Fall 2021 News Leaders Summit

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The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School is proud to announce the Harvard Shorenstein News Leaders Summit, a new program to help newsroom leaders fight misinformation and media manipulation. 

Launching this fall, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the program will bring together small cohorts of news and media leaders to tackle the problem of misinformation-at-scale and media manipulation within the industry. Over the course of a semester, the News Leaders cohort will work with one another, and with Shorenstein Center faculty and staff, including Director Nancy Gibbs, Research Director Dr. Joan Donovan, Dr. Rob Faris, and journalist Emily Dreyfuss, to develop procedures and protocols for handling this great threat to the media ecosystem, and thereby protecting the functioning of democracy.

“The Shorenstein Center’s mission is to use research to improve the quality of news and information in our society. Misinformation and media manipulation are among the leading threats to our current information ecosystem, and the Technology and Social Change Project’s research is creating a model for understanding and combating them,” said Nancy Gibbs, Director of the Shorenstein Center and Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice at Harvard Kennedy School. “Through the News Leaders Summit, we will be able to work directly with some of the most influential editors and journalists in the country to help newsrooms put this research into action.”

Through readings, discussions, and debates, Shorenstein News Leaders will learn to apply findings of years of misinformation research to their own work and the work of their newsrooms..

“Misinformation is expanding exponentially, and news organizations must continuously adapt to this new normal and be able to operate at the speed of the internet,” said Paul Cheung, Director of Journalism and Technology Innovation at Knight Foundation. “This program’s success will be driven by giving news leaders the know-how to develop tailored processes and solutions to mitigate misinformation for their newsrooms.” 

“In order to solve a problem like misinformation-at-scale, we need strong news leaders that understand and can call out the competitive and profitable advantages of the growing disinformation industry,” said Dr. Joan Donovan, Research Director of the Shorenstein Center. “By teaching news leaders how disinformation happens and under what conditions journalists become vulnerable to media manipulation, we can strengthen the resiliency of the media ecosystem together.”

The first cohort comes from across the media ecosystem — from radio to online publications, television, and print. It is our honor to announce the participants for the first Harvard Shorenstein News Leaders Summit in the fall of 2021:

For more information about the Harvard Shorenstein News Leaders Summit, please visit ShorensteinCenter.org/news-leaders