Monday Morning (9:00AM Session)
Emily Bell (Columbia Tow Center for Digital Journalism) and Julia Angwin (The Markup)
A discussion on media, platforms, and bias
Emily Bell is founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a leading thinker, commentator and strategist on digital journalism. Established in 2010, the Tow Center has rapidly built an international reputation for research into the intersection of technology and journalism. The majority of Bell’s professional career was spent at Guardian News and Media in London working as an award winning writer and editor both in print and online. As editor-in-chief across Guardian websites and director of digital content for Guardian News and Media, Bell led the web team in pioneering live blogging, podcasting, multimedia formats, data and social media, making the Guardian an internationally awarded beacon of digital transformation. She is co-author of a number of lectures and papers on the transformation of journalism, including Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present (2012) with CW Anderson and Clay Shirky, co-editor of the book Journalism After Snowden (2017) and most recently ‘The Platform Press: How Silicon Valley Re-engineered Journalism’ with Taylor Owen in 2017. Emily continues to write a regular column for the Guardian and Columbia Journalism Review, and is a contributor to the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, and numerous other outlets. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.
Julia Angwin is an award-winning investigative journalist, formerly of the independent news organization ProPublica and The Wall Street Journal. She has twice led investigative teams that were Finalists for a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. In 2003, she was on a team of reporters at The Wall Street Journal that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for coverage of corporate corruption. Her book, “Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance,” was published by Times Books in 2014. She is also the author of “Stealing MySpace: The Battle to Control the Most Popular Website in America” (Random House, March 2009).
Wednesday Afternoon (4:30PM Session)
Natasha Dow Schüll (NYU)
Turning the Tables: The Digital Mediation of Poker
This talk considers three different forms of poker: ‘live poker,’ in which people play against each other; online poker, in which people play against each other via a highly mediated, software intensive interface; and video poker, in which there is no other person in the equation—just a machine.
The main focus is on the case of online poker, which offers an opportunity to explore the nexus of social interaction and digital media. How do data-tracking, algorithmic strategy recommendations based on rapidfire computation of odds, and automated response features reconfigure the social experience of poker? How do players themselves reflect on the possibilities and limitations of a digital interface for the game?
The talk will conclude with reflections on the broader trend toward the digitization of traditional forms of gambling—not only online but within bricks-and-mortar settings (as in the turn from green-felt card games to screen-based “e-tables”). What are the economic and social stakes of this trend, both within the United States and in gambling markets abroad?
Natasha Dow Schüll is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is the author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (2012), an ethnographic exploration of the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her current book project, Keeping Track (forthcoming), concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies and the new modes of introspection and self-governance they engender. She has published numerous articles on the theme of digital media and subjectivity, and her research has been featured in such national media venues as 60 Minutes, The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Atlantic.