Do newsrooms still not really understand how social media works? After nearly 20 years of the social internet, are journalists still strangers on these platforms? Or do they not recognize how our attention is weaponized?

Why are bad actors able to gin up outrage, flatten discourse, and control the day’s narratives? And are we being played by more savvy people into focusing on some issues, while leaving other – potentially more important ones – behind?

How news media deal with social media and the broader attention economy is a topic Charlie Warzel in The Atlantic has written extensively and insightfully on. The session will explore the question of how the internet distorts our attention, and whether media institutions can help bring focus to a fractured information ecosystem.

Warzel’s articles have sparked discussions and self reflection, both when he was an acclaimed opinion writer for the New York Times and later in his newsletter Galaxy Brain. The newsletter started on Substack before being picked up by The Atlantic.