Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy

Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy

The Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy is McGill’s focal point on critical research and public debate about the role of media and emerging technologies in shaping democracy and public life, pioneering research and policy activism on the interplay between media and technology and its relationship to public life and democracy.

Directed by Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, Associate Professor at the Max Bell School, and a leading voice in technology governance in Canada, the Centre is committed to public-facing work through a range of events, podcasts and workshops aimed at translating cutting-edge research for broad public audiences and policy makers.

To learn more about the Centre and its research initiatives, please visit its website, follow it on Twitter, and watch this short introductory video:

More about the Centre

The Centre intends to create critical research that informs the public debate and policymakers about the changing relationship between media and democracy, so that we as a society can create policies aimed at maximizing the benefits and minimizing the systemic harms embedded in the design and use of emerging technologies.

The Centre’s research is focused on three core research streams: technology governance, information ecosystems, and media and journalism.

The Centre’s projects include:

  • The Media Ecosystem Observatory, which combines large scale media monitoring with survey research to study the behavioural impact of mis and disinformation.
  • Tech-Informed Policy—a collaboration with Derek Ruths from McGill’s Computer Science department—develops policy briefs aimed at demystifying new technology for policymakers.
  • The Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression is a four-year collaboration with the Public Policy Forum. This year the commission is chaired by former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, and is exploring digital hate speech policy in Canada.
  • A broad range of work on international platform governance in collaboration with the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), including a network of international civil servants, scholars and legislators working together to develop comprehensive platform governance policies.
  • Collaboration on podcasts including Big Tech, and a new series on parenting and technology.
  • Projects on facial recognition policy, children and technology, surveillance tech, journalism policy, and platform support for media.

The list of international renowned group of expert advisors and public policy leaders to help guide the work of the center includes: Mike Ananny, Emily Bell, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Ignacio Cofone, Gabriella Coleman, Carly Kind, Dawn Nakagawa, Mutale Nkonde, Maria Ressa, Derek Ruths, Anya Schiffrin, Ben Scott, Craig Silverman, and Jonathan Sterne.

Person holding smartphone

Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy

Visit the Centre's website to find out more about their research and events.

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