Platforms & Publishers

Platforms & Publishers

Reports & Briefs

Tow/Knight Projects

Policy Exchange Forums

Project Leader:

The Policy Exchange Forums are a critical component of the Tow Center’s Platforms and Publishers research project. In these sessions participants representing both platforms and publishers can engage with issues that directly relate to the ethical and civic values of journalism. The forum aims at the relationship between technology, business, journalism, and ethics and brings together diverse stakeholders from interdisciplinary fields to discuss current issues and surface potential new ones.


Policy Exchange Forum I and Open Conference

Artificial Intelligence: Practice and Implications for Journalism 

(June 13, 2017)

On June 13, 2017, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation co-organized a one-day event on AI and Journalism featuring renowned scholars and practitioners on the field. The event revolved around three main areas: technology (network analysis, data quality, AI and surveillance…), ethics (algorithmic bias, ethics of errors, trust and propaganda…), and the newsroom (automatic writing, algorithms displacing writers, the skillset of the modern journalist…).

The morning session (8 to 10:45am) was a Policy Exchange Forum closed to the public; the afternoon session (1 to 3:45pm) was public conference.

Read the full report on Academic Commons.


1:00pm Welcome Address from Steve Coll (Columbia Journalism School)

1:15pm Exploring the Ethics of the AI Powered Products

With Angela Bassa (iRobot), Jerry Talton (Slack), Amanda Levendowski (NYU), Madeleine Clare Elish (Columbia University), Gilad Lotan (Buzzfeed), John Keefe (Quartz), moderated by Nick Diakopoulos (University of Maryland)

2:15pm Future Ethical Dilemmas: Joshua Benton (Nieman Journalism Lab) in conversation with Rachita Chandra (IBM Watson Health)

2:45pm AI in the Newsroom: Technology and Practical Applications

With Sam Bowman (NYU), Marc Lavallee (The New York Times), Sasha Koren (The Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab), Judith Donath (Berkman Center), Meredith Whittaker (Google Open Research / AINow), moderated by Christopher Mims (The Wall Street Journal)

3:30pm Closing Remarks from Emily Bell (Tow Center for Digital Journalism)

Click here to read As AI enters newsrooms, journalists have urgent responsibility, a CJR piece with the highlights of the conference.

What problems in journalism can AI help solve?


Policy Exchange Forum II and Open Conference

Advertising and the Future of Publishing (October 20, 2017)

The second Policy Exchange Forum will be held in Cambridge (MA) on October 20, 2017. This session is co-sponsored by the Digital Initiative at Harvard Business School and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. This timely conversation will include two discussions. The first session will address the question: “What are possible futures for the relationship between publishers and advertisers?”. The second session will address the question: “How can platforms, news publishers, and advertising agencies shape the quality of advertising?”

The morning session (8 to 12:30pm) will be a Policy Exchange Forum closed to the public; the afternoon session (1:30 to 4:30pm) is a public conference.

Program for the open session will be announced shortly.

June 19, 2017