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Mapping Digital Media: Global Findings

September 1, 2014

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.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Applications and Tools; Media Platforms

Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States

November 11, 2013

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.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy; Media Applications and Tools; Media Platforms; Telecommunications Infrastructure

The Role of News on Facebook: Common yet Incidental

October 24, 2013

On Facebook, the largest social media platform, news is a common but incidental experience, according to an initiative of Pew Research Center in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Overall, about half of adult Facebook users, 47%, "ever" get news there. That amounts to 30% of the population. Most U.S. adults do not go to Facebook seeking news out, the nationally representative online majority of Facebook news consumers, 78%, get news when they are on Facebook for other reasons. And just 4% say it is the most important way they get newsHowever, the survey provides evidence that Facebook exposes some people to news who otherwise might not get it. While only 38% of heavy news followers who get news on Facebook say the site is an important way they get news, that figure rises to 47% among those who follow the news less often. "

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Platforms

Zombies, Brains, and Tweets: the Neural and Emotional Correlates of Social Media

September 25, 2013

What constitutes audience engagement? What elements of a TV show produce the most social activity? Twitter's ability to capture near real-time audience reactions and sentiment toward television programming has been well documented, but less is known about what content drives an individual to tweet (or conversely, not to tweet). Though common sense may suggest that especially provocative, humorous, or emotional moments generate the most activity on social media, are these moments also the most neurologically stimulating? Researchers at the Harmony Institute (HI) collaborated with neuroscientists at Columbia University and The City College of New York to address these questions using AMC's hit show, The Walking Dead, as a case study. We used a combination of EEG scans and aggregated twitter data to examine the relationship between neurological and social responses as signs of audience engagement.

Media Platforms

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

May 21, 2013

Teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites; indeed the sites themselves are designed to encourage the sharing of information and the expansion of networks. However, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media. Instead, they take an array of steps to restrict and prune their profiles, and their patterns of reputation management on social media vary greatly according to their gender and network size.

Media Access and Policy; Media Platforms

Teens and Technology 2013

March 13, 2013

Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive. One in four teens are "cell-mostly" internet users, who say they mostly go online using their phone and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.In overall internet use, youth ages 12-17 who are living in lower-income and lower-education households are still somewhat less likely to use the internet in any capacity -- mobile or wired. However, those who fall into lower socioeconomic groups are just as likely and in some cases more likely than those living in higher income and more highly educated households to use their cell phone as a primary point of access.

Media Access and Policy; Media Platforms

The Demographics of Social Media Users - 2012

February 14, 2013

A late 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project shows that young adults are more likely than others to use major social media. At the same time, other groups are interested in different sites and services. In the case of Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, these are the first reportable survey readings by Pew Research allowing comparison of whites, African-Americans, and Latinos.

Media Platforms

The Best (and Worst) of Mobile Connectivity

November 30, 2012

Mobile phone owners like the convenience and ease of connectivity, but rue that they can be interrupted more easily, have to pay the bills, and face bad connections.Some 85% of American adults now own a cell phone of some kind, and these devices mean many things to their owners: an always-available link to friends and family, a pocket computer, or a time-saving tool -- even an actual telephone. When asked to describe in their own words what they like most about owning a cell phone:17% of cell owners say the best thing about their phone is that it is convenient.12% like the ability to call or talk with others at any time.11% like that their cell phone can help them get assistance in an emergency.9% say that using the internet, email, or apps is the best thing about their mobile phone.8% cite the ability to connect with family.

Media Platforms

Cell Phone Activities 2012

November 25, 2012

Fully 85% of American adults own a cell phone and now use the devices to do much more than make phone calls. Cell phones have become a portal for an ever-growing list of activities. In nationally representative phone surveys in the spring and summer, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project obtained readings on some of the most popular activities.

Media Platforms

Neither Here Nor There: Turkmenistan's Digital Doldrums

October 1, 2012

Turkmenistan is slowly emerging from decades of darkness. President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov has vowed to modernize the country by encouraging the uptake of new technology for economic development and more efficient governance. Hundreds of thousands of Turkmen citizens are now online. However, the country faces serious challenges as it prepares to go digital. Infrastructure is primitive, and public access is fully controlled by a stateowned monopoly. Slow speeds, exorbitant pricing, and technological illiteracy all constitute major hurdles.Authorities are moving to address the capacity problem, but Turkmenistan's repressive regime is unlikely to relinquish its stranglehold on cyberspace access and content. All media -- including the internet -- are closely controlled. State censorship and surveillance are significant, as are intimidation tactics that encourage user self-censorship.This study highlights the ambivalent policies and practices that have left Turkmenistan mired in the digital doldrums, torn between its desire to join the worldwide web and its compulsion to control cyberspace.

Media Access and Policy; Media Platforms

Films That Make a Difference

September 29, 2012

As part of the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival -- the largest and most-highly attended festival in the United States -- Vulcan Productions hosted a forum examining how filmmakers are using innovative campaigns to deepen the impact of their work titled, Films that Make a Difference. The event was held at the SIFF Film Center on June 3, 2012.The forum was moderated by Warren Etheredge, founder of the Warren Report (, and included Johanna Blakley, Managing Director, The Norman Lear Center; Bonnie Benjamin-Phariss, Director, Vulcan Productions; Ted Richane, Vice President, Cause + Affect; and Holly Gordon, Executive Director, 10x10, a Multi-platform Initiative about girls' education. The forum examined ways to maximize the effect of film projects through various social impact initiatives.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Platforms

Twitter Use 2012

May 31, 2012

Presents survey findings about trends in Twitter adoption among adults by gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, education, and location type. Examines correlations with the use of mobile technologies, especially smartphones.

Media Platforms

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