Mar 20. Magic Grant and Fellowships deadline - TODAY!

The clock is ticking! Magic Grant and Fellowship proposals are due TODAY, March 23 by midnight PDT. Please submit your materials at And good luck!

Mar 13. CSPA 2014


Brown will be presenting at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association meeting 2:30-3:15 Thursday March 20 and 9:45-10:30 Friday March 21. CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs. Brown will show examples of student work and make a pitch for our upcoming "data journalism office hours" for high school students. Join us!

Mar 12. CityBeat demo!

CityBeat, a social media mining news project, will be featured at the Hacks/Hackers NYC Demo Day on Monday, March 17. Raz Schwartz of Cornell Tech and Alyssa Katz of The New York World will share their project-in-progress with New York City's community of news developers and innovators. Participants get 5 minutes to present a news-oriented project, and 5 minutes to answer questions from the audience. It's a wild evening, and we hope you'll join Alyssa and Raz and the rest of Hacks/Hackers NYC! CityBeat is funded with the help of a Brown Institute for Media Innovation Magic Grant and a grant from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

Mar 12. Videos up!

The videos from March 1's "bit by bit" are now up on the site. In addition you'll find documentation and links to some of the projects. Enjoy! 

Mar 11. Left brain, right brain


Ellen Weinstein and the New York Public Library Labs recall their process for "bit by bit" in this lovely blog post. Here's a taste:

Although I use paper and pixels in my own work, I am very much a front-end user. I consider it a victory every time I login to a website and remember my password. Like watching a flawless dance performance, the movement of code appears effortless until one attempts it on their own. I have come to appreciate the choreography and orchestration that happens on the other side of the screen.
The experience has made me curious and excited about new platforms for storytelling and the possibilities for image making beyond the printed page.The highlight was the actual collaboration with the wonderful team of NYPL Labs. Although it was unnerving at times to let go of total control over what my work would look like in the final product, by doing so we were able to make something together that we couldn’t have done on our own.

Read the full entry here. Thank you to Ellen and all the participants for an amazing three days!

Mar 11. NICAR 2014


Networks, science, and shoe-leather reportingThe Brown Institute sent six students from Columbia's Journalism School to this year's edition of NICAR, an annual conference in computer-assisted reporting. This year's conference was the biggest to date, with over 1,000 attendees. Read their individual reflections on anything from mapping and analyzing a network to retrieving that precious data or how conventional reporting enhances data work below.

Mar 08. CJR article on "bit by bit"

From the Columbia Journalism Review (read the full article.)

On Friday, Ellen Weinstein, an award-winning illustrator based in New York, found herself in unusual company. She was in one of the reading rooms at the New York Public Library, working with the members of NYPL Labs, who are trying to “re-imagine the library for the digital age.”

Six other similarly incongruous pairs were at work throughout the city, from Dumbo to Morningside Heights. Like Weinstein and NYPL Labs, whose members include multimedia artists, designers, and developers, each group was tasked with crafting a “story” in the broadest sense of the term.

They were all part of "bit by bit," a weeklong project in digital storytelling hosted by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and the Columbia Journalism School... 

Mar 06. Queer Internet Studies Workshop

Jessa Lingel of the Bushwig Magic Grant Team is organizing a Workshop on Queer Internet Studies. She writes "Thanks to the awesome support of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and Just Publics 365, I’m working with Jack Gieseking to organize a one-day series of conversations, presentations and art-making. As we gear up for April 4, we thought we’d spell out our main objectives for the QIS workshop." Learn more about this event!

Mar 02. Documenting a day, bit by bit


A couple images from this weekend's "bit by bit". We weren't quite prepared for what would happen. I suppose in retrospect, given the amazingly talented professionals we'd managed to recruit, we should have expected something magical. The afternoon was pure joy. Collaboration is not always easy, not always smooth. But each team told their story in an open, genuine, touching way. We will post 7 videos from the event in the next week. Thank you to everyone who participated! We are humbled by your talent and professionalism. 


(Photos by @jamechristie and @nypl_labs.)

Feb 26. A hard hat dinner


Last night, the Institute hosted a Hard Hat Dinner. We invited 14 artists, architects, journalists, entrepreneurs, and friends for a special event to celebrate the construction of our new space. The evening started with a tour of the Brown construction site which, as you can see, is taking shape! Then, becauase OSHA takes a very dim view of "civilians" spending a lot of time in and around ladders, open shaftways, and powertools, we moved upstairs to dine between two large projections of the space captured the day before -- Slowly moving videos panned around our space  downstairs as the construction crew worked. This was the backdrop for an evening of great food and great conversation. We'll hold two more of these to capture the progress of the construction as we get closer to our June opening date. Thank you to everyone who came... It was a lot of fun! Oh and a special thanks to Magic Grant recipients CityBeat for showing off their work before dessert! 

Hansen_brown-2-500-90x3x823x457 Hansen_brown-23-500-6x57x985x547 Hansen_brown-32-500-1x1x917x509 20140227_081038-500-273x125x1714x952

Established in 2012, the Institute is a collaboration between Columbia and Stanford Universities. Our mission is simple: Sponsor thinking, building and speculating on how stories are discovered and told in a networked, digitized world.
Join our mail list.



Brown News