Apr 17. Bushwig at PCA/ACA

Adam and Jessa from the Bushwig Magic Grant will present their work at the Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting in Chicago this week. They will speak on identity curation, or rather, the decisions we make about how to present ourselves in everyday life, summarizing the focus groups they've interviewed for their Magic Grant. Good luck!

Apr 04. A second Hard Hat Dinner


Last night, the Institute hosted its second Hard Hat Dinner. We invited 19 media scholars, educators, journalists, entrepreneurs, and friends for the second in a series of events to celebrate the construction of our new space. The evening started with a tour of the Brown construction site which has changed considerably since our first event at the end of February. Offices are roughed out, a subfloor is down and the sheetrock is almost complete. As with the first event, we then moved upstairs for dinner served between two large projections of the space captured the day before -- Slowly moving videos panned around our space  downstairs as the construction crew worked. Thank you to everyone who came... It was a lot of fun! Oh and a special thanks to Magic Grant recipients Jessa Lingel and Adam Golub for showing off their work before dessert! 

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Mar 25. Ethics of Data Conference Announced!

The recent influx of big data has surfaced a multitude of ethical questions centered around the use of digital data for social good. The first Ethics of Data Conference, which will bring together practitioners from humanitarian organizations and nonprofits, educators and scholars, journalists, and civic techies, will seek to answers these questions.

The conference will be held on September 16-17, 2014 at Stanford University and is being produced by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society,  the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, and the Harvard Humanitarian Institute. Learn more...

Mar 20. Magic Grant and Fellowships deadline - TODAY!

The clock is ticking! Magic Grant and Fellowship proposals are due TODAY, March 23 by midnight PDT. Please submit your materials at And good luck!

Mar 13. CSPA 2014


Brown will be presenting at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association meeting 2:30-3:15 Thursday March 20 and 9:45-10:30 Friday March 21. CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs. Brown will show examples of student work and make a pitch for our upcoming "data journalism office hours" for high school students. Join us!

Mar 12. CityBeat demo!

CityBeat, a social media mining news project, will be featured at the Hacks/Hackers NYC Demo Day on Monday, March 17. Raz Schwartz of Cornell Tech and Alyssa Katz of The New York World will share their project-in-progress with New York City's community of news developers and innovators. Participants get 5 minutes to present a news-oriented project, and 5 minutes to answer questions from the audience. It's a wild evening, and we hope you'll join Alyssa and Raz and the rest of Hacks/Hackers NYC! CityBeat is funded with the help of a Brown Institute for Media Innovation Magic Grant and a grant from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

Mar 12. Videos up!

The videos from March 1's "bit by bit" are now up on the site. In addition you'll find documentation and links to some of the projects. Enjoy! 

Mar 11. Left brain, right brain


Ellen Weinstein and the New York Public Library Labs recall their process for "bit by bit" in this lovely blog post. Here's a taste:

Although I use paper and pixels in my own work, I am very much a front-end user. I consider it a victory every time I login to a website and remember my password. Like watching a flawless dance performance, the movement of code appears effortless until one attempts it on their own. I have come to appreciate the choreography and orchestration that happens on the other side of the screen.
The experience has made me curious and excited about new platforms for storytelling and the possibilities for image making beyond the printed page.The highlight was the actual collaboration with the wonderful team of NYPL Labs. Although it was unnerving at times to let go of total control over what my work would look like in the final product, by doing so we were able to make something together that we couldn’t have done on our own.

Read the full entry here. Thank you to Ellen and all the participants for an amazing three days!

Mar 11. NICAR 2014


Networks, science, and shoe-leather reportingThe Brown Institute sent six students from Columbia's Journalism School to this year's edition of NICAR, an annual conference in computer-assisted reporting. This year's conference was the biggest to date, with over 1,000 attendees. Read their individual reflections on anything from mapping and analyzing a network to retrieving that precious data or how conventional reporting enhances data work below.

Mar 08. CJR article on "bit by bit"

From the Columbia Journalism Review (read the full article.)

On Friday, Ellen Weinstein, an award-winning illustrator based in New York, found herself in unusual company. She was in one of the reading rooms at the New York Public Library, working with the members of NYPL Labs, who are trying to “re-imagine the library for the digital age.”

Six other similarly incongruous pairs were at work throughout the city, from Dumbo to Morningside Heights. Like Weinstein and NYPL Labs, whose members include multimedia artists, designers, and developers, each group was tasked with crafting a “story” in the broadest sense of the term.

They were all part of "bit by bit," a weeklong project in digital storytelling hosted by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and the Columbia Journalism School... 

Established in 2012, the Institute is a collaboration between Columbia and Stanford Universities. Our mission is simple: Sponsor thinking, building and speculating on how stories are discovered and told in a networked, digitized world.
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