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Colin Porlezza


Colin Porlezza is a journalism studies scholar born in Zurich, Switzerland. He is a Senior Assistant Professor of Digital Journalism with the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI).

He also holds an Honorary Senior Research Fellow position with the Department of Journalism at City, University London.

At USI, he is also responsible for the Media and Journalism specialization in the Bachelor in Communication, and director of the European Journalism Observatory.

He is a member of the Federal Media Commission FMEC in Switzerland. He is also a board member of the Swiss Association of Media and Communication Research, where he was Chair of the Journalism Section as well. 

He was also a Research Fellow with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, NY.

He earned his PhD in communication sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana, where he also got his BA and MA in communication sciences with a specialization in mass communication and new media. Before joining USI, he also worked at the Department of Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich, and the Academy of Journalism and Media at the University of Neuchâtel.

His research focuses on digital journalism, and more specifically on automated journalism, the datafication of journalism, as well as on disinformation as well as media accountability. For more information on his research please take a look at the research section.

Prof Porlezza has also been working as a freelance journalist for various German and Italian-language newspapers and specialized magazines. 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, ARD, Poynter, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Tages-Anzeiger, Corriere del Ticino, 20 Minuti and other news media outlets.


Prof Porlezza's research is focused on digital journalism, with a special focus on automation, artificial intelligence, disinformation, and accountability. He is especially interested in the impact of digital media technology on journalists' roles, norms, and practices.

Prof. Porlezza's research has been financed by several institutions such as the Knight News Innovation Fellowship, the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, the Higher Education Innovation Fund, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Federal Office of Communications OFCOM. He also obtained research funding from news organizations such as the Swiss Public Broadcaster SRG SSR or Tamedia.

Prof. Porlezza currently leads a research project called JoIn-DemoS, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, in which he analyzes how innovations in journalism influence journalistic quality. He also leads a research project in the context of Horizon 2020 called Diacomet. Furthermore, he has recently concluded a research project funded by the Federal Office of Communications OFCOM on the governance of AI in public service media.

He also concluded a research project called Designing Hybrid Journalism, funded by the Knight News Innovation Fellowship, where he analyzes how AI-driven tools currently used in newsrooms are designed to embed journalistic values. Previously, he led a research project funded by the Google Digital News Initiative called DMINR (Digital Mining and Information Retrieval) that focused both on the consequences of embedding AI technology in newsrooms but included also the development of a tool for news research and verification based on artificial intelligence.

His research so far has resulted in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, including journal articles, books, and book chapters. He has given several invited talks at conferences, workshops, and research seminars, including several keynotes. For a closer look on his research output please take a look at the publication list.

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