James Foley, Krishna Bharat, Angel Cabrera, Charles Isbell

Search Opens to Fill Endowed Computational Journalism Chair

The search for the inaugural Krishna A. Bharat Chair in Computational Journalism at the Georgia Institute of Technology has been launched by the Georgia Tech College of Computing.

This new, endowed chair is part of a larger commitment in the college to computing and the public interest. Computing has already transformed how news is reported and delivered but, computing programs have not typically considered the impacts of their work on the news industry, much less the public sphere.

“We aren’t looking to ‘solve’ or ‘fix’ journalism with computers, an approach that has probably caused more harm than good,” said Ian Bogost, the chair of the search committee. “Instead, we are looking to fuse the journalistic ethos of service with the undeniable power and influence of computational methods.”

Bogost is the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair of Media Studies and a professor of Interactive Computing.

Krishna A. Bharat (MS CS 93, Ph.D. 96), who endowed the chair along with his wife, Kavitha Thirumalai, is a Distinguished Research Scientist at Google and the creator of Google News. In a Q&A conducted at the time of the endowment, Bharat spoke of the need for leadership in this area.

“While technology holds a lot of promise, it can also create challenges for publishers and society, ranging from information overload and filter bubbles to disinformation and manipulation by outside actors. Publishers face business model challenges in a crowded and continuously evolving ecosystem. There is both a need to study these phenomena and craft solutions that will in part depend on computing,” said Bharat.

The eventual new hire will join a college that has a myriad of existing commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion in computing, not to mention the diverse communities of Atlanta and Georgia.

“We have seen repeatedly in computing that we must build in mechanisms for responsibility at every step of our processes and plans. That includes finding the people and technologies to allow our media to reach and reflect everyone in society,” said Charles Isbell, dean and John P. Imlay, Jr. Chair of Computing.

Applications for the Krishna A. Bharat Chair in Computational Journalism are due March 31.