of Communication.


March 2010
Thank you for your patience with us and the February snow! We hope you've already confirmed to attend Making Your Media Matter in May, and if you haven't confirmed or registered, you have another chance starting March 12th. I hope we see each other at SXSW, WeMedia or Best of Input!
Pat Aufderheide

Making Your Media Matter Rescheduled


Making Your Media Matter
May 12th, 2010
American University
Real Stories, Real Impact

As I'm sure many of you heard, we had to reschedule Making Your Media Matter due to the blizzard that hit D.C. last month. Our new date is May 12, 2010. We'll reopen registration on March 12th for those of you who didn't have the chance to register the first time.

Don't miss the chance to be a part of this annual opportunity for filmmakers, nonprofit communications leaders, teachers and students to network and share success stories and lessons learned. 


View the revised schedule here  

Registration fee:

$100, $50 students.

This year's conference will feature a keynote from Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis, makers of The Reckoning, on strategic partnerships and design for your project, and panels on developing synergies in your subject field, an ethics workshop, and fiction films for change.

MYMM is presented in partnership with the Media That Matters Festival, which is a project of Arts Engine, Inc.

WeMedia Conference                                     
balladWeMedia, a conference where you can take the pulse of emergent digital culture, is showcasing the Center's work. Future of Public Media Director Jessica Clark will be co-hosting a panel on best practices in impact assessment for public and independent media with Tracy Van Slyke, featuring examples from Not in Our Town and the Public Insight Network. Register for the conference today!
Center at SXSW Conference: Remixers and Green Machines

balladThinking of going to the South by SouthWest film and interactive festival and conference? It's a great venue to figure out where the cutting edge of digital practice is. The Center's Pat Aufderheide is moderating a panel on savvy use of archival and other copyrighted material: "Remix goes mainstream: Making mashups pay." She will also be speaking on a panel, "Parody Home Companion," about putting fair use to work in documentary. As well, SOC professor Larry Engel, who co-created the Center's Code of Best Practices in Sustainable Filmmaking is also hosting a panel, "The Mean Green Sustainability Machine." You can register here>>>
Best of Input Screenings 2010
balladWhat does public television look like in Russia, in Brazil, in Germany? Check out the line up for the 2010 Best of Input screenings, held in Washington DC from April 5 to April 11, 2010.
INPUT, the International Public Television Screening Conference, annually brings together international programmers and independent television producers for public television since 1978. The Center for Social Media and allies, led by the Goethe Institute, select some of the most interesting programs from that conference. View the complete schedule here>>>

Tracking Media's Influence in a Networked Environment

Influence is one of the "elements of impact" that we're exploring lately . How can we best evaluate the role of public media projects in shaping users' understanding of an issue, moving users to action (whether that's seeking further information, voting, or political organizing), or affecting policymaking? Read on>>>
Is there a Master Metric for Evaluating Public Media Projects?
(cross published with PBS's MediaShift blog)

gaming toolkitOver the past few months, we've been presenting MediaShift readers with a picture of a more dynamic, engaged, public media future. But how are Public Media 2.0 projects measuring their success in informing and engaging publics? And how do approaches differ across a range of communities of media production, from journalism to documentary film to user-generated content to video games. Read on>>>


Debating the News Crisis

Catch CSM's Jessica Clark on GRITtv discussing the transformation of journalism. Do the recent layoffs in broadcast news really matter? How can both legacy and independent producers move "beyond pale, male and stale," to inform and empower underserved audiences? Watch to learn more >>


Public Media 2.0 Showcase

This month's Public Media 2.0 Showcase takes a look at FluPortal, a CPB-funded centralized hub of reputable content on the H1N1 crisis. Associate Research Director Katie Donnelly is also featured in a blog post on FluPortal called "What Should Flu Portal Be Doing Better?"

Twitter Public Media Chat


twitterPublic media innovators are experimenting with a new kind of forum: holding a live simultaneous chat using Twitter, the microblogging social network.  To participate, follow @pubmedia for regular updates and join the upcoming chat. For the Twitter-averse, there are alternative channels: the blog PubMediaChat.org has a feed of the Twitter posts, takes comments and lets users subscribe to updates via e-mail or an RSS feed.


Voice for the Voiceless Table Talk


voiceforvoicelessOn Thursday January 28th, American University's Kay Spiritual Life Center sponsored a panel, Tweets & Blogs: Social Media as a Voice for the Voiceless. (CSM cosponsored.) Speakers included Emily Jacobi from Digital Democracy, David Johnson from American University and Matt Wood from the Media Access Project. All three speakers focused on social media projects and initiatives that contribute to social justice. Read about the event here>>>

Fair Use and Copyright 
Lessig, Fair Use and Open Video Alliance
open videoThe Open Video Alliance, which pushes for more and better open-source tools to make, edit, showcase and access video, held a dramatic demonstration of the power of open source on Feb. 25. A speech by copyright guru Larry Lessig was beamed via open-source codec Ogg Theora to more than 40 venues around the world. American University was one of them; a group of the copyright-curious gathered to watch the speech, which was only occasionally garbled. Read on>>> 
True Tales of Fair Use: The Most Dangerous Man in America
One of the most impressive recent social documentaries, The Most Dangerous Man in America, has been nominated for an Academy Award. It tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg's decision to release the Pentagon Papers-a story full of important parallels for today. The film is beginning its theatrical release, and we hope to bring it to campus soon. Meanwhile, there's an excellent interview with directors Judy Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith in Filmmaker magazine this month, in which Rick references the Center's work: "We had a very interesting experience with the fair-use issue. I don't know how much you're familiar with Pat Aufderheide and that whole movement, to make that more clear and get filmmakers the right to do it legally." Read on>>> 


Putting Fair Use to Work: Critical Commons and Remix Gender Politics
ballad Our allies at the University of Southern California, and especially the remix wizard Steve Anderson, have started an exciting new site to discuss and analyze popular culture. To do it, they vigorously employ fair use. Here's Steve's recommendation for this month: "Building on his now-famous "Buffy vs. Edward" remix video, Jonathan McIntosh uses the fair use advocacy and media sharing site Critical Commons to compare the gender politics of stalking scenes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight. View the original scenes from Buffy and Twilight and read McIntosh's commentary here.

Fair Use at Diversifying Participation

The Diversifying Participation conference held at the University of California, San Diego on Feb. 18-20 and headed by USC's Henry Jenkins, marked the consolidation of a research field, digital learning. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and showcasing many MacArthur-funded projects, the conference featured creative overlaps between educators, youth media practitioners, digital designers, gamers, nonprofit institutions and funders. Read on>>> 


Students for a Free Culture Want their Fair Use


balladThe Students for a Free Culture conference, hashtag #fcx, drew participants from throughout the U.S., who negotiated filthy weather on their way to Washington, D.C. Organizer Ben Moskowitz congratulated them not only for making their way through the snow, but also for recognizing the importance of Washington, D.C. for people who care about copyright and creativity. Read Pat's blog post and WIRED's coverage of the event.

Fair Use on NPR
Weekend Edition's report on Fair Use Day features Center's Director Pat Aufderheide as well as other experts such as Gigi Sohn and Johnathan McIntoshListen to it now!

Sparky Awards Announced

sparky awardA panel of new media experts (including Pat Aufderheide), students and librarians voted for the three best new student films on information in the third annual Sparky Awards. Organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and adopted by campuses everywhere, the Sparky Awards contest calls on entrants to creatively illustrate in a short video the value of openly sharing ideas.
Watch the winning video here>>>

Crying Shame at UCLA: Fair Use, Videos and Higher Ed

The University of California at Los Angeles has decided to forbid teachers from posting videos (or, apparently, pieces of them) to their electronic teaching platforms, after an educational media association complained about the practice. It is just a crying shame that UCLA has capitulated to the association's demands, without considering the effect either on pedagogical practice in its own institution or on the wider world of higher education. Read on>>> 

Fair Use Question of the Month: The material I want to use has unlicensed footage in it
balladEvery month the Center for Social Media answers a new question concerning fair use. This month's question deals with unlicensed footage in archival material used to create a film. It's important to remember, it's not important if the archival material violated copyright rules, just be sure you're not.  Read more here>>>

Evolving Documentary  
Loni Ding, Social Documentarian 
lonidingLoni Ding - documentary filmmaker, university teacher, and media activist - died on Saturday, February 20, 2010 in Berkeley, California. CSM Fellow Barbara Abrash remembers her: She exemplified the best in the way social documentarians can expand the public sphere. She did this by working to create public institutions to showcase underrepresented voices in American life, and by creating work that not only raised awareness but encouraged meaningful discussion and debate. Her film work had immediate and long-lasting impact, including influencing Congressional action on redress for Japanese-American internment during World War II. Read on>>> 

Where is Your Line and MTV


yourlineWhere is Your Line?, a project that will be demoed at the rescheduled Making Your Media Matter conference on May 12th, has partnered with MTV to have an open conversation about the recognition of abuse and sexuality among teenagers. Read what Nancy Schwartzman, who heads up this project, wrote on the project's website>>> 


RealScreen and Cold Realities

balladRealScreen Summit, February 1-3, the annual coming together of documentary cable programmers and hopeful producers, is also an annual cold shower in the realities of making television today. Panels and themes at RealScreen are a far cry from the attitudes of social documentarians who flock to Sundance and other film festivals, but it is the world that many of them depend upon to pay their bills. That is why we were honored when RealScreen asked the Center to organize a panel on ethics, based on our report, Honest Truths. Read more here>>>

Voices of Terezin: Art as a Strategy for Survival
January 11 - April 23
American University
The Nazi concentration camp of Terezin, the "model" camp Nazis used to deceive international visitors, has become famous world-wide for the cultural expression that flourished there. It documented both the
experience of terror and fear, and also the spirit of hope and resistance. The Center has joined a campus-wide set of activities to memorialize Terezin and recall the Holocaust. We'll be featuring the film Fighter as part of the program. The film follows two survivors back to the sites of their suffering; it showcases two starkly contrasting responses to the same set of circumstances.
For a complete list of events,

click here>>>


POV Films Academy Award Nomination

balladTwo POV films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary: Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner, and The Most Dangerous Man In American: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith. Both films will be broadcast on POV later this year as part of the 23rd Season on PBS. The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010. More information here>>> 

Research Remix Video Winner
balladErin Costello and her video remix "Girls Risk High Morals: Online," featuring research by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative took first place in the Research Remix Video Competition. Judge Allison Fine (Senior Fellow at Demos) notes that "the video creators have combined riveting visual images with a dramatic narrative to forcefully impact the viewer on the dangers of the online world for girls."
See the winning video, as well as the nonprofit research report Erin used!
Feminist Frequency --Conversations with Pop Culture
remix pop cultureIf you are in the LA area on March 25, 2010, don't miss the Remixing Pop Culture conference. You'll be able to watch some of the most intriguing remix videos that subvert traditional gender and sexuality norms.  The videos will be curated and presented by Julie Levin Russo, Alexis Lothian and Jonathan McIntosh.  The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the curators. Political Remix Video is a genre of transformative guerilla media production whereby creators challenge dominant media messages through re-cutting and re-framing fragments of mainstream media and popular culture. More information here>>>
PBS Interactive Video Contest
PBS Interactive launched an exciting video contest in February to encourage their audience to tell them what they think is most innovative and cool about PBS. The YOUR PBS Video Contest asks the audience to create a short 30 second video to show how PBS is their PBS -what they engage in, what surprises them, and how PBS is a part of their everyday lives. Prizes include a trip to the PBS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, custom PBS Flip Cams and PBS goodies. The winning video may even end up on PBS! The contest ends April 18th. To submit your video, visit : YOUR PBS Video Contest is http://www.videocontest.pbs.org.

Kartemquin Classics on DVD

The Center is pleased to see an addition to the body of work in social documentary for public action:kartemcollection The Kartemquin Films Collection: The Early Years - Volume 1: 1967-1968. The DVD features Parents and Thumbs Down , two classic cinéma vérité films from the formative period of Kartemquin's 44-year history, plus an exclusive interview with filmmakers and Kartemquin co-founders Gordon Quinn & Jerry Temaner.

 More info here>>>



balladNative American Public Telecommunications, one of the "minority consortia" funded with tax dollars, has developed a podcast service, with a new series:
Native Word. They write: "We're kicking off the series with two great speeches: last month's State of Indian Nations address given by NCAI President Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw) and a speech that Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) gave earlier in 2009 when she talked about environmentalism and leadership at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
If you enjoy these speeches sign up for our podcast."

Follow up Links
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email: socialmedia@american.edu


phone: 202-885-3107


web: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org