Student journalists cover IGF 2019 in Berlin

The students and faculty from Elon's Imagining the Internet Center interviewed attendees at the 14th annual Internet Governance Forum.

Elon students conduct an interview at IGF 2019A team of 10 Elon students and faculty from Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center interviewed people from around the world at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum, held Nov. 25-29 in Berlin, Germany. The students talked with more than 100 experts and world leaders from more than 50 nation-states at the 14th annual event.

The Internet Governance Forum was established as a platform of the United Nations for discussing issues related to the development of the internet. People from civil society, government, technology, business and academia share information and create coalitions in an effort to move dialogues forward and share best practices. IGF contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Elon students recorded video interviews, asking attendees five questions about their thoughts on global internet platforms, the best ways to combat harmful content and ways to increase cooperation in the digital age. The interviews are posted on the Imagining the Internet Center website:

Members of the Elon team led by Assistant Professor Alex Luchsinger were: Maggie Brown, Paloma Camacho, Oliver Fischer, Jack Haley, Jared Mayerson, Maria Ramirez, Brian Rea, Julia Walter and Cameron Wolfslayer.

IGF 2019 featured talks by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Vint Cerf, described as one of the “fathers of the Internet” and Angela Merkel, chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

This is the tenth year the Imagining the Internet Center has conducted interviews at the Internet Governance Forum. The Center was founded by Janna Anderson, professor of journalism, with support of Lee Rainie, director of internet and technology research at Pew Research Center and an Elon parent and member of the School of Communications advisory board.

In October, Pew Research and Imagining the Internet released a report titled “The Next 50 Years of Digital Life.” Kathleen Stansberry, assistant professor of strategic communications at Elon and co-author of the report presented details of the research at IGF.  She describes the data Imagining the Internet collects as “time-capsules.”

“Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie have created an invaluable resource to understand the shifting conceptions of networked life,” Stansbury said. “Overall it’s good to see people respond and say this is important – this work is important,” Stansberry said. “Not everyone agrees with everything we share but it’s qualitative, it’s not meant to be generalizable.”

The Imagining the Internet IGF 2019 team included (left to right): Sophomore Paloma Camacho, Junior Maggie Brown, Junior Cameron Wolfslayer, Junior Jack Haley, Senior Jared Mayerson, Assistant Professor of Journalism Alex Luchsinger, Junior Brian Rea, Senior Oliver Fischer, Senior Maria Ramirez, Senior Julia Walter.