The Collaborative Grants Program
The SSRC has funded 44 Collaborative Grants in Media and Communications since 2006. The grants provide incentives for researchers, activists, and advocates to work together to define and address critical knowledge needs--whether on policy, organizing, organizational practices, or the field itself. Our goal is to make the field 'better' at producing and bringing high-quality research to bear on these issues, in the service of building a richer, more participatory public sphere. Each of the funded projects provides an answer to this multi-sided challenge.
With current funding for the grants project at an end, and in the interest of making the field stronger and more reflective, we have developed some tentative conclusions about the field's response to this challenge.
- Research Strategies: Inclusion, Localism, Better Data, Field Analysis.
- Research Outcomes: Policy and Organizing Impact, Academic Change
- Building a Culture of Collaboration: Who Gets Involved? What is Collaboration?
- Chronological List of the Grants
- Community Feedback
Submitting or Responding to a Bounty
Bounty proposals can still be submitted at any time and will be made public after a quick review. With funding now concluded, the bounties remain a way to signal research needs to the larger research community.
Researchers can comment on or respond to Open Research Bounties, below.
Click through the title for the full description of the project and the response form.
Are HD radio stations serving the public interest?
HD radio has the potential to reinvigorate radio through the creation of anywhere from three to five times the number of stations than are currently possible in a local market with analog technologies. However, HD radio’s rollout has also raised a number of questions. The FCC has essentially handed over this additional spectrum to incumbent broadcasters without thinking seriously about the long-term implications of this transition, how it related to media ownership in local markets and its bearing on the Commission’s public interest obligations. FMC proposes a HD radio playlist analysis project during which a researcher would examine HD radio programming, and determine whether programming is increasing diversity, or addressing local issues or community interests. The completed research would be published and submitted to the FCC, along with any appropriate policy recommendations that would be determined based on the results.
Measuring Ethnic Media’s Online Capacity
The desired study would be an assessment of the online capacity of ethnic media in the United States. The study should include a quantitative poll as well as a qualitative assessment of the barriers that exist in getting them online, as well as, what they need in order to cross the “digital divide.” The results of this study will allow New America Media to formulate and implement strategies for assisting ethnic media news outlets, particularly newspapers, in establishing a robust web presence, expeditiously and economically.
The Impact of Public Advocacy Reforms on the Spectrum Auction Process
In the spring and summer of 2007, the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) pressed the FCC for significant changes to the process auctioning spectrum licenses for the returned analog broadcast spectrum. The purpose of these reforms was to (a) introduce new entrants into the wireless world -- particularly women and minorities, and (b) prevent incumbents from colluding to distribute licenses at artificially low prices. Many of the reforms of the public interest groups were adopted. The desired research would examine (a) whether these reforms achieved their goals; and (b) what further reforms are necessary?