Author Archives: Ethan

Future of News: The View from Accra

I’m in Accra for roughly 60 hours, long enough to remember why I love this country so very much, but not long enough to see all the people I want to see, to visit the markets and streets that I … Continue reading

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Digital Media, and Ghana’s Place on the Global Stage

I head to one of my favorite cities, Accra, later this week, to participate in a conference on “The Future of News” and to attend a board meeting for PenPlusBytes, a Ghanaian NGO that trains journalists in computer-assisted reporting, and … Continue reading

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Harnessing Mistrust for Civic Action

Yes, it’s international press day here on my old, creaky blog. Friends at Süddeutsch Zeitung asked whether I could turn my Re:publica Keynote on mistrust and civics into a newspaper op-ed. Here’s what I came up with, which ran in … Continue reading

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Who benefits from doubt? Online manipulation and the Russian – and US – internet

I was asked by an editor at RBC, one of Russia’s best respected independent news organizations, to offer my thoughts on the Russian/US infowar. It was a great chance to think about Adrian Chen’s provocative tale about Russia’s Internet Research … Continue reading

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Instaserfs: Precarious Employment in the New – and Old – Economy

(This summer, I’m going to publish some of my work on FOLD, the beautiful platform my student Alexis Hope is building. There’s a graphically enhanced version of this story there.) Benjamen Walker makes some of the best radio around. (Okay, … Continue reading

Posted in ideas, long bookmark | 2 Comments

Pattern recognition: racism, gun violence and Dylann Roof

When you read about Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black men and women as they prayed, think about the patterns he represents. Over the next few days, we’re going to hear about mental illness. We’re going to hear … Continue reading

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Listening Machines, and the whether, when and how of new technologies

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I’m intrigued by, but know nothing about. (A second pleasure is writing about these events.) So when my friend Kate Crawford invited me to a daylong “Listening Machine … Continue reading

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Mystery Show is the new Serial. Kinda. (But it’s an awesome moment for radio.)

Hey guys, Mystery Show is the new Serial! Well, sorta. Not quite. Actually, it’s almost the antidote to Serial. But in a way that acknowledges the awesomeness of both shows. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have a … Continue reading

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The death of Tidbit and why it matters

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that they had settled their complaint with the developers of “Tidbit”, a prototype piece of software developed by four MIT undergraduates as part of a hackathon. It’s about time. New Jersey … Continue reading

Posted in Media Lab | 1 Comment

Re:publica Keynote: The System is Broken – That’s the Good News

I’m at the wonderful Re:publica conference for a single day, racing home to teach tomorrow… and thus far I’ve given a keynote and done over 12 interviews, so I haven’t gotten the whole feel of the conference yet. Still, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in ideas | 6 Comments