The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School has received a $5 million gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support the Technology and Social Change Research Project. With this gift, the Shorenstein Center is advancing its work as a leading center for research and education on media manipulation, disinformation, and the public interest internet.

The gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies will support new researchers, fellows, and multi-stakeholder initiatives for the Technology and Social Change Research Project. The TaSC project team analyzes media manipulation and its potential to control public conversation, derail democracy, and disrupt society.

Nancy Gibbs, Shorenstein Center Director and Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, said, “Our information ecosystem has become an immense environmental challenge, and the health of our democracy depends on developing wise, sustainable solutions. With the support of the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, researchers at the Kennedy School are helping to drive approaches that serve the public good, securing the benefits of technology while mitigating the harms.”

The TaSC project is led by Joan Donovan, the research director for the Shorenstein Center and adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School. Project scholars and experts conduct research, develop methods, and facilitate workshops for journalists, policy makers, technologists, and civil society organizations on how to detect, document, and debunk media manipulation campaigns.

Additionally, this funding is helping to launch a joint initiative between the Shorenstein Center and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, The Democracy and Internet Governance Initiative (DIGI), to address the growing public concerns about digital platforms.

Craig Newmark said, “Our support is part of a broader effort from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to defend the USA from those who wish us harm, by bringing together those supporting election integrity, journalism, veterans, and public health. Together, they exemplify the best form of patriotism in the era of information warfare.”

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is a research center based at Harvard Kennedy School, dedicated to exploring and illuminating the intersection of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice. The Center strives to bridge the gap between journalists and scholars, and between them and the public. It advances its mission of protecting the information ecosystem and supporting healthy democracy by addressing the twin crises of trust and truth that face communities around the world. It pursues this work through academic research, teaching, a program of visiting fellows, conferences, and other initiatives. For more information, visit


Media Contact
Liz Schwartz
Shorenstein Center Director of Communications