Breakout Session | 12:45 p.m.

Trending now: Scenarios from the future of Fake News


The future of the internet will be in large part determined by how the world responds to the controversies over misinformation, computational propaganda, and the scourge of “fake news”. “Misinformation” has economic, social, political, and cultural dimensions not to mention its impact on journalism and the news media,the 4th pillar of democracy. This session explores three different scenarios for the future five years out that could emerge from decisions being made today about how we combat so-called fake news, who decides what constitutes fake news, and the policy, technical and economic implications. In the Dystopia for Democracy scenario the future is bleak as critical democratic institutions are undermined by a lack of trust, people are radicalized through information bubbles, and journalism is unable to compete with “fake news” and therefore there is no 4th pillar of democracy or independent oversight of public officials. In the Paternalistic Platforms scenario the future of the internet is decided by platforms who no longer have Section 230 protection and are seeking not to run afoul of codes of conduct and their own terms of service as they cater to the largest audience possible, making dissent impossible as radical views are censored and forced into the Dark Web. In the Radical Transparency scenario the platforms continue to enjoy protection from intermediary liability by opening up their algorithms, data, moderation decisions, and advertising information to public scrutiny and oversight, enabling journalism to flourish by reengineering the economic incentives and social signals that led to the prevalence of “fake news”.


Courtney Radsch

Advocacy Director at the Committee to Protect Journalists

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Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists. She serves as chief spokesperson on global press freedom issues for the organization and oversees CPJ's engagement with the United Nations, the Internet Governance Forum, and other multilateral institutions as well as CPJ's campaigns on behalf of journalists killed and imprisoned for their work. As a veteran journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate, she frequently writes and speaks about the intersection of media, technology, and human rights. Her book Cyberactivism and Citizen Journalism in Egypt: Digital Dissidence and Political Change was published in 2016. Prior to joining CPJ, Radsch worked for UNESCO, edited the flagship publication "World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development," and managed the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House. She has worked as a journalist in the United States and Middle East with Al-Arabiya, the Daily Star, and The New York Times. Radsch holds a PhD in international relations from American University. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.


Danielle Coffey

Vice President, Public Policy, News Media Alliance

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Danielle Coffey is Vice President of Public Policy for the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 news media outlets worldwide. Danielle focuses on digital policy issues and strategic initiatives for the organization, building better partnerships with tech platforms and urging for a more favorable regulatory environment for the digital distribution of news content. Before joining the News Media Alliance, Danielle was Vice President and General Counsel for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) where she led advocacy efforts for member companies on issues that affected the internet ecosystem, content regulation and international trade. She was responsible for informing and educating government representatives about member companies' technologies, and advocated for policies that facilitate innovation. While earning her JD at the Catholic University Law School, she interned at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the office of Chairman Michael Powell and at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Angie Drobnic Holan


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Angie Drobnic Holan is the editor of PolitiFact. She previously was deputy editor, and before that a reporter for PolitiFact, helping launch the site in 2007. She was a member of the PolitiFact team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 election. She previously worked at newspapers in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and New Mexico.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s of library science from the University of South Florida. Her undergraduate degree is from the Plan II liberal arts program at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a native of Louisiana and attended the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.

Jeff Jarvis

CUNY and the News Integrity Initiative

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Jeff Jarvis is the Leonard Tow Professor of Journalistic Innovation and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where he also started the News Integrity Initiative. He is the author of "Geeks Bearing Gifts," "Public Parts," "What Would Google Do?," and "Gutenberg the Geek” and is cohost of the podcast “This Week in Google.” Previously, he was president and creative director of, the online arm of Advance Publications; creator and founding editor of Entertainment Weekly; TV critic of TV Guide and People magazines; Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News; a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner; and an editor for the Chicago Tribune.

Jessica Leinwand

Public Policy, Strategic Response Team at Facebook

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Jessica Leinwand is a Public Policy Manager at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Jessica was a counsel at the law firm of Wilmerhale LLP where she focused on government and regulatory litigation and investigations. She previously served as Deputy Associate Counsel in the White House and a trial attorney for the Department of Justice in the Obama Administration.

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