School of Communications student journalists provide exclusive coverage of U.S. telecommunications policy event

A team of 20 School of Communications students prepared and led by four faculty and staff is providing the only full-day journalistic coverage of the multi-event Internet Governance Forum-USA at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Among the topics discussed was the July 24 announcement of a $5 billion fine levied by the FTC on Facebook due to its lax privacy policies.

This documentary work is being conducted by Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, which explores and provides insights into emerging innovations, global development, diffusion and governance of networked communications.

Reporting by the student team from Elon is being published throughout the day on July 25 on Twitter, Flickr and the Imagining the Internet website. It will become part of the ongoing documentation of the evolution of communications by Imagining the Internet. The content produced also helps inform the IGF-USA’s annual report to the UN-facilitated Global Internet Governance Forum. Find the team's coverage online via these sources:

The day of high-level discussions tied to the future of U.S. communications policy and the Internet’s social, political and economic impact featured keynotes by Ambassador Robert L. Strayer, leader of the U.S. Department of State sector on cyber communications and information policy, Diane Rinaldo of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Federal Trade Commission leader Christine S. Wilson.

Among the primary topics of conversation were the evolution of national digital-privacy frameworks, the growing power of technology platforms and potential for antitrust action, the “techlash” and advances toward 5G connectivity.

The reporting team was led by Colin Donohue, director of student media, and Bryan Baker, director of multimedia projects, assisted by Janna Anderson, professor, and Alex Luchsinger, assistant professor of communications.

Students on the multimedia journalism team included Maeve Ashbrook, Elisabeth Bachmann, Paloma Camacho, Samantha Casamento, Abby Gibbs, Jack Haley, Hannah Massen, Grace Morris, Jack Norcross, Maria Ramirez, Brian Rea, Alexandra Roat, Baylor Rodman, Zach Skillings, Ted Thomas, Victoria Traxler, Julia Walter, Courtney Weiner, Mackenzie Wilkes and Cameron Wolfslayer.

IGF-USA is an annual gathering of members of civil society, business, government, academia and the technology sector who meet to discuss key issues, share concerns and best practices and cultivate constructive relationships that can lead to a better future. Discussions there are carried over to the Global Internet Governance Forum, where people come together to share hopes and concerns and work toward global Internet connectivity.

This is the seventh IGF-USA event at which Elon has led documentary coverage. Over the years, nearly 150 Elon undergraduates have participated in conducting this historic documentation of these vital policy events that no professional journalism organizations cover.