Meaningful Media Now


As an organization interested in media impact, our “water cooler” chatter around the office often includes TV series that shocked us and exposed us to something new, or video games we were impressed by. Read on to see the meaningful media HI staff has been talking about in May:

  1. Featuring: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Bates Motel
  4. Rust

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Request for proposals: Website redesign

HI is seeking a design and development team to help us build a new website that reflects our organizational growth and aspirations. Download the RFP here. Questions and proposals can be emailed to Lauren Hanson at

Deputy Director Debika Shome Presents ImpactSpace at CU Digital Storytelling Lab

CU LogoOn November 13, Deputy Director Debika Shome presented HI ImpactSpace in a speed talk at the event, “What could a Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University look like?” This event created a public forum for brainstorming about how a Digital Storytelling Lab could promote education and encourage innovation within the landscape of storytelling. The Digital Storytelling Lab, currently in development, will bring together creativity and technology in a collaborative space.

HI launches Impact Scoreboard

HI recently developed a new product — the HI Impact Scoreboard. The HI Impact Scoreboard is a scalable tool to help filmmakers evaluate the impact of their work. It leverages HI’s expertise in the field of entertainment evaluation to add context and narrative to a wide range of impact data. The goal of the scoreboard is to illustrate a film’s impact and situate it within the larger issue and media landscape. It also provides implications for the film and its community.

Less exhaustive than a full-scale report, the HI Impact Scoreboard allows us to expand our service offerings and work with more filmmakers and funders. It is also our hope that this product will encourage more media-makers and producers to consider impact evaluation.

HI data analyst chosen for journalism impact fellowship

HI is pleased to announce our data analyst, Brian Abelson, has been named a Knight-Mozilla Fellow for 2013.

The Knight-Mozilla Fellowship seeks to encourage digital innovation in journalism by introducing data scientists, programmers, and statisticians into some of the top newsrooms around the world. Fellows will collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to develop open-source tools that help journalists understand the impact of the news. Abelson will also apply skills he used during his time at HI, such as synthesizing multiple data sources, using web scraping techniques, and performing advanced statistical analysis. The fellowship is primarily funded by the Knight Foundation.

Abelson has been selected to work with The New York Times beginning in January 2013.

HI helps select finalists for PUMA.Creative Impact Award

Following an intensive selection process, Britdoc announced five finalists for the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award. The five finalists will be judged by a celebrity jury, and the winner will take home a prize of €50,000.

Unlike many fesitval awards, the PUMA.Creative Impact Award recognizes documentary films that have made significant, measurable impacts on society. Due to its experience evaluating and measuring impact, the Harmony Institute was asked to serve on an independent, peer review panel to select the five finalists.  Filmmakers were asked to provide evidence of their impact on viewer attitudes and behaviors, and panelists evaluated the films based on their impact in a variety of fields.  The final winner will be announced at a ceremony held in November.