School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Jenny Stromer-Galley has been named a research Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Journalism School. 

Stromer-Galley, along with eight other Knight News Innovation Fellows from industry and academia, including The New York TimesThis American Life, Yale, and Rutgers will work on a wide range of subjects, ranging from virtual reality to the use of machine learning in newsrooms.

Funding for the Fellowship projects comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, adding to the Tow Center’s existing research efforts in journalism and technology connections.

Stromer-Galley’s research work as a Fellow will center around her ‘Illuminating 2016’ project, an effort to provide helpful information to political journalists about what candidates and the public are saying on social media about the current presidential election.

“With the support and community that the Tow Fellowship provides, my ‘Illuminating 2016’ project will be able to help journalists better cover the presidential candidates,” explained Stromer-Galley. “Now that social media is such a key part of campaigns, I hope we can help journalists increase transparency, and give the public the information they need to make an informed decision.” 

The Tow Fellows will work on six projects across four areas: Audiences & Engagement, Computational Journalism, Impact & Metrics and Experimental Journalism. The Tow Center welcomed the Fellows for an orientation earlier this month, and they will join more than 25 existing Fellows who are working on 13 continuing research projects.

“The Fellows bring extraordinary expertise to the program,” said Shazna Nessa, Journalism Director at the Knight Foundation. “The hope is that they will provide rich explorations around pressing questions and ideas that are important for both working journalists and students, as well as people in related fields who are passionate about news and information.”

At the iSchool, Stromer-Galley’s research focuses on  human interaction with and through digital technologies. Her work explores why people talk politics online, what practical addition deliberation can bring to e-government, and the development of a coding scheme to assess the qualities of political discussion.

Her award-winning book, Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age (Oxford University Press), provides a history of presidential campaigns as they have adopted and adapted to emerging digital communication technologies.

In addition, Stromer-Galley serves as director for the iSchool’s Center for Computational and Data Sciences, and is an affiliated faculty member with the Department of Political Science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and Vice President of the Association of Internet Researchers.

The other Tow Fellows and projects include:

  • Assessing the Impact and Metrics of Virtual Reality
    Dan Archer, Empathetic Media

  • Meeting in Digital Spaces: American News Organizations Using Chat Apps to Cover Political Unrest
    Valerie Belair-Gagnon, Colin Agur and Nick Frisch, Yale University

  • Guide to Data Science Literacy for Public Affairs Reporting
    Sarah Cohen, New York Times

  • Developing Clipper: A Social Audio Tool
    Stephanie Foo, This American Life  
  • Digital Journalism and the Challenges of Managing a 21st Century Newsroom Workforce
    Matthew Weber and Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University

The Fellowships are part of a $3 million research program funded by the Knight Foundation. Since the program began, the Tow Center has published a number of reports, as well as shorter guides on key trends including Automated Journalism, Chatapps, and Podcasting.