LI The News Fix

The News Fix:
Addressing Our Media Problem
Wednesday, Feb 17, 2020
6:00-7:30pm ET

The U.S. media has come under intense scrutiny. News outlets are combatting accusations of bias and sensationalism, of fake news and cyberattacks. News organizations receive only a fraction of the benefits of investigative journalism that citizens receive but shoulder the entire cost. Does the media business model allow for objective journalism? How can we change it?

TBGA CEO, Christine Alemany, is moderating this dynamic discussion on addressing the challenges of the for-profit journalism system. She will be in conversation with journalist Ariana Pekary, Gita V. Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and the school’s inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and James T. Hamilton, Hearst Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Journalism Program at Stanford, to address the issue and solutions of our current news situation.

This roundtable is organized by Columbia Business School Women’s Circle and is open to Columbia University alumnae.

More about the panelists

Ariana Pekary
Ariana Pekary is an award-winning producer with 18 years of experience in public radio and primetime news. Using her unique perspective, Ariana highlights stories often found beneath the fold that help explain those above the fold. Her productions include features on homeless children, rape in prison, and fallen members of the military. She also produced series on mothers in prison, education reform, and the stigma associated with “liberalism.” As a producer at MSNBC, she oversaw an Emmy-nominated episode on public housing in addition to helping plan a live, daily program. Currently, Ariana is working to rethink financial incentives in broadcast news while serving as the public editor for Columbia Journalism Review.
Dr. James T. Hamilton
James T. Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Journalism Program at Stanford. His books on media markets include All the News That’s Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News, and Channeling Violence: The Economic Market for Violent Television Programming. His most recent book, Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism, focuses on the market for investigative reporting. Through research in the field of computational journalism, he is exploring how the costs of story discovery can be lowered through better use of data and algorithms. Hamilton is co-founder of the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, affiliated faculty at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, and member of the JSK Journalism Fellowships Board of Visitors.
Dr. Gita V. Johar
Gita V. Johar is the Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and the school’s inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She received her PhD from the NYU Stern School of Business in 1993 and her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC) in 1985. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIMC in 2019. Gita has been on the faculty at Columbia Business School since 1992 and has served the school, the university, and the marketing profession in many leadership roles. Gita studies consumer identity, beliefs, and persuasion as they relate to branding, advertising, and media. Her work has been published in top marketing and psychology journals as well as in PNAS and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Gita’s current research studies why people believe and share fake news and how to develop interventions based on this understanding to help clean up the media ecosystem. Click here for Professor Johar’s complete bio.
Christine Alemany
Moderator, Christine Alemany ’04, is an engineer by training and a marketer at heart. She balances art and science to make an impact for organizations — from reinvigorating brands to generating demand and creating new revenue streams. Over the years, her teams have consistently met or surpassed revenue and profitability goals at startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. Christine is a Columbia Business School alum and serves on its board for the Women’s Circle. Currently, she is writing a book on to help people identify “spin” in the world while serving as the CEO of TBGA, a marketing and branding firm.