Last updated: Feb 26, 2018.
Charles Berret 1
New York, NY 10027
|2011—||Columbia University, New York, US.
Ph.D. Candidate in Communications (Defense: May 2018).
Dissertation: “The Cultural Logic of Cryptography.”
Advisor: Dr. Michael Schudson.
|2009-2010||Northwestern University, Evanston, US.
M.S. in Journalism.
Coursework focus in Magazine Editing, Digital Media, Arts Criticism, and Graphic Design.
|2003-2007||University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US.
B.A. in Philosophy.
High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa Society.
|2017||“Walter Benjamin and the Question of Print in Media History.” Journal of Communication Inquiry (41:4). (Peer-Reviewed Article.) .|
|2016||Guide to SecureDrop: An Emerging Platform for Secure and Anonymous Communication in Newsrooms. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism. (Commissioned Report.) .|
|2016||Teaching Data and Computational Journalism. (co-written with Cheryl Phillips.) New York: Columbia Journalism School and the Knight Foundation. (Commissioned Report.) .|
|2014||“A Brief Introduction to Impact — The Meme Font.” (co-written with Kate Brideau) Journal of Visual Culture (13:3). (Peer-Reviewed Article.) .|
|2014||“Sensors and Sensibilia: A Historical Survey.” in Sensor Journalism, edited by Fergus Pitt. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism. (Commissioned Article.) .|
|2017||“Collecting Randomness for the Vernam System: The Cryptographic Use of Noise at Bell Labs.” Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).|
|2016||“Teaching Data and Computational Journalism: Lessons from a Nationwide Study of Journalism Education.” (with Cheryl Phillips) Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).|
|2016||“On the Bubble: An Internet Scale Investigation into Location-Based Algorithmic Filtering of Political Content.” (with Rebecca Weiss) International Communication Association (ICA).|
|2015||“Understanding SecureDrop: Information Security and Emerging Journalistic Platforms.” Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).|
|2013||“The Quantitative Turn in the History of Technology.” (with Kevin Gotkin) Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).|
|2012||“The Techniques and Aesthetics of Phototypesetting.” Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).|
Invited Talks, Panels, and Guest Lectures
|2017||“Whistleblowing in the Digital Newsroom: How Wikileaks and Edward Snowden Prepared Journalists for the Age of Trump.”
— Public lecture to begin my term as writer-in-residence in the English department of Yeshiva University.
|2017||“Scraping Text and Analyzing Social Media.”
— Two guest lectures (with Alexandre Goncalves) in the core class for investigative journalism students at Columbia.
|2016||“Data, Computation, and Journalism: Skills to Innovate in a Changing Media Landscape.”
— Colloquium talk at the Hariri Institute for Computational Science & Engineering, Boston University.
|2016||“Understanding SecureDrop: An Emerging Tool for Secure Digital Whistleblowing.”
— Report launch at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia.
|2014||“Mesh Nets, Journalism, and the Umbrella Protest in Hong Kong.”
— Part of the “Journalism After Snowden” series at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia.
|2012||“Media Analysis and Social Pedagogy.”
— Keynote panel (with Madiha Tahir, Jonah Bossewitch, and Travis Mushett) at the Technology and Education Symposium, American University in Cairo.
Journalism and Book Reviews
|2017||“Newsrooms are Making Leaking Easier — and More Secure Than Ever.”
Columbia Journalism Review. March 1, 2017.
|2016||“A Crucial Skill That Most J-Schools Aren’t Teaching.” (with Cheryl Phillips)
Columbia Journalism Review. April 1, 2016.
|2010||“Gerhard Richter: A Life in Painting.”
Reviewed in TriQuarterly.
|2010||“How to Wreck a Nice Beach: Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop.”
Reviewed in TriQuarterly. .
|2010||“No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage’s 4.33.”
Reviewed in TriQuarterly.
|2010||“All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics in a Secular Age.”
Reviewed in The Literary Review (54:3).
|2010||“J.M Coetzee and Ethics.”
Reviewed in The Literary Review (54:1).
|2015||Research Grant ($30,000) — Tow Center for Digital Journalism
— Project: One-year study of how journalists had begun to use encrypted communication tools for newsgathering, with particular emphasis on the whistleblowing platform SecureDrop. Research methods combined in-depth interviews with original data scraped from the web.
|2014||Magic Grant ($120,000) — Brown Institute for Media Innovation.
— Project: SearchLight, a tool to help investigative journalists report on algorithmic bias in search engines. Initially written in Ruby, then ported to Python. Available as free/open-source software.
Fellowships, Scholarships, and Awards
|2018||Writer-in-Residence, Yeshiva University, English Department.|
|2016-2018||Fellow, Brown Institute for Media Innovation.|
|2015-2016||Research Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism.|
|2011-2014||Doctoral Fellow, Columbia University.|
|2007||Phi Beta Kappa, University of Michigan.|
|2004-2007||James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan.|
|2018||“Topics in Journalism: The Digital Newsroom”
— Yeshiva College, Department of English.
Workshops and Instructional Sessions
|2017||“Scraping Data From the Web: Free Resources For Storytellers.”
— Workshop for “Storytelling with Data” at Boston University.
|2016||“Brown Institute Base Camp.”
— Workshop to help interdisciplinary teams of journalists from Columbia and engineers from Stanford develop ideas for media innovation projects.
|2016||“Teaching Algorithmic Transparency.”
— AEJMC preconference workshop.
|2016||“Sensors for Journalism.”
— Assisted Mark Hansen and Tom Igoe (one of the inventors of the Arduino platform) with two workshops at Columbia Journalism School on physical computing as a reporting method.
|2014||“Encryption for Journalists.”
— Guest lecture with Kate Fink at Pace University.
|2014||“Journalistic Algorithms.” Columbia University.
Instructors: Dr. Chris Wiggins and Jonathan Soma.
|2014||“Foundations of Computing.” Columbia University.
Instructors: Dr. Dennis Tenen and Jonathan Soma.
|2014||“Journalistic Computation.” Columbia University.
Instructor: Dr. Mark Hansen.
|2013||“History of Journalism.” Columbia University.
Instructors: Dr. Andie Tucher and Dr. Richard R. John.
|2013||“Journalism and the Law.” Columbia University.
Instructor: John Zucker.
|2012||“Business of Journalism.” Columbia University.
Instructors: Dr. Adam Klein and Martin Nisenholtz.
|2014||Dr. Michael Schudson (Columbia Journalism).
— Assisted with archival research for the book The Rise of the Right to Know, a history of the transparency ideal in the United States.
|2013||Dr. Matthew L. Jones (Columbia History).
— Assisted with research on the origin of the methodological assumptions underlying data science and the concurrent rise of mass surveillance in the United States.
|2012||C.W. Anderson (CUNY), Emily Bell (Columbia), and Clay Shirky (NYU).
— Coordinated research and assisted with interviews for Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present, a study by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
|2017||Schoolwide Self-Study — Columbia Journalism School.
— I was the primary author of a 130-page report assessing the state of the Journalism School for an official report to the Provost of Columbia University.
|2017||Conference Planner — “Sneakercon” at the Brown Institute.
— I was one of the principle organizers of the first Sneakercon, a forum to reexamine offline networks (also known as “sneakernets”) that serve as local, decentralized alternatives to the internet.
|2015-2016||Curriculum Development — M.S. degree in Data Journalism, Columbia.
— I wrote the curriculum, syllabi, and the official proposal for a new, graduate-level program focused on finding and telling stories using data, computation, and emerging technologies.
|2014||System Administrator — Lede Program, Columbia.
— Using AWS and SaltStack, I provisioned and maintained twenty virtual servers, one for each student in the “Lede,” a postbaccalaureate program in data science and computational reporting methods.
|2012-2013||Colloquium Coordinator — Columbia Communications Program.
— Arranged visits from nineteen speakers over the course of three semesters covering a range of topics in the historical, sociological, and critical study of media, journalism, and communications.
- Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).
- Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
- International Communication Association (ICA).
|Markup||HTML, CSS, XML, Markdown, Pandoc, LaTeX.|
|Dev||Git, Docker, Vagrant.|
|SysAdmin||GNU/Linux/Unix OS, Apache, Nginx, SSL, Ansible, SaltStack.|
|Database||SQL, Postgres, Mongo.|
|CMS||WordPress, Omeka, Jekyll.|
|Hardware||Physical computing, sensors, basic electrical prototyping, modular synthesis.|
Journalism, Writing, and Editing Experience
|2017–||Contributing Writer, Google Fonts and Google Design, New York, US.|
|2016–||Contributing Writer, Columbia Journalism Review, New York, US.|
|2010-2011||Book Review Editor, TriQuarterly literary journal, Chicago, US.|
|2007-2008||Assistant Editor, Egypt Today magazine, Cairo, Egypt.|
- English (Native)
- German (Advanced Written, Basic Spoken)
- French (Basic Written)
- Arabic (Basic Spoken)
Available on request.
- Last Updated: February 26, 2018.↩