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The Global Findings of the Mapping Digital Media project assess these and other forces affecting digital media and independent journalism worldwide. Researched and written by a team of local experts, the 56 country reports, from which these Global Findings are drawn, examine the communication and media environments in 15 of the world's 20 most populous countries, covering more than 4.5 billion of the world's population, and in 16 of the world's 20 largest economies.
Over the last decade, media -- the means by which we communicate -- has evolved significantly. Television, radio, and print newspapers and magazines were once the primary means to obtain news and information. However, the rapid evolution of the Internet and mobile technology has generated new media platforms and expanded the universe of information creators, producers, and distributors. Media information once flowed in one direction, but the expansion of the field has made the movement more diffuse.With this changing landscape as a backdrop, the Foundation Center, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation, and in collaboration with Media Impact Funders, GuideStar, and the Ford Foundation, sought to provide a fuller picture of media-related grantmaking by U.S. foundations. Tracking investments from 2009 to 2011, the data reveals that foundations are increasingly supporting media-related work across multiple areas. At the same time, they are tapping into larger trends, with investments in new media growing at a faster pace than traditional media investments. However, growth in grantmaking across the spectrum of media is inconsistent -- with growth in public broadcasting falling behind growth in investments in other areas.As demand for media funding continues to rise, these gaps are the most important ones to watch -- especially considering the 2011 Federal Communications Commission report, "The Information Needs of Communities", which called for philanthropy to play a bigger role in supporting media. Since this is a baseline assessment, it will be crucial to see how media grantmaking evolves.
To rigorously consider the impact of new media on the political and civic behavior of young people, The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) developed and fielded one of the first large-scale, nationally representative studies of new media and politics among young people. The two principal researchers for the survey component of the YPP, Cathy J. Cohen of the University of Chicago and Joseph Kahne of Mills College, oversaw a research team that surveyed nearly 3,000 respondents between the ages of 15 and 25 years of age. Unlike any prior study of youth and new media, this study included large numbers of black, Latino, and Asian American respondents, which allows for unique and powerful statistical comparisons across race with a focus on young people.Until now there has been limited opportunity and data available to comprehensively explore the relationship between new media and the politics of young people. One of the few entities to engage in this type of rigorous analysis has been the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The YPP study expands on this field-leading work by including an extensive battery of items addressing participatory politics and adequate numbers of participants from different racial and ethnic groups, thus allowing for analysis of how different groups of young people were engaged with new media in the political realm.The YPP study findings suggest that fundamental changes in political expectations and practices may be occurring -- especially for youth. The analysis of the data collected reveals that youth are taking advantage of an expanded set of participatory practices in the political realm in ways that amplify their voice and sometimes their influence, thus increasing the ways young people participate in political life. The YPP researchers label this expanded set of opportunities and actions participatory politics.
Building upon a process-and context-oriented information quality framework, this paper seeks to map and explore what we know about the ways in which young users of age 18 and under search for information online, how they evaluate information, and how their related practices of content creation, levels of new literacies, general digital media usage, and social patterns affect these activities. A review of selected literature at the intersection of digital media, youth, and information quality -- primarily works from library and information science, sociology, education, and selected ethnographic studies -- reveals patterns in youth's information-seeking behavior, but also highlights the importance of contextual and demographic factors both for search and evaluation. Looking at the phenomenon from an information-learning and educational perspective, the literature shows that youth develop competencies for personal goals that sometimes do not transfer to school, and are sometimes not appropriate for school. Thus far, educational initiatives to educate youth about search, evaluation, or creation have depended greatly on the local circumstances for their success or failure.
In 2007, National Public Radio adopted a multiyear plan to increase the organization's digital footprint and begin transforming itself from a public radio company to a public media company. Achieving that transformation required staff members to improve their digital skills and to understand the relevancy of NPR's digital news strategy and structure to their own work. In addition, it required a culture shift in the organization to break down barriers and encourage collaboration between radio and digital staff.NPR initiated the most comprehensive training in its history. Six hundred staff members, including reporters, producers and editors, were taught to write for the Web, create digital products including videos and photographs, and use the latest audio production tools. During the course of that massive effort, funded by a $1.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, NPR and Knight learned important lessons about conducting effective digital media skills training.These lessons are also relevant to other news organizations as they move from a single platform -- whether audio, print or video -- to a multimedia platform delivered via the Internet. In November 2010, the Knight Foundation retained TCC Group to evaluate the training with an eye toward identifying best practices for both NPR and other journalism enterprises. While the training's goal was to improve NPR's digital content and audience engagement, TCC's evaluation design focused on assessing direct outcomes -- including improvement in individual digital skills, integration of digital media throughout the organization and changes in attitudes toward digital storytelling -- and examining what factors matter most in achieving these outcomes. TCC administered a 360-degree evaluation survey to NPR staff members and conducted in-depth interviews with 18 people.Overall, the evaluation found that the Knight-funded NPR training resulted in a positive shift in individual and organizational attitudes toward digital news. Best practices to improve both individual and organizational outcomes included providing hands-on relevant training, applying it immediately and offering support after the training
Calls for reforming public media leadership, structure, and funding to implement Knight's 2009 recommendation that such media focus on community information needs, increase diversity, and expand online. Suggests a $100 million fund to hire new reporters.
Outlines the platforms, standards, and practices transforming legacy public media. Calls for the creation of a multi-platform, participatory, digital, national public media network, with policy support as well as public and private funding.
Summarizes findings from a three-year study of how new media have been integrated into youth behaviors and have changed the dynamics of media literacy, learning, and authoritative knowledge. Outlines implications for educators, parents, and policy makers.
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