Computational Impact Assessment

Abstract

• Common Approach and status quo: – Big data: frequency counts of screenings and viewers – Thick data: small-scale, in-depth interviews with focus groups – Science: psychological effects of media on individuals – Strong need for comprehensive, empirical, rigorous impact assessment 3 Our Questions • How can we know if a documentary or media product has what impact? – Computational, scalable, theoretically grounded – Generalized question: measure impact of information and media in terms of change • At what point/ how early in the life cycle of a production can we answer this question? – Prediction models for impact trajectories • Usefulness for filmmakers and producers – Strategic allocation of limited resources for outreach and campaign work – Leverage existing social capital and discourse 4 Approach: A story of microscopes and telescopes

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