Research Hub

Issue Research

We conduct in-depth secondary and primary research on social and civic issues to develop fiction and non-fiction media.

Media Impact

We use quantitative and qualitative methods to assess media impact across various performance, attitude and behaviour-change metrics both online and offline.

Consulting

We help consult both with social organizations and media content creators on issue research, media strategy and distribution, and ways to create impact.

Workshops & Events

We conduct events and workshops that bring together social/civic issue experts with creative professionals to help share civic entertainment knowledge across industries.

Research Projects

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
IN INDIAN ENTERTAINMENT

The ‘Crime and Punishment in Indian Entertainment’ research report studies the way in which the police and judiciary are represented in Indian entertainment media (films, TV shows, and web series), and its impact on shaping citizens’ understanding of these institutions and the democracy building project, at large.

View the interactive report here

CITIZEN ACTION AROUND CAA NRC

In December 2019, India witnessed the outbreak of citizen led protests on the CAA-NRC issue. We conducted a research survey (bi-lingual and anonymous) to understand the high citizen engagement around the issue. We heard the voices of more than 1500 respondents, who were from 15 countries worldwide, and 26 states and 2 union territories across India.

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SEVEN WAYS TO CREATE ENTERTAINMENT WITH IMPACT

Developed at the MIT Media Lab under the Civic Entertainment project, this article studies 9 films that had both popularity and impact. The analysis derives seven best practices needed to create media impact.

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PERCEPTIONS OF THE INDIAN LEGAL SYSTEM: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY

In order to understand citizen perceptions of the Indian legal system, we conducted a short ethnographic study across four metro and non-metro cities in the states of Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

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AN IMPACT FRAMEWORK FOR INDIAN ENTERTAINMENT WITH MICROSOFT RESEARCH INDIA

In this analysis, Microsoft Research India and the MIT Media Lab develop a unique impact framework to apply to entertainment media in India. This analysis looks at films and shows that have had proven reach and impact, and identifies various practices in the writing, production, and distribution that led to this success.

(On-Going)

DEVELOPING CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT FRAMEWORKS WITH BOSTON UNIVERSITY

In this collaboration between the MIT Media Lab and Boston University, students at BU analyzed various films and shows of their preference to assess ways in which social and civic messages had been successfully communicated.

(On-Going)

Latest Events

India Culture Lab event – 2019

In November 2019, Civic Studios held an event at the India Culture Lab, Mumbai to release a report on ‘Crime & Punishment in Indian Entertainment’. This was followed by a talk with well-known crime author Hussain Zaidi, and a panel discussion that brought together Neeraj Ghyawan (film-maker), Esha Paul (Vice Media producer), Devika Prasad (police reforms activist, CHRI) and Vijay Hiremath (human rights lawyer).

India Culture Lab event – 2018

In August 2018, Civic Studios and the MIT Media Lab held an event at the India Culture Lab, Mumbai to announce and sow the seeds of a community around civic entertainment. Amidst many others, this event brought together Professor Gopal Guru speaking on minority representation in the movie ‘Kaala’, MIT academic Ethan Zuckerman who gave a masterclass on civic entertainment, and comedian Rohan Joshi on civics and superheroes in popular media.