Charitable Giving in the Media

In 2019, the percentage of Americans who donated to charity was at an all-time low. To understand why, it is essential to first ascertain the dominant cultural norms and narratives around charitable giving in the United States. Mass media play a powerful role in shaping our social norms, attitudes, and behavior… More

Change the Narrative, Change the World

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… More

Normalizing Injustice

Normalizing Injustice

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… More

Africa in the Media

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… More

Immigration Nation: Exploring Immigrant Portrayals on Television

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?… More

FRONTLINE: Creating Virtual Reality Journalism – A Guide for Best Practices

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… More