Listening carefully: An argument for considering all the data
April 26 2018
“In an increasingly crowded conversation, issues of voice and power play out in subtle ways,” writes Kevin Bolduc, vice president of assessment and advisory services at the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Funders seeking to understand the impact of their investments need to make room to consider a range of experiences by “marshalling the resources needed to get beyond the loudest voices and listen[ing] in the more expansive and time-consuming ways” and “striving for representativeness rather than convenience in research and feedback surveys.”
Eepy Bird Studios—famous for its 2006 viral video featuring twenty-foot geysers created by dropping Mentos into Diet Coke bottles—produced this toolkit with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nonprofit organizations looking to increase their impact by creating “contagious content” can use the step-by-step guide to create viral videos designed to attract attention to their causes.
Media interventions and the Syrian crisis: Can we do more?
April 1 2018
How can media play a role in addressing humanitarian crises like the one in Syria? This white paper from cultural innovation studio CIEL, developed in collaboration with the nonprofit FilmAid, seeks to “create a deeper understanding of the role of media interventions as strategic drivers of impact on the ongoing Syrian crisis.” Through a landscape overview and a review of media-based programs FilmAid conducted in other countries, the analysis reveals “a need for increased transparency in funding and program evaluation,” and “a gap and opportunity in the field for community-centered and impact-driven communications.”
Will the next evaluation breakthrough come from online shopping?
February 26 2018
Qualitative data is difficult to analyze quickly and accurately. Recommendation engines like the one Netflix uses are designed using “collaborative filtering,” which also “has the potential to surface quicker, cheaper, better data about notoriously hard-to-measure social change” by empowering community members to rank data and then drawing insights from the collective, peer-ranked data.
This report, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, provides a four-part framework for measuring the progress of civic media—network building, holding space for discussion, distributing ownership and persistent input. It offers recommendations for funders and practitioners alike, including the recommendation that funders adequately fund impact evaluation by “build[ing] capacity of grantees to use qualitative evaluation frameworks and hold[ing] them accountable for regular updates.”
Impact design in VR: A toolkit for media makers and mission-driven organizations
Dec. 18, 2017 | Children and Youth | Interactive
This toolkit provides insights from VR Action Lab, a collaboration between Harmony Labs, Google’s Daydream Impact, Screenwriters Colony, Sensorium Works and others that embedded virtual reality in curricula designed to teach middle schoolers anti-bullying behaviors. The toolkit offers guidance, questions for reflection, and lessons learned for other media makers and organizations seeking to use virtual reality to achieve social impact.
The 3 types of news subscribers: Why they pay and how to convert them
December 7 2017
The second phase of the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, probes how news organizations can learn from the emotional and behavioral motivations that lead people to subscribe to publications or not. It identifies three main types of news subscribers: the “civically committed,” “thrifty transactors” and “elusive engagers.”
After a decade, it’s time to reinvent social media in newsrooms
November 14 2017
News organizations need to overhaul their social media strategies, according to this strategy study from the American Press Institute. News outlets are still largely without long-term social media strategies, and they are rarely using social media to engage directly with readers or correct misinformation. This study posits ideal uses for news organizations’ social media strategies, including using social media for accountability reporting, to combat misinformation, and to foster trust with audiences.
How to tell the story of metrics inside your news organization
November 10 2017
In this talk from Poynter’s Measuring Journalism conference, thought leader Ryan Sholin provides guidance on how to select meaningful metrics for an organization’s particular goals, make them actionable, and create insightful reports that “ban the scourge of ‘copypastism’ from your analytics routines.”
News organizations are increasingly turning toward personalization techniques to grow and retain audiences, but there are potential downsides to this strategy: “While news personalization can help people manage information overload by making individuals’ news diets unique, it also threatens to incite filter bubbles and, in turn, bias.”
A matter of space: Designing newsrooms for new digital practice
October 18 2017
This report from API examines how redesigning physical newsroom spaces can “better support the behaviors, workflows and attitudes required in an adaptive, modern media company,” which can lead to an increase in collaboration and innovation. Some are also incorporating impact metrics into physical design by displaying analytics on the walls.
The Journal News and lohud.com in New York’s Westchester County built an impact tracker “to record not the clicks but the real-world change our journalism inspires.” Rather than focus on social media numbers, the organization is seeking to understand whether their reporting increased understanding, changed people’s minds, or uncovered the secrets of the powerful: “You get what you measure, and we’re simply more interested in inspiring real-world change.”