The 2017 Media Impact Forum

Thanks for joining us at our annual Media Impact Forum on June 14 in Washington, D.C

Each year, our Media Impact Forum brings funders from across the country together with pathbreaking media makers and analysts to share insights about the field’s most influential projects and trends. Join us for moving media presentations and dialogue, and the chance to network with your peers to deepen learning and spark collaboration.

This year, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act, we reflected on the history and preservation of public media, and explored the role of public media and documentary film in telling impactful stories. We also talked about how to effectively engage the public with evidence-based communications. We recorded each of our sessions, which can you find right here.

We also put together a Storify to capture what the funders in the room had to say.

The 2017 Media Impact Forum Agenda

9 a.m.—Welcome and Introductions  
Vince Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders
David Rousseau, Vice President and Executive Director, Media & Technology, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

9:15 a.m.—Returning to Public Media’s Roots
A conversation with NPR’s founding architect and one of today’s leading public radio reporters on how public media has served us for the last 50 years and where it will take us in the future.
Bill Siemering, President, Developing Radio Partners
Korva Coleman, Newscaster, NPR

9:45 a.m.—Policy Visions, Platform Realities
How have the founding policy visions for public broadcasting translated into current cross-platform efforts to serve all Americans with news, education and insight?
Korva Coleman, Newscaster, NPR (moderator)
Michael Copps, former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Thomas Hjelm, Chief Digital Officer, NPR

10:30 a.m.—Spectrum Auction: The First $2 Billion 
With federal cuts looming, the spectrum auction may breathe life into local news and the public sphere. What are the plans for the first $2 billion? How much of it will go to public media?
Tim Isgitt, Managing Director, Humanity United
Patrick Butler, President and Chief Executive Officer, America’s Public Television Stations

10:50 a.m.—Networking Break  

11:20 a.m.—Tech Support: Google’s Foray Into Protecting the Public
How can major technology companies—with active engagement of citizens and nonprofit organizations everywhere—help to protect civil and human rights?
Korva Coleman, Newscaster, NPR (moderator)
Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel, Civil and Human Rights, Public Policy and Government Relations, Google

11:50 a.m.—Digital Diaspora Family Reunion
How can public media help to illuminate the historic value of lived experiences?
Thomas Allen Harris, Director/Producer and Founder/President, Chimpanzee Productions

12:10 p.m.—Networking Lunch

1:15 a.m.—Learning from Hearken 
What is public-powered journalism?  Learn how this new model generates audience engagement that builds trust, leads to original, influential journalism.
Jennifer Brandel, CEO & Co-Founder, Hearken

1:30 p.m.—A Portrait in Film
A documentary short about the Domestic Workers Alliance, commissioned by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

1:40 p.m.—Kickstarting Support: Amplifying the Impact of Documentary Film Funders 
Learn how the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter is working with philanthropy to make funding dollars go further.
Jon Leland, Director of Strategy & Insights, Kickstarter

2 p.m.—Cutting Through the Noise: Ensuring Quality Dialogue in a Culture of Polarization
In these divisive times, new programs and media projects are emerging to connect listeners and viewers across the aisle. We’ll hear from program hosts who span the political spectrum.
Joshua Johnson, Host of 1A, WAMU
Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Deputy Director, Common Sense News
Charlie Sykes, Co-host, Indivisible

2:50 p.m.—Networking Break

3:15 p.m.—Communicating Science in an Age of Doubt 
What does it take to effectively convey complex scientific topics— and to defend evidence-based communication against science denialism?
Elizabeth Christopherson, President, Rita Allen Foundation (moderator)
Tim Jorgensen, Associate Professor, Radiation Medicine & Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program at Georgetown University
Brian Southwell, Program Director, Science in the Public Sphere, RTI International

4 p.m.—Media Impact Festival  
Learn about inventive impact strategies in current and forthcoming films selected for the AFI DOCS Impact Lab.
Heidi Nel, Principal, The Raben Group
Pete Nicks, Director, The Force
Trish Adlesic, Director, I Am Evidence
Samantha Wright, Director of Impact, Exposure Labs

Video coming soon!


Previous Media Impact Forums
Learn about our 2016 Media Impact Forum here.
Read about 2015 Media Impact Forum here, here, and here.
Learn about our 2014 Media Impact Forum here and here.
See highlights from our 2013 Media Impact Forum here.