Voices about the Lab

During the workshop in May 2017 where ideas for our Media Policy Lab matured, we conducted interviews with our participating experts about the Lab’s intention and key issues:

Prof. Dr. Natali Helberger works at the University of Amsterdam as a professor for Information Law. She is known for her knowledge on European law as well as for her empirical studies on diversity and media pluralism. She sees the need for the lab in bringing together regulators and experts, in taking concrete measures and in providing scientific knowledge to make society aware of risks and chances of digital media pluralism:


Prof. Dr. Frank Pasquale is a lawyer and professor at the University of Maryland in the US, and author of the book The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information. In his view, developing a broad understanding of information intermediaries, taking concrete measures to guarantee public transparency and passing on knowledge to political decision-makers as a basis for regulatory measures are the key tasks of the Media Policy Lab:


Dr. Julia Powles is a scientist at the University of Cambridge and works as a journalist at the Guardian. One of her research topics is the use of algorithms of Google DeepMind in the field of health care. In her view, redefining media pluralism in the digital age and getting better access to data from intermediaries are the most important tasks of the Media Policy Lab:


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz is the director of the Hans-Bredow-Institute as well as the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). Moreover, he works as a professor for media law at the University of Hamburg. In his opinion, the Media Policy Lab offers a great opportunity for experts from different disciplines to connect and to analyse together how intermediaries work and which impact their actions have on society:


Dr. Damian Tambini from the London School of Economics and Political Science is a well-known expert on European media policy. To safeguard media pluralism, he considers unrestricted and comprehensive access to information for everyone to be essential. In his interview, Tambini mentions the control exerted by intermediaries which might have negative effects on the pluralism of information and opinion on the Internet:


According to Dr. Ben Wagner, assistant professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business as well as senior researcher at the Centre of Internet & Human Rights (CIHR), intermediaries such as Facebook will gain more and more power without regulatory intervention. In his interview, he talks about the tasks which need to be approached by the Media Policy Lab as a consequence:


Prof. Dr. Katharina Zweig is said to be one of the leading experts on algorithms and automated decision-making systems. Furthermore, she is a co-founder of the NGO AlgorithmWatch which advocates for increased transparency concerning Algorithmic decision-making processes. In her interview, she points out the fact that digitisation can not only support the information system of a democracy, but also have an impact on it:

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