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Report on The Center for Media at Risk’s 2021 Annual Symposium This report presents findings from the Center for Media at Risk’s 2021 annual symposium on image-based abuse. The event was the first of its kind, bringing together experts from around the world in focused discussion of one of the media’s most pressing issues. This report offers recommendations and shared priorities for policymakers, technologists, scholars and activists. What is image-based abuse and why does it matter? Drawing from Mary Anne Franks’ keynote speech,...

Chrystel Oloukoi, Ra Malika Imhotep and Amber Henry The highlighted panel for this year’s Screening Scholarship Media Festival (SSMF) was a conversation between scholars Chrystel Oloukoi, Ra Malika Imhotep and Dr. Amber Henry about Black feminist thought as a vehicle to explore the 2022 festival’s theme: “PAUSE.” Along with CEE Director Dr. Deborah Thomas and Center Steering Committee Member and panel moderator Florence Madenga, the group addressed some of the media festival’s goals by thinking through notions of rest and recuperation...

Steering committee member Muira McCammon reviews United States vs. Reality Winner (Dir. Sonia Kennebeck), a selection from the recent Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival. The film explores the trajectory of a single government document and reveals how its circulation prompted a major legal battle over secrecy, transparency and election security. In May 2021, I asked Billie Winner-Davis to describe her daughter to me. “My daughter Reality Leigh Winner, 29, is an extremely intelligent, focused, passionate and selfless person,” she told me....

Postdoctoral Fellow Chaz Antoine Barracks reviews one selection from the recent Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival. Accepted (Dir. Dan Chen, 2021) follows four high school seniors in rural Louisiana who are pushed to their breaking point at an unconventional school made famous for sending its graduates to elite universities. During a relaxed and carefree Saturday afternoon walk around my new neighborhood in West Philadelphia, I was jolted to attention by a black Mercedes SUV speeding down the boulevard. The car’s passengers, a group of...

Header illustration by Rama Duwaji for gal-dem’s 2019 UN/REST issue In a British media landscape that is 94% white and 55% male, gal-dem CEO Mariel Richards understands the importance of addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the media industry. Covering a wide range of creative and editorial topics, gal-dem gives a platform to underrepresented voices in its online and print magazine, podcasts, clubs and events. Richards spoke with Steering Committee Member and Annenberg doctoral student Sophie Maddocks about gal-dem’s unique membership-based business...

The Center for Media at Risk at the Annenberg School for Communication is delighted to welcome Claire Wardle and Courtney Radsch as Visiting Scholars for the 2021-2022 academic year. A leading scholar on misinformation, Claire Wardle will be teaching an undergraduate course at the Annenberg School this fall. Courtney Radsch, who served as Advocacy Director for the Committee to Protect Journalists for over seven years will run a workshop with the Center in the spring. Stay tuned for details on their...

Justine McDaniel covers the coronavirus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She spoke to Annenberg PhD candidate and Center Steering Committee Member Muira McCammon about the ups and downs of the ever-evolving virus-and-vaccine beat. The reflection addresses Justine’s efforts to combat health misinformation, report remotely and work collaboratively in the City of Brotherly Love. In a recent reflection for Study Hall, Olivia Messer wrote a piece entitled “The COVID Reporters Are Not Okay. Extremely Not Okay.” She...

Today’s social networking platforms bear scars from a decade of trolling, abuse and disinformation. With “toxic technocultures” presenting enormous challenges for the tech industry, how are companies responding to abuse on their platforms? For this installment of our Review series, I report back from Facebook’s 2021 summit on Non-Consensual Intimate Image Sharing (NCII). Often mis-labeled “revenge porn”, this is one of many abuses that networks seek to remove from their platforms. Here I explore how Facebook is approaching this problem,...

https://ia801407.us.archive.org/10/items/podcast-mixdown-20210709/Podcast_mixdown_20210709.mp3 "[Media] is very vulnerable, comparing with other things like schools, like universities, even like telecommunication systems and infrastructures. So the main concern is that if the Taliban is coming, what would be the discipline of the freedom of expression and those who are working with it?" More than a month before the US withdrawal led to the collapse of the country, Center for Media at Risk Postdoctoral Fellow Richard Stupart spoke with media activists Najiba Ayubi and Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar about...

“When speakers came together in Lisbon in January 2020, they spoke of various themes—economic logics, communication practices, media activism, political accountability, environmental precarity—and also acknowledged what they did not know. Absent from all these talks was a topic that has now become part of the global lexicon: pandemics.”  The second Lisbon Winter School for the Study of Communication, aptly dedicated to the topic of “Media and Uncertainty,” convened just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic overtook the world in January 2020. We are...

By Azsaneé Truss The 2020 protests against police brutality that ensued following the murder of George Floyd galvanized the Philadelphia mural arts scene. A city with a rich tradition of activism and public art since the founding of Mural Arts Philadelphia in 1984, Philadelphia has become one of the most vibrant centers for public art works in the world, commissioning over 4,000 works of community-based public artworks since its founding. Though Mural Arts started as an anti-graffiti effort (appropriately called the...

Dr. Jennifer Peeples has examined the discourse and images of environmental protest and corporate response, and, most recently, the visual construction of toxicity. She recently spoke to Annenberg PhD candidate and Center Steering Committee Member Hanna E. Morris about the inspiration behind her work, including her forthcoming book Toxic Imaginary.   Your scholarship bridges many disciplinary divides—environmental communication, visual rhetoric and social justice (to name a few). Do particular issues or questions continually motivate your scholarship? Or have you found that...

After another competitive search, the Center for Media at Risk at the Annenberg School for Communication is delighted to announce its Postdoctoral Fellows for 2021-2022, who will begin working with the Center this Fall. Congratulations to Chaz Barracks and Perry B. Johnson!  We are thrilled to welcome both Fellows, who will expand their research using interdisciplinary approaches and multi-media platforms to deepen the Center's emphasis on free and critical media practice and scholarship. Perry Johnson will be jointly affiliated with both...

Billie J. Winner-Davis is the mother of Reality Winner, the U.S. national security contractor who was sentenced to 63 months in prison for sharing one classified government document with The Intercept. She recently spoke to Annenberg PhD candidate and Center Steering Committee Member Muira McCammon about her experiences advocating for her daughter. This reflection traces Billie Winner-Davis’ journey and efforts to make sense of the institutional logics underlying the U.S. national security state.   Photo of Reality Winner (L) and Billie...

Journalist Gabe Schneider is acutely aware of — and vocal about — the problems facing the media industry. As co-founder and lead editor of The Objective, a publication dedicated to media commentary by and for people who are underrepresented in newsroom leadership, he’s been described as someone who is “quietly fixing journalism.” In the latest installment of the Center for Media at Risk’s Reflections series, Schneider spoke with Louisa Lincoln, Steering Committee Member and Annenberg doctoral student, about journalism, objectivity and...

What Could a Biden-Harris Administration Achieve for Reproductive Rights? Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court marks a constitutional crossroads in relation to sex discrimination and reproductive rights. While some states are poised to expand provisions, 2020 also saw more anti-choice women elected to congress than ever before. From a Catholic adoption agency in Philadelphia refusing to serve gay families to the Texas legislature ignoring its maternal mortality rates in favor of anti-choice legislation, sex discrimination and reproductive health issues...

January 27 (12-1pm) Roundtable: Counter-DataveillanceElif Ince, Burak Arikan, Jin Zhu and Zeyno Ustun February 10 (12-1pm)  Colloquium: “It’s not an easy kind of practice here”: Journalism and Its Challenges in South SudanRichard Stupart  March 17 (12-1pm)  Roundtable: Exploring Rupture and Repair Through Multimodal ScholarshipWinnie Yoe, Anula Shetty, Michael Kuetemeyer and Roopa Vasudevan April 7 (12-1pm)  Roundtable: Sex, Power & Democracy: What Could a Biden-Harris Administration Achieve for Reproductive Rights?Galina Espinoza, Imani Gandy and Sophie Maddocks April 21 (12-1pm)  Film Discussion: Movement at the Margins Maori Karmael Holmes,...

Trolling has become a powerful shaper of mainstream political discourse. In response, it is crucial that journalists produce comprehensive and critical news coverage of trolls. This report by Center Steering Committee Member Sophie Maddocks explores how journalists write about trolls and how coverage of trolling could be improved. The first part of this report identifies weaknesses in news coverage of trolls, finding a pattern of narrow and stereotypical reporting among many news outlets. The second part of this report offers...

https://ia801507.us.archive.org/15/items/podcast-episode-17/Podcast%20Mix%20-%2020210202_mixdown.mp3 "Access is quite complicated. And there's a huge financial component. And a lot of people, both the Americans and the Somalis, in this case, the Americans, a lot of people from all over the world benefit from that, from that lack of access." photo credit: manybits In this episode, journalists Amanda Sperber and Jack Hewson compare notes on what it’s like to navigate the risks of reporting from Somalia and Iraq respectively, sketching a picture of some of the life of modern...

Protests in Nigeria have cast a shadow of doubt on the government’s intentions and ability to roll out an equitable, effective COVID-19 response. Leadership’s response to the End SARS protests has served as a reminder to Nigerians that the needs of the majority have not been prioritized, even in times of crisis. This report by Chioma Woko, a doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, traces the context around these protests and what the government’s ensuing actions forebode for...