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Pulitzer Center Update May 12, 2020

Jon Sawyer on the Future of Communications in the COVID-19 Era

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Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer (bottom left) talks at CommPro's event "The Future of Communications." Image by Ethan Ehrenhaft. United States, 2020.
Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer (bottom left) talks at CommPro's event 'The Future of Communications.' Image by Ethan Ehrenhaft. United States, 2020.

On Wednesday, May 5, Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer appeared as a panelist on a webinar hosted by digital publisher CommPro entitled "The Future of Communications: Discovering the Angels in Our Machines." Panelists discussed the need to maintain our humanity and authentic storytelling amidst the expansion of technology and paid media, a challenge exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel was moderated by Larry Weber, CEO & Chairman, Racepoint Global, and included entrepreneur and international telecoms expert Candace Johnson; Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder, MIT Media Lab; and David Rose, Inc. 500 CEO, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and author.

Sawyer commented on the Pulitzer Center-supported 1619 Project's recent Pulitzer Prize win, and discussed how the Pulitzer Center adapted to the changing world of COVID-19. He also highlighted the innovative reporting opportunities seized by the Pulitzer Center over the past several weeks, including new projects with Science magazine and the Associated Press. Equally as important was Pulitzer Center's funding of local newsrooms to cover the ongoing pandemic.

"It's going to generate a lot of really good reporting, and it takes the stories back to the local communities where journalism is in the process of dying. What we're doing with our networks of news outlets and educational institutions is to try to rebuild from the ground up the credibility and the relationship with media that we used to have and used to take for granted. In my mind, that is the biggest task at hand for us," Sawyer said at the event.

Click here to watch the webinar. Registration is required.


navy halftone illustration of a covid virus