Dr Colin Porlezza is a journalism studies scholar born in Zurich, Switzerland. He currently works with the Department of Journalism at City, University London. In addition, he is also a Visiting Professor with the Institute of Media and Journalism IMeG at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. At the Università della Svizzera italiana he also earned his doctorate, with an analysis of advertisers' influence on the editorial content of free and traditional newspapers in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. He also earned his BA and MA (licentiate) in Lugano where he studied communication sciences with a specialization in mass communication and new media. Before joining City, University of London, he worked at the Università della Svizzera italiana, the University of Zurich and the University of Neuchâtel.
Colin Porlezza gained substantial experience in research, managing and participating actively in several publicly funded projects, among others from the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, the Swiss National Fund, or the Federal Office of Communications OFCOM. He also obtained research funding from news organizations such as the Swiss Public Broadcaster SRG SSR or Tamedia. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of the DMINR project funded by the Google Digital News Initiative. The objective of the DMINR project is twofold: first it wants to create a tool for news research and verification based on artificial intelligence to help journalists work with big data and conduct investigations in the digital era. Second, it aims to study the impact of artificial intelligence on newswork and journalists. He recently concluded a project, funded by the Swiss public service broadcaster RSI, that looked into the representation of different political actors in selected Italian-speaking television and radio news programs of RSI.
His research focuses on the datafication and hybridization of digital journalism, media accountability and transparency, as well as on governance and ethics in digital journalism. His research so far has resulted in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, including 20 journal articles and 25 book chapters, and two books with top publishers. He has given several invited talks at conferences, workshops and research seminars, including keynotes on the future of journalism for the Swiss Federal Media Commission in Bellinzona, the Forum Alpbach Talks at Schloss Belvedere in Vienna, and the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Zurich.
From 2004-2013 he was an active member and co-founder of the European Journalism Observatory, an institution created to build bridges by connecting different journalism cultures and facilitating collaboration between journalism scholars and practitioners. Dr Porlezza has also been working as a freelance journalist for various German and Italian-language newspapers and specialized magazines such as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung or the Corriere del Ticino. He is currently a Board member of the Swiss Association of Communications and Media Research SACM and, in the past, he was also Co-Chair of the Journalism Studies Section in the same association. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Austrian National Study of Journalists as well as the international Network Innovamedia for innovation in journalism. He has featured on the Swiss Public Service Broadcaster SRG SSR, Poynter, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Tages-Anzeiger and Corriere del Ticino.