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News from the Tow Center
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UPCOMING EVENTS
Local News After Analog | Oct 10
On October 10, the Tow Center is pleased to present the report launch of Digital Adaptation in Local News, with new research on the digital footprint of more than 2,000 local news outlets which provides an early marker for where the industry stands today, and signposts for where it is headed. The presentation will be followed by a discussion with Jesse Holcomb, project lead & Tow Fellow; Esfand Pourmand, Senior Vice President, Revenue at Hearst; Jim Schachter, Vice President for News, WNYC; Jennifer Choi, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY. This event is free and open to the public, though RSVP is required. 

LaBot: A news chatbot created by Chilean journalists | Oct 11
On October 11, the Tow Center will host a presentation on 
LaBot, a news chatbot created by Chilean journalists Andrea Insunza, Francisca Skoknic, and Paula Molina. The project is part of the “The Future of Journalism” series, a program launched in 2016 in partnership with the Columbia Global Centers | Santiago, Diego Portales University’s School of Journalism, and Columbia Journalism School. This workshop is open to the Columbia community; please use your Columbia email to RSVP
ICYMI: RECENT EVENTS
Video: Network Propaganda Presentation & Discussion
Is social media destroying democracy? Are Russian propaganda or "fake news" entrepreneurs on Facebook undermining our sense of a shared reality? Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts's new book Network Propaganda presents one of the most comprehensive studies to date on media coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential politics. On September 26 at Columbia Journalism School, Yochai Benkler, BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman, and Tow Center founding director Emily Bell discussed the characteristics of our current propaganda networks; video of the discussion can be streamed here.
Recap: 2018 Columbia Data Science Hackathon
On September 29–30, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism co-sponsored the fourth annual Columbia Data Science Hackathon in collaboration with the Columbia Data Science Society. Read more about the winning projects and teams here
RECENT PUBLICATIONS
Digital Adaptation in Local News
Tow Center fellow Jesse Holcomb, whose year-long project surveyed digital trends in more than 2,000 local newsrooms, quantifies much of what journalists have been sharing anecdotally about the state of the industry at outlets with small coverage regions and distribution: that digital is a far less significant priority for those outlets—17% of them have no original web presence or content at all. The former Pew researcher breaks down a number of his findings exhaustively by region and media type in a series of helpful charts, graphs, and a writeup of larger trends.
Data Journalism and the Law
D. Victoria Baranetsky, general counsel at The Center for Investigative Reporting and a Tow Center fellow, explores the history and future of journalistic legal jeopardy and data reporting, examining the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Espionage Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and how all three and closely related laws have been used to hinder everyday reporters trying to hold governments and major corporations to account.
 
IN THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW
Marcy Wheeler Knows More Than She Tells, But She Tells a Lot
In a new series focusing on journalists with expertise in open-source forensic reporting, Emptywheel blogger Wheeler speaks to Tow Center editor Sam Thielman about her work on the Scooter Libby trial, the Russia scandal, CIA director Gina Haspel's torture record, and her favorite techniques for reporting without the give-and-take of traditional access journalism.

Silicon Valley Won't Promise to Protect Journalists. Lawmakers, You're Up.
Victoria Baranetsky's piece accompanying her report in the Columbia Journalism Review focuses on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and demands action from legislators: Facebook, she writes, has had its chance to give journalists legal cover, and it has declined. Now Congress must act in the public interest before it is too late.
IN THE NEWS AND AT LARGE
Tow Center's founding director Emily Bell writes in The Guardian about the current economic and social media pressures on editorial decision-making.

Neiman Lab's Christine Schmidt analyzed Tow Fellow Jesse Holcomb's in-depth Tow Center research: "For our Predictions for Journalism 2018 series last December, Holcomb offered up one of the most dire forecasts: "Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you," Schmidt noted.

Tow Fellows Marguerite Y. Holloway and Brian House were featured in the New York Times Magazine's all-photos, all-audio Voyages issue. House's ultrasonic recordings of rats laughing accompany the Times's photos of New York City's most common—and, we now know, humorous—rodent. Listen here.

 
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