Blockchain's Role in Journalism Sees Columbia University Investigate Its Importance

In a recent panel discussion at Columbia University, researchers looked at the practice and promise of the use of blockchain technology in journalism. The panel was held by the university’s Tow Center, which is a part of the Journalism Graduate School. The center explores various ways in which new technology is affecting journalism, both in practice and through consumption, specifically as consumers seek ways of judging the standards, credibility, and reliability of information. With a focus on technological advancements, it is not surprising that the center would explore the links between blockchain technology and journalism.

The Collision of Two Distinct Worlds

According to a write-up of the event by Mia Shuang Li, the occasion garnered a broad spectrum of experienced professionals from the fields of journalism and blockchain. Manoush Zomorodi of ZigZag podcast and Vivian Schiller, the CEO of Civil Foundation were part of the panel. The Civil Foundation is a blockchain platform that supports numerous news media publications, including ZigZag, and it is financed a native CVL token.

Other panelists included Eran Troma a Columbia researcher, Salah Zalatimo a Forbes executive, Jarod Dicker the CEO, and Nellie Bowles, a researcher for the NY Times.

Challenges Affecting Blockchain Journalism

The panelists described three primary challenges that the use of blockchain journalism offers. The initial problem is related to the existing relationship between crypto and blockchain. Too often, the blockchain technology has maintained a strong stigma as a result of its ties with cryptocurrencies. The main reasons for this stigma include general reputability and volatility.

The next challenge has to do with translating blockchain realities to laypeople. Manoush Zomorodi noted that his podcast was trying to do that service of explaining blockchain to the public.

The last challenge has to do with flawed blockchain design. The unrefined interfaces used to result in a significant loss of participation and trust in blockchain journalism projects. Shuang Li also mentioned that John Keefe had calculated that it took him 44 separate steps to buy CVL token.

Optimistic About the Future

Despite all the challenges facing blockchain journalism, all the panelists agreed that blockchain has massive potential for improving the trust of the public in journalism. Nevertheless, some of the panelists still wondered if the journalism sector was too hopeful for a blockchain-driven future.


There have been plenty of crypto and blockchain related activities happening at the leading universities across the world. Although there is a hesitation amongst top universities to receive crypto donations, most of these schools are incorporating crypto and blockchain classes. These programs and courses are popular across America, with Stanford University being among the best universities currently offering some crypto classes.

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