News & Events

01 September 2023

The annual Fulbright Eccles Lecture 2023: Disinformation in the 21st century…and what to do about it?

How can we protect democratic discourse and promote an informed public in the 21st century? What is at stake with the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation? What are the risks for democracy in an era of growing public mistrust? And what information can we believe in an age of social media, bad actors, deep fakes, bots and AI?

On Tue 5 Sep 2023, chaired by Fulbright alumnus Mukul Devichand, Editor of Audio Programming at the New York Times, this discussion invites leading UK investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr, US media scholar, blogger and internet activist Professor Ethan Zuckerman (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Jiore Craig, Head of Elections and Digital Integrity at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue to examine both the causes of disinformation and new approaches to dealing with it.

Presented by the US-UK Fulbright Commission in partnership with the British Library’s Eccles Centre. The 2023 Fulbright Eccles Debate will be the first to be held in front of a live audience since 2019 and forms part of the Commission’s 75th anniversary celebrations, promoting dialogue and knowledge exchange between the peoples of the UK and US.

Mukul Devichand is the Editor of Audio Programming for the New York Times. With a long background in international, investigative and longform reporting for radio and TV, he spent 17 years at the BBC running a number of journalism units for BBC News and BBC World Service where he was recognised for introducing innovative forms of digital publishing. From 2017 he became the BBC’s first Executive Editor of Voice + AI taking the values of public broadcasting into the new space of AI Assistants.  Mukul is a Fulbright Alumnus having studied Journalism at Columbia University and now sits on the US-UK Fulbright board of trustees.

Carole Cadwalladr is a British author, investigative journalist, and features writer.  She is a regular features contributor to the Guardian and Observer and formerly, The Daily Telegraph.  Carole rose to international prominence in 2018 for her role in exposing the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal for which she was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Carole has won numerous other awards including the British Journalism Awards: Technology Journalism Award in 2017 and The Orwell Prize for Political Journalism in 2018.  She is the author of The Family Tree, published in 2006 and shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Ethan Zuckerman is associate professor of public policy, information and communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and director of the Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure. He is the author of Mistrust: How Losing Trust in Institutions Provides Tools to Transform Them and Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection. Ethan is co-founder of the international blogging community Global Voices which showcases news and opinions from citizen media in more than 150 nations and 30 languages. Previously, he directed the Center for Civic Media at MIT and taught at the MIT Media Lab. Ethan is a Fulbright alumnus who spent his fellowship at the University of Ghana.

Jiore Craig is the Head of Elections and Digital Integrity at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. Jiore works at the intersection of elections, public opinion, and online harms. She has extensive experience working with public figures, politicians, policymakers, and civil rights leaders to navigate the impact of tech on society. Craig specializes in representing public interest when designing strategies to mitigate disinformation and other harms. She has helped dozens of leaders and hundreds of organizations across six continents confront challenges presented by the digital age, especially in the context of global elections and the impact of technology on mental health.

Jiore’s work informed the design of major coalition efforts to counter disinformation in the 2020 US and 2019 European Parliament elections. In 2022, Jiore testified for the U.S. Congressional House Administration Elections Subcommittee Hearing on “A Growing Threat: Foreign and Domestic Sources of Disinformation”. Her work is regularly cited including in The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The L.A. Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, and she has been a featured guest on broadcast programs around the world, including BBC Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, and the podcast Pod Save America.