The Norman Lear Center at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism announced a new program today aimed at measuring media impact. With $3.25 million in funding from the Knight Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lear Center Media Impact Project hopes to help news outlets and journos understand engagement on a deeper level. Sure, journalists can measure engagement by number of retweets or Facebook ‘Likes.’ But just because many people retweeted a headline doesn’t mean that the story will promote change. (Especially if they haven’t even read it.)

“The metrics that have been used for this have been astonishingly primitive,” Martin Kaplan, director of the Lear Center, told The New York Times. The center is in the process of assembling a team of journos, analytics experts and social scientists to figure out how media affects the behavior of consumers. According to a post on the Knight Blog, the project aims to: Read more