Panelists include Aphrodite Salas, MA 99, Concordia Department of Journalism graduate diploma program director; Craig Silverman, BA 99, an award-winning journalist, author and leading expert on online disinformation, fake news, and digital investigations; and Shorenstein Center research fellows Jane Lytvynenko and Brandy Zadrozny, also a senior reporter for NBC News. Moderated by Jennifer Hollett, BA 97, executive director at The Walrus.
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Joan Donovan is a leading public scholar and disinformation researcher, specializing in media manipulation, political movements, critical internet studies, and online extremism. She is research director at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and the Director of the Technology and Social Change project (TaSC). Through TaSC, Donovan explores how media manipulation is a means to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society. Donovan co-founded Harvard Kennedy School’s Misinformation Review. Her research has been widely published in academic peer-reviewed journals. She is a columnist at MIT Technology Review, a regular contributor to the New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, and PBS, and is quoted often on radio and in print.
Donovan has laid out the philosophical frameworks for how to research, report on, and understand this moment in internet history and American politics. Her conceptualizations of strategic silence, meme wars, and media manipulation campaigns provide crucial frameworks for understanding how the US got to this point. She coined many of the terms that the disinformation research field and mainstream media use to understand technology's impact on society.
Brandy Zadrozny is an award-winning investigative and features reporter for NBC News where she covers misinformation, extremism, and the internet. She’s written definitive stories on election misinformation, QAnon conspiracy theories, the anti-vaccination movement, and the profiteers spreading coronavirus misinformation online. She is a current research fellow at the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.
Jane Lytvynenko is an internationally acclaimed reporter, researcher and trainer. She's currently a senior research fellow on the Tech and Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center where she's developing and teaching a curriculum to newsrooms on investigating disinformation. She's also researching the spread of both accurate information and network propaganda surrounding the war in Ukraine. She was previously a senior reporter on the BuzzFeed News technology team and her freelance work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, and MIT Tech Review. Jane is from Kyiv, Ukraine and resides in Boston with her giant, mean cat named Begemot.
Aphrodite Salas, MA 99, is a visual journalist who has worked across Canada and around the world. She is an assistant professor in Concordia's Department of Journalism and director of the Graduate Diploma progam and is also a workshop leader and Quebec trainer for the Journalists for Human Rights Misinformation Project. She is a research associate at the Concordia University Acts of Listening Lab and a member of the national board of directors of the Canadian International Council. Salas was a video journalist and assignment editor at CTV Montreal, senior anchor at Global Quebec and hosted her own current affairs radio program on 940 Montreal.
Craig Silverman, BA 99, is an award-winning journalist and author, and a leading expert on online disinformation, fake news, and digital investigations. He recently joined ProPublica as a reporter investigating voting, platforms, disinformation, and online manipulation. He's also the editor of the European Journalism Centre’s Verification Handbook series. Craig previously served as media editor of BuzzFeed News, where he pioneered coverage of digital disinformation and media manipulation. He received a George Polk Award in 2021 for a series of articles about Facebook, and is the recipient of the Carey McWilliams Award from the American Political Science Association. His 2019 series exposing a global Facebook advertising scam was also named investigation of the year by the Canadian Association of Journalists. A graduate of Concordia University, his journalism and books have also been honored by the Mirror Awards, U.S. National Press Club, National Magazine Awards (Canada), and Crime Writers of Canada.
Jennifer Hollett, BA 97, is executive director of The Walrus and was also recently named one of Concordia's top 50 Under 50: The new journalism leader. As an award-winning TV host and producer, Hollett has over a decade of experience at CBC, CTV, and MuchMusic covering stories across Canada and around the world. She won a Canadian Online Publishing Award for her work hosting CBC’s G20 Street Level blog during the G20 Summit in Toronto, and was recognized by Amnesty International Canada with a 2009 Media Award for her CBC radio reporting from Israel and Palestine. She continues to appear frequently as a commentator on Newstalk 1010, CP24, and CBC.