The newest and most powerful form of journalism uses digital information to expose wrongdoing. At BuzzFeed News, where I was editor-in-chief, we won a Pulitzer Prize for a series that analyzed satellite imagery to expose the full scale of China’s detention program in Xinjiang. The investigative site Bellingcat used flight manifests and phone metadata to identify the FSB agents who poisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny. The New York Times used police body cameras and street cameras to show how police issued dozens of orders, often contradictory and impossible to obey, to Tyre Nichols as they beat him days before he died.
Now, the huge advances in AI are set to transform this type of journalism. I’ll walk you through a few landmark investigations, with a focus on how researchers provided key breakthroughs, and talk about how ISI’s skills can help debunk disinformation, expose the bad guys, and help all of us better understand our world.
Photo credit: BuzzFeed
Host: Craig Knoblock POC: Maura Covaci
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Schoofs is a visiting professor of journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he leads the school’s investigative reporting initiatives. Over his 30-year career, Schoofs edited Chicago’s lesbian and gay newsweekly, The Windy City Times, as it successfully crusaded for gay rights; won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on AIDS in Africa at New York’s famed alternative newspaper The Village Voice; and shared in another Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal for reporting from Ground Zero on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After serving as a senior editor at ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to investigative reporting, he launched and led the investigations team at BuzzFeed News, building that team from zero to more than 20 reporters on three continents and earning some of journalism’s top awards, including two Pulitzer finalist honors. He returned to BuzzFeed News as editor-in-chief, overseeing a Pulitzer Prize-wining investigation into China’s detention camps in Xinjiang and a Pulitzer finalist investigation into global money laundering. As head of news for BuzzFeed, Inc., he also oversaw a second new organization, HuffPost.