In the US, the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center has received a $3.25m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which it will use to develop a system for measuring the social impact of the media.
The Norman Lear Center, which is part of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will receive the funding over the next two-and-a-half years, during which time it plans to develop new metrics to provide a deeper understanding of media's influence on social trends and individual behavior.
A team of researchers - including social and behavioral scientists, journalists, analytics experts and other specialists - will collaborate to test and create new ways to measure the impact of media. Lear Center Director Martin Kaplan will act as the project's Principal Investigator, along with Lear Center MD and Director of Research Johanna Blakley as co-Principal Investigator.
Other contributors will include Annenberg School of Journalism analytics expert Dana Chinn, as well as an open source tool analytic development team headed by Carl Kesselman, USC Viterbi Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and a Fellow at the Information Sciences Institute.
Ernest L. Wilson III, Dean of USC Annenberg, said: 'We're delighted that Gates and Knight have recognized the Lear Center as a leader, and the Annenberg School as a center of excellence, in measuring media engagement and impact.'
Web sites: www.annenberg.usc.edu and www.mediaimpactproject.org .