Read the announcement by the Columbia Provost here
The Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School is proud to announce that Assistant Director Susan McGregor was among those selected to receive 2015 funding from the Columbia University President’s Global Innovation Fund for her project, the Global Operational Data Index. McGregor’s project was one of sixteen proposals chosen for funding from among the more than fifty submissions received.
Through a collaboration between the Tow Center and Columbia University’s Global Center in Istanbul, the Global Operational Data Index will collate information about on-the-ground communication conditions in countries around the world. By gathering and publishing region-specific information about the legal and technical circumstances affecting digital communications, the Global Operational Data Index will serve as a centralized, up-to-date reference for journalists, academics, human rights workers and others who depend on these communication systems for their work.
“In conversations with a wide range of journalistic and non-governmental organizations, it has become clear that accurate contextual information is essential to operating safely” in a given region, McGregor said. “Yet despite the wealth of knowledge contained in these organizations’ networks, a centralized repository of this information does not currently exist. By drawing on the diversity of Columbia University’s students and faculty, in addition to forging partnerships with the Global Centers and others, the Global Operational Data Index can provide an essential resource for everyone wishing to work safely and effectively in a region foreign to their experience.”
Tow Center Director Emily Bell adds, “Freedom of the press and security for sources and journalists in a digital age is a key area of interest for the Tow Center. Working with Global Centers gives us an opportunity to develop our research and resources internationally.”