Mike Ananny is an associate professor of communication and journalism at USC Annenberg, where he studies how technologies and cultures of media production have the power to shape public life. Working across communication, journalism studies, media studies, and science and technology studies, he sees the future of public life in the practices, assumptions, and controversies driving social media platforms, data infrastructures, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.
He is also on the faculty advisory committee of USC’s Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life and co-leads the interdisciplinary research collective “MASTS” (Media as SocioTechnical Systems). He was a 2019-2021 faculty fellow with USC’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities, a 2018-19 Berggruen fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and has held fellowships and scholarships with Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center on Internet and Society, Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, LEGO, and Interval Research. He was a founding member of Media Lab Europe, a postdoc with Microsoft Research’s Social Media Collective, and has consulted for LEGO, Mattel, and Nortel Networks.
His PhD is from Stanford University (communication), SM from the MIT Media Lab (media arts and sciences), and BSc from the University of Toronto (human biology and computer science). He regularly publishes in various academic and popular venues (including The Atlantic, WIRED, and the Nieman Lab), is the author of Networked Press Freedom (MIT Press, 2018), co-editor (with Laura Forlano and Molly Wright Steenson) of Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019), and is preparing a manuscript on the public power of silence and mediated absences (under contract with Yale University Press).
Awards and honors:
Faculty fellow with USC’s Society of Fellows in the Humanities (2019-2021)
Berggruen fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2018-2019)
Fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism (2017-2018)
Fellow and faculty associate at Harvard University’s Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society (2010-2014)
Doctoral scholar with Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2006-2010)
A public right to hear: The idea of a free press in an age of newsware and networked journalism. (2018, The MIT Press)
Bauhaus Futures. (2019, The MIT Press)
“Anticipatory news infrastructures: Seeing journalism’s expectations of future publics in its sociotechnical systems.” (2020, New Media and Society)
“Making up political people: How social media create the ideals, definitions, and probabilities of political speech.” (2020, Georgetown Law Technology Review)
“Toward an ethics of algorithms: Convening, observation, probability, and timeliness.” (2016, Science, Technology and Human Values)
Probably Speech, Maybe Free: Toward a Probabilistic Understanding of Online Expression and Platform Governance. “Free Speech Futures” (2019, Columbia)
Digital technology and democratic theory. “Presence of Absence: Exploring the democratic significance of silence.” (2020, University of Chicago Press)
The nonprofit sector (3rd ed.). “Advocating for what? The nonprofit press and models of the public.” (2020, Stanford University Press)
COMM 495: Honors Seminar