In our second study with Define American, we found that TV shows with nuanced immigrant characters and immigration storylines can shift attitudes and inspire people to real-life action. Viewers who saw the immigrant storylines had more inclusive attitudes towards immigrants, greater comfort meeting undocumented people and opposition to criminalizing undocumented immigrants. They were also more likely to take certain actions, like speaking to a friend about immigration issues or attending an immigration-related community event.
Our research team worked with the advocacy organization Color of Change on this edifying new study that looked at depictions of the U.S. criminal justice system on American television. Among the finding were that the crime TV genre advances distorted representations of crime, justice, race and gender. For people of color, this can lead to real-life consequences.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s grant to KCRW in 2015 gave the Los Angeles-based public radio station the means to expand their coverage of underserved and vulnerable populations in Southern California. As outside evaluators, our Media Impact Project examined the expanding influence and growth of KCRW’s programming through three new series at the time: Below the Ten, KCRW Investigates and There Goes the Neighborhood. Over the course of a few years, KCRW reshaped its newsroom, increased their coverage, offered fresh perspectives on the issues, and connected with new audiences.
This case study looks at the work accomplished under the KCRW-Conrad N. Hilton Foundation partnership and outlines best practices for future collaborations between philanthropy and public media, including recommendations for both media and philanthropic entities who wish to focus on issues important to both.
Do liberals enjoy the same TV shows as conservatives? Do they experience similar emotions while viewing their favorite shows? Our new study looks for connections between media diets and political beliefs, tracking changes from 2008 to 2018.
We surveyed a national audience for their views on issues such as guns, abortion and the environment, as well as their news and entertainment preferences. Using statistical clustering techniques, we identified three ideological groups: The Blues, who have liberal attitudes toward most political issues, are also liberal in their entertainment consumption, enjoying entertainment from different cultures with values different from their own. The Purples, a swing group with positions across the political spectrum, are voracious TV viewers who say they learn about social issues from the entertainment they enjoy. The Reds, who hold conservative views on most issues, watch the least entertainment TV and get the least pleasure from it.
In a major initiative to change the way Americans see Africa, the Lear Center’s Media Impact Project has released a seminal report that reveals that Americans seldom see mentions of Africa or Africans on popular television shows or in the news; and when they do, the portrayals are often negative and stereotyped.
The Africa Narrative, based at MIP and in partnership with CrissCrossGlobal, is a global initiative harnessing the power of the arts, media and entertainment, business, education and philanthropy to engage the world in new stories of modern Africa.
This analysis of Twitter sentiment in the wake of news reports that President Donald J. Trump had characterized some African nations as “shithole countries” reveals a substantial 66% increase in negative tweets about Trump, and a dramatic increase of over 3,000% in the volume of mentions of Africa. However, there is no indication of a shift in American sentiment toward Africa or Africans. Rather, the tweets focused predominantly on using the episode as a prop for partisan sniping, while any substantive discussion about Africa was largely absent. This suggests a largely missed opportunity by Americans to counter the disparaging remark with information spotlighting the success, diversity and opportunities within Africa. READ THE FULL REPORT.
This report presents a media content analysis conducted by the Lear Center’s Media Impact Project in collaboration with Define American, a nonprofit media and culture organization, to investigate two research questions:
1. How are immigrants and immigration issues depicted on entertainment television?
2. How do these depictions compare with the reality of the immigrant experience?
The analysis examines the demographic, socio-economic, and social representations of immigrant characters depicted, as well as the context and use of any culturally- or politically-charged terms relating to immigration in 143 episodes of 47 television shows that aired in 2017 and 2018.
Read this preliminary work from Kathleen Hall Jamieson, delivered in March 2018 for her Ev Rogers Award Colloquium, which evolved into her incendiary new book, “Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know.”
For the last three years, journalists, producers, designers and engineers from FRONTLINE and Emblematic Group have worked together to produce two VR experiences that each deploy the power of fully immersive, room-scale VR in the service of deeply reported narrative journalism. As part of the initiative, the Lear Center’s Media Impact Project conducted testing exploring how the new technology being used by FRONTLINE and Emblematic engages and informs audiences.
This report covers the lessons gleaned throughout this collaborative effort, shared to foster future opportunities for meaningful immersive journalism, and to help establish standards to guide other journalists and media organizations participating in this developing field. View the report online here.
The latest Real to Reel newsletter from Hollywood, Health & Society includes articles on the rural maternity care crisis; how technology is taking care of aging parents; voices of patients with rheumatoid arthritis; how abortion doulas help at a difficult time; and how a saliva test could be a critical weapon in the fight against HIV.