Digital Media Center

A Program of The Media Institute

The Digital Media Center is a program of The Media Institute that brings clarity to key issues at the heart of today’s digital revolution.  The Digital Media Center examines these issues in ways that illuminate a path forward for innovators and policymakers alike – offering a post-pandemic perspective on key digital issues.

The Media Institute is uniquely positioned to undertake this effort.  Building on four decades of thought leadership, the Institute is regarded as one of the country’s leading non-partisan organizations that focuses on free speech and communications policy.  The Digital Media Center will allow the Institute to shine a light on issues facing digital media and the wider digital world while continuing to address core issues affecting all media and telecom companies.


The Digital Media Center will address an evolving menu of issues at the heart of discussion among media executives, tech company leaders, IT professionals, data users, academicians, and government policymakers.  “Core issues” will include:

  • Privacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Online Advertising
  • Content Moderation
  • Digital Trust.


Digital Media Center activities will further three key goals:

  • Serve as a forum for bringing together professionals from different fields for discussion and the exchange of ideas.  Foster a climate of open discussion, mutual respect, innovation, and intellectual curiosity in seeking solutions.
  • Define issue parameters by identifying areas of agreement and disagreement, differing value structures, differences in preferred outcomes, institutional biases, and vested interests that help or hinder issue resolution.
  • Approach issue resolution with a presumption in favor of American democratic values that include capitalism and free markets, freedom of expression, and the rule of law.


The Digital Media Center will conduct various projects and activities including conferences, working groups, panel discussions, research, and policy analyses.

The Center’s “signature project” will be National Privacy Week.  This unique annual celebration will feature five days of activities and events addressing a broad range of privacy topics for public- and private-sector stakeholders.

The Center will also host a series of Virtual Executive Briefings in the fall and winter of 2020-21 in which each briefing will take a deep dive into one timely digital issue.

Program Coordinator

Coordinating the DMC’s program activities is Media Institute Distinguished Fellow Stuart N. Brotman.  Professor Brotman is the inaugural Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He also serves as an annual lecturer in entertainment and media law at Stanford Law School.  A recent Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Professor Brotman is the author of Privacy’s Perfect Storm: Digital Policy for Post-Pandemic Times [August 2020].  He is a member of The Media Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council.

Advisory Council

The DMC Advisory Council will gather representatives from various industry segments including media, telecom, tech, equipment manufacturers, marketers, and data users.  The Advisory Council will also include selected academicians, legal scholars, and experts.  This group will help set the direction for the Digital Media Center and help provide the various resources necessary to pursue the Center’s goals.

A Unique Entity

The Media Institute’s Digital Media Center is uniquely positioned – as an independent and nonpartisan entity – to address the issues facing digital media creators and users across the spectrum.  It will serve as an interdisciplinary forum and pursue an ambitious agenda of projects and activities.

Unlike trade associations, single-issue coalitions, or lobbying groups, the Digital Media Center is a broad-based program.  Experts from various industry, government, and academic sectors will engage with each other in ways that advance mutually shared goals of common understanding, best practices, and sound public policy.

The Digital Media Center will play a pivotal role as the country comes to grips with the realities of a new, post-pandemic digital world.