The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI), in partnership with the International Media Management Academic Association (IMMAA), holds a monthly seminar program focused on strategy, management, and policy issues in telecommunications, computing, and electronic mass media.

The seminars feature a presentation from an invited speaker and then opens up to Q&A and discussion from the audience.

May 4, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: Shelly Palmer, CEO, The Palmer Group, and Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University

The Intractable Problem of Alignment in AI

Artificial Intelligence has emerged as an major subject of interest and hype.  While some of the talk has focused on ways that AI will improve people’s lives, much of it has been dystopian..  This session will focus on how these two views can be merged, and how to align the various models of AI with values important to humanity.  

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing, and co-founder of Metacademy, a free educational platform that teaches practical applications of blockchain, crypto, NFTs, Web3, the metaverse. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Fox 5’s Good Day New York, and is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC. He’s the co-host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and he hosts the Shelly Palmer #Web3Wednesday Livestream.

Shelly is a prolific author. Along with his daily newsletter, his books include, the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Blockchain – Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance and Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV, the seminal book about the technological, economic, and sociological forces that have changing everything about the business of television, Overcoming the Digital Divide: How to use Social Media and Digital Tools to Reinvent Yourself and Your Career, and Digital Wisdom: Thought Leadership for a Connected World.

 April 6, 2023

Blockchain Decision Rules and Their Impact on Performance and Stability


March 2, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: Dr. João Palmeiro, President, Portuguese Publishers Association

"The Challenges to Content Publishing in the First Half of the 21st Century"

In the beginning of the 20th century there was a clear line between content and technology. But by the 21st century that line had become quite fuzzy. Misinformation and fake news are being generated through new applications of technology. The United States is currently debating the extent of Section 230 immunity from liability. The EU is debating regulations to control malicious or unconfirmed content, as well as shutting down IP piratcy and terrorist applications. What will historians, sociologists, and journalists retain 50 years from now to interpret these initiatives? Does the opening  the digital world still require some analog thinking? This seminar will discuss different models for the regulated relationship between technology and content, and the requirements of an active participation of users, journalists, and publishers. 

Dr. João Palmeiro is, since 2000, the President of the Portuguese Publishers Association. He also holds the role of Vice-President of the European Federation of Magazine Editors and is a Board Member of the European Federation of Newspaper Editors. He sits on the boards of Wan-Ifra and Fipp.

Previously he served as Portugal’s Deputy Education Minister, Deputy Secretary of State for Social Communication. He was a member of the Mass Media Communication Council of Europe, and Deputy Director of Expo`98 Communication.

Dr. Pameiro has a Bachelor of Law and of Communication Sciences, and a post-graduate degree in Communication and Information Law (Coimbra University) and a Ph.D. in journalism (University of Salamanca). He has taught at several Portuguese Universities. 

February 2, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: Sally Lehrman, Founder and Leader, The Trust Project

"The Impact of Trust Protocols in the Journalism Industry"

The news industry has suffered from declining trust for decades, with misinformation rushing into the gap. The speaker will describe research on news users and address the broad challenges of developing and applying trust-building protocols to create value for news media. She will focus on the Trust Project, an international collaboration with hundreds of news organizations from around the world.

The consortium created a set of digital standards called "Trust Indicators" to assist in transparency and lend credibility to reporting. These transparency standards are useable by humans and machine readable so that algorithms can factor in the information.

Sally Lehrman will present research by Trust Project academic partners on audience engagement, willingness to pay for news and enhancement of public awareness about the earmarks of trustworthy news, as well as about news organizations’ willingness to change. 

Sally Lehrman is an award-winning journalist who founded and leads The Trust Project, an international collaboration that she formed in 2014 with the goal of strengthening public confidence in the news through accountability and transparency. She was named one of MediaShift's Top 20 Digital Innovators in 2018 for her work.

This seminar was organized by Francisco Belda, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Arts, and Communication at the São Paulo State University, Brazil. 

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January 5, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: Johannes Bauer, Quello Chair for Media and Information Policy in the Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University

"The Return of the State into the Digital Economy"

During the past few years, the state has taken on a more proactive role in shaping the digital economy. Motives, forms, and patterns of interventions differ between countries and regions. However, after decades in which the state withdrew from telecommunications and media industries, it is remarkable how quickly the need for a renewed, stronger role has become accepted among decision makers across the political spectrum. 

This talk explored the anatomy and causes of these developments and critically discusses the rationales, strengths and weaknesses of selected emerging approaches. To keep the topic manageable, it focused on these developments in democratic contexts. It briefly reviewed the reasons for the withdrawal of the state in the late twentieth century before it explored the forces that have led to recent policy initiatives in regulatory and competition policy. 

This requires analyzing political-economic factors in addition to the standard rationales of network effects and dominance. Examples from the European Digital Markets Act and policy discussions in several other countries will illustrate the arguments. It is concerning that some of the interventions are fallbacks on policies that were abandoned as inefficient decades ago. At the same time, we also observe interesting institutional experimentation and innovations.

We explored the consequences of these developments for digital industries, their management, and the likely repercussions on competition and innovation. This will allow a preliminary outlook on whether the emerging policy models offer avenues to reconcile the technological dynamics of digital industries with notions of the public interest.

Johannes M. Bauer is a Professor in the Department of Media and Information and the Director of the Quello Center for Media and Information Policy at Michigan State University. He holds advanced degrees in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria. His research broadly addresses the role of management and policy in optimizing the benefits of advanced information and communication technologies for individuals, communities, and society.