Comcast NBCUniversal, USC Annenberg to Evaluate Equity Efforts – The Hollywood Reporter

Comcast NBCUniversal and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism are teaming up to measure NBCUniversal’s efforts to create more access and equity in the creative economy.

The USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project will conduct a pilot evaluation of NBCUniversal’s Creative Impact Lab, an initiative to help aspiring creatives from under-resourced communities break into and learn about the industry. The lab commissions diverse apprentices from creative nonprofit agencies who receive a grant from NBCUniversal to develop marketing assets for the company’s nonprofit partners, with mentoring from NBCUniversal employees. The final assets receive exposure on Comcast and NBCUniversal’s networks and platforms.   

The goal of the study is to find the impact of paid creative apprenticeships and the value of professional mentorship, as well as evaluate the outcomes for the nonprofit clients.

“To ensure that the Creative Impact Lab is building access and equity for future creatives and positive outcomes for its participants, it is important to engage a third party to assess its impact along the way,” Hilary Smith executive vp of corporate social responsibility for NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “We could not be more pleased to work with The USC Annenberg School’s Lear Center— one of the premier research institutions specializing in studying socio-economic and cultural impact in the entertainment sector— for this critical effort.” 

The Media Impact Project’s evaluation of the lab will focus on two cohorts of student apprentices, nonprofit creative agencies and nonprofit clients who are participating in a project during the third and fourth quarters of 2023, as well as some alumni of the program.

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Added Willow Bay, dean and Walter H. Annenberg chair in communication for USC Annenberg, “We are proud to have our Lear Center collaborate with NBCUniversal’s Creative Impact Lab. Together, they will identify best practices that we can all deploy to move the needle for greater diversity in storytelling and careers in creative industries.”

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