Skip to content →

Curriculum Vitae

Last updated: June 19, 2016.

PDF Download.

Charles Berret

Pulitzer Hall
2950 Broadway
New York, NY 10027


2011— Columbia University, New York, US.
Ph.D. candidate in Communications (anticipated: September 2017).
Dissertation: “Conceptual Origins of Digital Cryptography.”
Advisor: Dr. Michael Schudson.
2009-10 Northwestern University, Evanston, US.
M.S. in Journalism.
2003-07 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US.
B.A. in Philosophy.
High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa.


2017 “Walter Benjamin and the Question of Print in Media History.” Forthcoming in the Journal of Communication Inquiry. (Refereed Journal Article.) Link.
2016 Guide to SecureDrop: An Emerging Platform for Secure and Anonymous Communication in Newsrooms. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism. (Commissioned Research.) Link.
2016 Teaching Data and Computational Journalism. (co-written with Cheryl Phillips.) New York: Columbia Journalism School and the Knight Foundation. (Commissioned Research.) Link.
2014 “A Brief Introduction to Impact — The Meme Font.” (co-written with Kate Brideau) Journal of Visual Culture (13:3) December 2014. (Refereed Journal Article.) Link.
2014 “Sensors and Sensibilia: A Historical Survey.” in Sensor Journalism, edited by Fergus Pitt. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism. (Commissioned Research.) Link.

Conference Papers

2017 “Collecting Randomness for the Vernam System: The Cryptographic Use of Noise at Bell Labs, 1917-1945.” 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 and Panels

2016 “Data, Computation, and Journalism: Skills to Innovate in a Changing Media Landscape.” Colloquium lecture at the Hariri Institute for Computational Science & Engineering, Boston University.
2016 “Understanding SecureDrop.” Held at the Tow Center launch of the Guide to Securedrop report.
2014 “Mesh Nets, Journalism, and Hong Kong.” Part of the “Journalism After Snowden” event series at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
2012 “#Celebrity #Violence #Resistance: Media Analysis and Social Pedagogy.” Keynote panel (with Madiha Tahir, Jonah Bossewitch, and Travis Mushett) at the American University in Cairo symposium on Technology and Education.

Journalism and Book Reviews

2017 “Newsrooms are Making Leaking Easier—and More Secure Than Ever.” Columbia Journalism Review. March 1, 2017. Link
2016 “A crucial skill that most J-schools aren’t teaching.” Columbia Journalism Review. April 1, 2016. Link
2010 “Gerhard Richter: A Life in Painting.” by Dietmar Elger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Reviewed in TriQuarterly. Link
2010 “How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip Hop.” by Dave Tompkins. New York: Melville House. Reviewed in TriQuarterly. Link.
2010 “No Such Thing as Silence: John Cage’s 4.33.” by Kyle Gann. New Haven: Yale University Press. Reviewed in TriQuarterly. Link
2010 “All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics To Find Meaning in a Secular Age.” By Sean Kelly and Hubert Dreyfus. New York: Simon & Schuster. Reviewed in The Literary Review (Vol.54 Issue 3).
2010 “J.M Coetzee and Ethics.” edited by Anton Leister and Peter Singer. New York: Columbia University Press. Reviewed in The Literary Review (Vol.54 Issue 1).


2016 “Brown Institute Base Camp.” Workshop to help interdisciplinary teams of journalists and engineers develop media innovation projects.
2016 “Teaching Algorithmic Transparency.” AEJMC preconference workshop.
2016 “Sensors for Journalism.” Workshop on physical computing as a reporting method at Columbia Journalism School.
2014 “Encryption for Journalists.” Workshop on digital security for journalism students. Hosted at Pace University.

Research Grants

2014 Magic Grant ($120,000) from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation.
— Project: SearchLight, a tool for investigative journalists to report on algorithmic discrimination.

Fellowships and Honors

2016-18 Fellowship, Brown Institute for Media Innovation.
2015 Research Fellowship, Tow Center for Digital Journalism.
2011-14 Doctoral Fellowship, Columbia University.
2007 Phi Beta Kappa, University of Michigan.
2004-07 James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan.

Teaching Assistance

2014 Journalistic Algorithms. Dr. Chris Wiggins and Jonathan Soma.
2014 Foundations of Computing. Dr. Dennis Tenen and Jonathan Soma.
2014 Journalistic Computation. Dr. Mark Hansen.
2013 History of Journalism. Dr. Richard R. John and Dr. Andie Tucher.
2013 Journalism and the Law. John Zucker.
2012 Business of Journalism. Martin Nisenholtz and Adam Klein.

Research Assistance

2014 Dr. Michael Schudson.
— Assisted with archival research for the book The Rise of the Right to Know, a history of the ideal of transparency in the US.
2013 Dr. Matthew L. Jones.
— Assisted with a project studying the rise of mass surveillance and the field of data science.
2012 Emily Bell, Dr. Chris Anderson, and Clay Shirky.
— Assisted with interviews for the report Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present.

Academic Service

2015-6 Curriculum Development, M.S. program in Computational Journalism, Columbia.
I planned the curriculum, designed the syllabi, and wrote the official proposal for a new, graduate-level program in emerging journalistic skills centered on computer programming.
2014 System Administrator, Lede Program, Columbia.
Using AWS and SaltStack, I provisioned and maintained twenty virtual servers, one for each student in The Lede, an introductory postbaccalaureate program teaching data science and computational reporting methods.
2012-3 Coordinator, Columbia Communications Colloquium.
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 and journalism.

Technical Skills

Code Python, Bash/Zsh, R, Ruby, JavaScript. Working knowledge of Java, Processing, C, C++ and creative libraries like D3, Cinder, and OpenFrameworks.
Markup HTML, CSS, XML, Markdown, Pandoc, LaTeX.
Dev Git, Docker, Vagrant.
SysAdmin GNU/Linux, Mac/BSD Unix, LAMP stacks, Nginx, Ansible, SaltStack, Chef.
Database SQL, Postgres, MongoDB.
CMS WordPress, Omeka, Jekyll.
Hardware Arduino, physical computing and sensors, electrical prototyping, modular synthesizers.

Editing Experience

2010-11 Book Review Editor, TriQuarterly, Chicago, US.
2007-08 Assistant Editor, Egypt Today, Cairo, Egypt.


  • English (Native)
  • German (Advanced Written, Basic Spoken)


Available on request.