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Media and Technology Institute

About the Media and Technology Institute

Issues surrounding media, technology, and access to the digital world have emerged as critical elements of opportunity with regard to communities of color.  Unfortunately, individuals lacking access to or awareness of the Internet tend to be those who can most benefit, particularly with regard to breaking the trajectories of social isolation, poverty, and illiteracy.  And, these populations, consisting of people of color, low-income people, seniors and people with disabilities, will lag further behind as the digital innovation sector transforms health care, energy, education and civic engagement in the years ahead.  Another critical challenge for minorities in this space is their engagement as entrepreneurs and business owners in the broadband and broadcast industries. 

In 2008, the Joint Center created the Media and Technology Institute with the mission of studying how emerging communications technologies can become avenues of advancement for the disadvantaged.  Research from the Media and Technology Institute is focused on technologies related to new media and the trends they are spawning, the impact of existing policy and regulation, and the broader implications of media trends, particularly from a social justice perspective.  MTI generates research reports and policy papers that inform dialogue within these areas, align with other Joint Center interests, and influence action on the part of policy makers, practitioners, industry service providers, and consumers.  The Media and Technology Institute also engages in a series of outreach activities including legislative briefings, conferences and stakeholder trainings that promote its groundbreaking publications.

Since its inception, MTI staff have participated in more than 200 industry, academic, and government panels and hearings on a broad range of media and technology issues.  The Institute has also contributed public comments on several requests to enhance public policies, including the Federal Communications Commission’s historic National Broadband Plan.  The Institute's pioneer research, National Minority Broadband Adoption: Comparative Trends in Adoption, Acceptance and Use, has been critical in the discussion to accelerate digital access for under-served and unserved groups.

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