Meaningful Media Now

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As an organization interested in media impact, our “water cooler” chatter around the office often includes TV Series and Documentaries that mirror past and present, sentimental TV specials, and media trends that affect us. Read on to see the meaningful media and cultural phenomenons HI staff has been talking about in June:

  1. Featured Analysis: The People vs. O.J. Simpson and O.J.: Made in America 
  2. Zika Virus, the Olympics and Agenda Setting
  3. Shark Week
  4. The Evolution of Broadcast Censorship

Read more

HI’s Media Impact Fellowship Convening 2015

2015 HI Media Impact Fellows Convening

Tuesday October 27, Harmony Institute hosted its first event to show off the work of its research fellows at Civic Hall. We heard from Jason Sherwin about his research measuring what brain activity is triggered by watching video media, and what happens next. We also heard from Heidi Boisvert about her study of what components of different media trigger empathy, and when that empathy inspires people to do good. Finally we heard from Clint Beharry about an an update to his work on visualizing media consumption across the political landscape, as well as a review of our work the neural and social media reactions to shows like The Walking Dead.

For more information on Clint (and Jason’s) work on the last of these, take a look at our full written report and video: Zombies, Brains, and Tweets. More information about Jason’s Trailer Brain and Heidi’s Empathy Engine will be posted to our website as the projects develop from their current early stages.

HI Published in American Sociological Review


In a pioneering study published by the American Sociological Review earlier this month—the leading peer-review journal in the field—Harmony Institute researchers and collaborators trace the 2010 documentary Gasland to a shift in public concern and municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.

More information can be found on our full press release.

HI affiliated study featured in The Guardian


On September 2, The Guardian featured a study co-authored by HI founder, John S. Johnson, in a story about how a documentary was a key driver for a political movement. The report describes the study’s analysis of not only social media but also mass media following the release of HBO’s documentary Gasland. The full article is available here.

Winter Newsletter

ACLS Public Fellows grant; StoryPilot Beta nears the finish line; PBS National Listening Tour; New series on filmmakers and media producers debuts on The Ripple Effect; HI adds three new staff members and is still seeking to fill one more position. Click here to view the newsletter in your browser.

Deputy Director Debika Shome sits on the Athena Film Festival “Barnard in the Biz” panel

On February 6, 2015, HI Deputy Director Debika Shome was a panelist, along with three other Barnard alum, discussing the challenges and pressures women face on carving out a career in the entertainment industry.  tumblr_static_1ea249a5a301e4d7da62b8e658fd4546

Clint Beharry presents at OMDC Digital Dialogue 2015

digital dialogue 150x150 HI’s Director of Design and Technology, Clint Beharry, talked with Gerry Flahive as part of a presentation on measuring impact, our Walking Dead study, and StoryPilot at OMDC Digital Dialogue 2015 on January 21st.  The video of their conversation can be checked out here.


Debika Shome at New America NYC: Merchants of Doubt

New America NYC Debika Shome, HI’s Deputy Director, served as a panelist at the New America NYC: Merchants of Doubt event on January 13, 2015.  The event involved a film screening followed by a panel composed of leaders in science, environmental, and the media communications field to discuss the environment in the age of polarized politics.

StoryPilot Winter Newsletter

StoryPilot enters private beta phase; Platform presented at Learn Do Share, Emerce E-Day, MEDIMED Euro-Mediterranean Documentary Market, St. Petersburg International Media Forum, and IFP Film Week; The Center for Media and Social Impact (CMSI) examined StoryPilot in their report, “Assessing the Social Impact of Issues-Focused Documentaries: Research Methods & Future Considerations.” Click here to view the newsletter in your browser.