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Media Literacy and Democracy

An exploration of media, polarization, and the functioning of American democracy.

Introducing Dr. Joan Donovan

To Kick off the Media Literacy, Civic Engagement, and Democracy Project, we're pleased to welcome Dr. Joan Donovan to come speak with the campus community on Monday, April 19th, from 5:30-7:00 pm!

Dr. Donovan is the Research Director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, where she leads the Technology and Social Change Project. She is also affiliated with Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Dr. Donovan specializes in media manipulation and disinformation campaigns, as well as online extremism and adversarial media movements.

In her lecture at SMCM, she'll be discussing misinformation and disinformation in our media ecosystem. Her talk will explain the role of political and media elites in disinformation campaigns both online and offline, the origin and spread of conspiracy theories, and the impact of media manipulation campaigns on American Democracy.

Register for the event here!


If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Donovan's work, you can visit the Technology and Social Change Project's homepage, as well as Donovan's personal website. You can also check out her webinar series, Big, If True, and her online newsletter, Meme War Weekly

We've provided some more resources, including lectures and research reports of Dr. Donovan's below.



What is Media Manipulation?

  • In this lecture, Dr. Donovan discusses the tactic of "media manipulation," in which a variety of bad actors can accelerate the spread of hoaxes by seeding false stories to journalists, and the features of our information ecosystem that make it possible.



The True Costs of Misinformation: Producing Moral and Technical Order in a Time of Pandemonium

  • This lecture by Dr. Donovan surveys the wide range of bad actors spreading misinformation online and discusses the features of our networked information ecosystem they exploit to do so.



Research Reports

More Resources