Tow Fellows

Brian Abelson andy@brianabelson Brian Abelson is a data scientist who applies statistics and social science to journalism and the measurement of media impact. He was a 2013 Mozilla-Knight OpenNews Fellow at The New York Times and is an experienced data scientist. Brian Abelson is a researcher at the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: NewsLynx
Andy Carvin andy@acarvin Andy Carvin is an award-winning journalist who has pioneered new forms of online collaboration for nearly 20 years. From 2006 to 2013, Andy led NPR’s led social media efforts, where he developed new techniques to improve the quality and diversity of NPR’s journalism. Over the course of 2011 and 2012, he became known as “the man who tweets revolutions” due to his innovative coverage of the Arab Spring using social media.For his work during the Arab Spring, Andy received a 2011 Knight-Batten Award for journalism innovation, and the 2012 Shorty Award for best journalist on Twitter. He was also a finalist for the 2011 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In early 2013, Andy released the book Distant Witness: Social Media, The Arab Spring And A Journalism Revolution, published by CUNY Journalism Press. Andy Carvin is a researcher at the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Broken News
Ann Cooper @Cooperintnews Ann Cooper is an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent with more than 25 years of radio and print reporting experience. She was most recently the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. Appointed as NPR’s first Moscow bureau chief in 1987, Cooper spent five years covering the tumultuous events of the final years of Soviet communism. She co-edited a book, “Russia at the Barricades.” Ann Cooper is a researcher at the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Foreign Correspondents Manual
Susan CrawfordSusan Crawford Susan Crawford is the John A. Reilly Visiting Professor in Intellectual Property at the Harvard Law School (2014) and a co-director of the Berkman Center . She is the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, and a contributor to Bloomberg View. In September 2014, Wiley will publish The Responsive City: Engaging Communities Through Data-Smart Governance, co-authored by Ms. Crawford and Stephen Goldsmith. She served as Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2009) and co-led the FCC transition team between the Bush and Obama administrations. She also served as a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation. Tow Center Project: Tow Responsive Cities Initiative
Stijn Debrouwere AnnCooper @stdbrouw Stijn Debrouwere is a philosopher turned coder with a passion for the news industry. Right now, he’s trying to figure out how journalists can better promote their stories and how news organizations can make sure important news doesn’t get drowned out by cute cat pictures. First at the Guardian as a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellow, now at the Tow Center. He’s written at length about the information design, measurement, and economics of news. Stijn Debrouwere is a researcher at the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: NewsLynx
Nicholas Diakopoulos @ndiakopoulos Nicholas Diakopoulos is a Tow Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism, and will join the faculty of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland this summer. His research interests involve computational and data journalism and focus on algorithmic accountability, as well as automated data visualization storytelling and social interaction with data. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech where he co-founded the program in Computational Journalism. Before Columbia he worked as a researcher at Rutgers University and CUNY studying the intersections of information science, innovation, and journalism. Nick can be contacted via email at, and is online at @ndiakopoulos and Diakopoulos is a Staff Associate for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Data Journalism
Sam Dubberley Sam Dubberley @samdubberley Sam Dubberley has over ten years experience in broadcast news. He was head of the Eurovision News Exchange from 2010 to 2013, managing the world’s largest exchange of television news content. He was a bulletin editor for Bloomberg Television. He established his own media consultancy in 2013 and is the executive producer of the News Xchange conference. He has a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge, an MA with Distinction in Media and Communication from the University of Leicester, and is studying for an MBA at Koç University in Istanbul. He speaks French, German, Italian and Turkish. Sam Dubberley is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: AMATEUR FOOTAGE: A Global Study of User Generated Content
Jennifer Henrichsen Jenn Henrichsen @JennHenrichsen Jennifer Henrichsen a consultant to UNESCO, where she is carrying out a research project about digital security issues facing journalists. Previously, Jenn worked as a strategic communications consultant at Hattaway Communications in Washington, DC and as a research assistant at the Open Society Foundations and project assistant for the Democracy Coalition Project. Jenn has worked as a freelance journalist at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and as a political correspondent for the Washington State Legislature. A Fulbright Research Scholar, Jenn received a BA with honors from Pacific Lutheran University and an Advanced Masters in International and European Security with honors from the University of Geneva and the Geneva Center for Security Policy. Jenn co-authored the book, “War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists?” which was published by Praeger in 2011. Jennifer Henrichsen is Research and Program Coordinator for Journalism After Snowden and a Research Fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Tow Center Project: Journalism After Snowden
Anna Hiatt AnnaHiatt @ahiatt Anna Hiatt, a freelance journalist working in New York City, recently helped launch an online publishing platform called The Big Roundtable, where she currently works as the product manager and managing editor. Since graduating from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she’s freelanced for a number of publications, from the Guardian to Vice, the New York Times to the Miami New Times, Reuters and more. Before moving to the Big Apple, Anna lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she attended UC Berkeley (BA History) and worked for the Oakland Athletics, CBS Interactive, and her college paper, The Daily Californian. Anna Hiatt is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: The Future of Digital Longform
Alexander Howard AlexanderHoward@digiphile Alexander B. Howard focuses upon the intersection of government, the Internet and society, including how technology is used to help citizens, cities, and national governments solve large-scale problems. He is an authority on the use of collaborative technology in enterprises, social media and digital journalism. He wrote extensively on open innovation, open data, open source software and open government technology as the Washington Correspondent for O’Reilly Media. He has also contributed to The National Journal, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable and The Atlantic, amongst others. Prior to joining O’Reilly, Mr. Howard was the associate editor of and at TechTarget, where he wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity. He is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Alexander Howard is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Data Journalism
Philip Howard PhilipHoward_Headshot @pnhoward Philip N. Howard is professor of communication, information and international studies at the University of Washington and a professor in the School of Public Policy at Central European University. He has taught at five other universities, including Columbia SIPA. He is the author, most recently, of Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring. Currently, he is writing Pax Technica, a book about the future of global information politics. He blogs at Philip Howard is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Digital Activism and Citizen Journalism
Michael Keller Michael Keller @mhkeller Michael Keller is a reporter / developer on the Al Jazeera America Interactive Multimedia Team where he looks for and builds interesting stories for the web. He is also the co-founder of csv soundsystem, a New York City-based hacker collective. Tow Center Project: NewsLynx Project
Michelle Levine Michelle Levine Michelle Levine is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University.  Her research focuses on linguistic and nonlinguistic aspects of communication in human-human and human-computer interaction. Her interest is in interpersonal communication processes—how people coordinate actions in collaborative tasks and how technology can enhance the process and improve task success. She draws upon theories and methodologies from cognitive psychology, linguistics, and computer science. She received her Sc.B. in Psychology and Computer Science from Duke University and her Ph.D. in Psychology from The New School. During graduate school she worked at AT&T Laboratories in the IP & Voice Services and Human Factors Departments, where she received a patent for a multimodal interface to search cable television programming. Michelle Levine is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Social Sharing of Longform Journalism
Melissa NallyMelissa Melissa Nally is a recent graduate of the Cardozo School of Law. She is an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at the Tow Center, focusing on the Responsive Cities Initiative, a series focusing on exploring the role of the university in fostering fiber connectivity and the use of technology by city government. During law school, she served as the student director and fellow of the Howard M. Squadron Program in Law, Media & Society, while working at Conde Nast, BBC, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Tow Center Project: Tow Responsive Cities Initiative
Kristin Nolan 2013-01-16 21.19.57 @hypertopical Kristin is the Development and Educational Programs Director for Syria Deeply. Kristin has extensive experience in business development, grant administration, and strategic communications. Her focus has been in the non-profit sector, working on human rights in Arab and Muslim communities worldwide.Kristin graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, earning an MA with Merit in Middle Eastern Studies and a BA Cum Laude in International Relations, with a specialization in Middle Eastern Studies and Cross-Cultural Communications. She speaks Spanish as well as Arabic and is in the process of learning French. Kristin Nolan is a Post-Doc Research Scholar for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: The Single-Subject News
Caitlin Petre @cbpetre Caitlin Petre is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at New York University, where she studies how technological change — in particular, the rise of ‘big data’ — is affecting how we collect, disseminate, and make sense of public information, particularly journalism. Before coming to NYU, she was an account executive at Fenton Communications, the nation’s largest public interest communications firm, where she worked on a wide range of social issues such as prison overcrowding, maternal health, and the security of electronic voting machines. She has written for the Albuquerque Journal on felon disenfranchisement and for Newsday on women’s reproductive rights. Her writing has also appeared on the blog for Eli Pariser’s New York Times bestselling book The Filter Bubble, which she helped research. She holds a BA in philosophy from Wesleyan University. Caitlin Petre is a Staff Associate for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Metrics: Production and Consumption
Fergus Pitt Fergus @fergle Fergus Pitt is a journalist and project manager, with experience building online and mobile products, leading digital design & development teams, developing and implementing strategy.While working with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he started producing and reporting radio current affairs, stepped sideways into online development and production, then ran projects to roll out a new suite of digital radio services, numerous online initiatives, led the rebuild of the ABC’s local journalism sites and ran ABC Radio’s mobile strategy.He received his MA in Journalism (Business & Economics) from Columbia University in New York, and a BA in Journalism from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. He tweets from @fergle. Fergus Pitt is a Post-Doc Research Scholar for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: The Sensor Newsroom
Lara Setrakian Lara @Lara Lara Setrakian is the Founder and CEO of News Deeply. She’s spent more than five years as a foreign correspondent, covering the Middle East for television, radio, and digital platforms, reporting for ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, the Business Insider, and Monocle Magazine. She has since focused on the fusion of news and technology; the launch of her first platform, Syria Deeply, launched in December 2012 to wide acclaim. TIME Magazine dubbed Syria Deeply “The Future of News,” while Fast Company said it “outsmarts the news business, redefines crisis coverage.”Lara has served as an inaugural fellow with the Peter Jennings Program at the National Constitution Center and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She was also dubbed one of the Top Women of 2012 by Marie Claire Magazine. Prior to joining ABC News, Lara worked as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company, focused on finance and corporate strategy. Lara graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. She spends her leisure time practicing yoga, reading poetry, and cooking vegetarian meals. Lara Setrakian is a Post-Doc Research Scholar for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: The Single-Subject News
Michael Shapiro MShapiro_112811 @shapiromichael Michael Shapiro is Founder of The Big Roundtable, a digital publishing platform that aims to connect passionate nonfiction writers with readers who will support their work. Shapiro worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Chicago for five years before becoming a magazine writer. His work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of five non-fiction books, “Japan: In the Land of the Broken Hearted,” “The Shadow in the Sun,” “Who Will Teach for America,” “Solomon’s Sword” and “The Last Good Season.” Shapiro received his M.A. at the University of Missouri. Michael Shapiro is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Social Sharing of Longform Journalism
Jonathan Stray Jonathan Stray @jonathanstray Jonathan Stray leads the Overview Project for the Associated Press, a Knight News Challenge-funded visualization system to help investigative journalists make sense of very large document sets, and teaches computational journalism at Columbia University. Formerly he was an interactive editor at the Associated Press, a freelance reporter in Hong Kong, and a senior computer scientist at Adobe Systems. He has contributed stories to The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Wired and China Daily. He has an MSc in computer science from the University of Toronto and an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Jonathan Stray is a Senior Staff Associate for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Data Journalism
Duy Linh Tu Duy Linh Tu @duylinhtu Duy Linh Tu is a Professor and Director of Digital Media. He teaches the Reporting class, video modules, and the Multimedia Storytelling Workshop. His courses focus on producing video for cinema and the Web. Duy is a co-founder and the Creative Director of Resolution Seven, a documentary and commercial production house. He is a cinematographer, photographer, writer and multimedia consultant. Prior to forming Resolution Seven, Duy founded and was the Chief Operations Officer of Missing Pixel, an award-winning interactive production company. Duy has shot and produced for broadcast networks, cable channels, independent production houses, and Web properties. He is the director of photography and producer of the award-winning documentary “deepsouth.” Duy is currently in production on two films, one focusing on children with a rare, life-threatening disease and another on violence against Native American women. He received his M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Duy Linh Tu is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Video Now: The Forms, Cost, and Effect of Video Journalism
Nikki Usher Nikki_Usher @nikkiusher Nikki Usher is an assistant professor at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Her work focuses on the intersection of news and digital change, and she uses field research to look at what news production practices can tell us about the state of the news industry both in the U.S. and internationally. Her first book, Making News at The New York Times, will be out from University of Michigan Press in Spring 2014. She was a journalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, continues to blog for Nieman Journalism Lab, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication in 2011. Nikki Usher is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: Newsroom Places and Spaces in a Post-Industrial Age
 Chris Walker
Over the past eight years, Chris has advised on a number of projects at the intersection of technology and human rights, principally in countries where access to information is heavily constrained, closely monitored or both. This experience builds upon a technical foundation in computer and network security and an academic background focused on legal, political, economic, activist and journalistic responses to
related human rights challenges. Tow Center Project: Digital Security for Journalists
Carol Waters,
Carol Waters has focused on improving the information security of
independent media and human rights defenders through improved training
and support, awareness-raising, digital tools, guides, and toolkits. Tow Center Project: Digital Security for Journalists
Claire Wardle Claire Wardle @cward1e Claire Wardle is a former academic who has been working within the news industry for the past four years, training journalists around the world on social newsgathering, and most recently working with Storyful. Claire has a PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and after graduation worked for five years at Cardiff School of Journalism where she led a number of funded research projects, including a year-long project with the BBC on user generated content. It was published in 2008. Claire Wardle is a Researcher for the Tow Center. Tow Center Project: AMATEUR FOOTAGE: A Global Study of User Generated Content