Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Award for Sahana Udupa

11 Aug 2021

Media anthropologist Sahana Udupa has received a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship from the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, USA.

Sahana Udupa, Professor of Media Anthropology | © Andreas J. Focke

Sahana Udupa, Professor of Media Anthropology at LMU Munich’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, is researching how new forms of digital media influence social interaction and political cultures, especially the darker sides of digital communication including hate speech and targeted disinformation.

In recognition of her groundbreaking work, she has now received a Joan Shorenstein Fellowship from the Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, USA. This will enable her to spend this fall working on a publication on the topic of artificial intelligence, extreme speech and the autonomy of fact checkers.

Building on her current projects on digital policy, Udupa will develop a set of recommendations to highlight the practical and political challenges that fact checkers face and how they can be involved as critical community intermediaries in detecting and moderating online extreme speech.


Media anthropology: Defending dignity in a digital world

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“This is a great opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm ideas with other colleagues who are examining disinformation, and also to position our study on online extreme speech for a global audience of experts and policymakers,” said Udupa. She is particularly looking forward to working with Joan Donovan and colleagues who have raised challenging questions about the social costs of digital disinformation and the accountability of social media companies.

The Joan Shorenstein Fellowship aims to promote research in the fields of media, politics and public policy. It also seeks to intensify “dialogue among journalists, scholars, policymakers and students, provide an opportunity for reflection and create a vibrant and long-lasting community of scholars and practitioners”. The focus of the Fellowship is on researching, writing and publishing a paper on a media policy issue. Joan Shorenstein (1947–1985) was a U.S. journalist whose career included periods working for The Washington Post and CBS News.

Harvard Kennedy School: Shorenstein Center

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