Fall Forum Bios

What’s New About Fake News?


Sacha Pfeiffer

PfeifferSacha Pfeiffer is an award-winning investigative journalist and radio host. She is known for her work with the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, where she was a member of the group that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 for its work in exposing the Roman Catholic Church’s cover-up of clergy sex abuse. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and history and a master’s degree in education from Boston University and, in 2005, she was named a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. She started her journalism career at the Dedham Times. Pfeiffer originally joined the Boston Globe as a reporter in 1995, left in 2008 to work for WBUR and NPR, and returned to the Globe in 2014. During her nearly seven years in public radio, Pfeiffer was a local host of All Things Considered and Radio Boston, as well as a guest host of NPR’s nationally syndicated On Point and Here & Now. Her on-air work received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for broadcast reporting. Pfeiffer is also the recipient of a 2017 Massachusetts Governor’s Award in the Humanities, which will be presented at Mass Humanities’ benefit dinner immediately following the forum.


Jelani Cobb

CobbJelani Cobb is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. Previously he was an associate professor of history and director of the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut. Since 2015, he has been a staff writer at The New Yorker.  His books include The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic, which in 2007 was a finalist for the National Award for Arts Writing of the Arts Club of Washington.

Charles Ferguson

FergusonCharles Ferguson is the founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc., and director and producer of No End in Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq (2007) and Inside Job (2010), the story behind the Great Recession which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Ferguson is also a software entrepreneur, writer and authority in technology policy. A graduate of Lowell High School, he earned a BA in mathematics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in political science from MIT. Ferguson conducted postdoctoral research at MIT while also consulting to the White House, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Department of Defense, and several U.S. and European high technology firms.

Marnie Shure

ShureMarnie Shure joined the staff of The Onion in July 2012 after a brief stint with Fantastic Transcripts in Boston and rose rapidly through the ranks to become Managing Editor in April 2017. A graduate of Knox College with a degree in creative writing and French, Marnie also has a Publishing Certificate from the University of Denver Publishing Institute.

Claire Wardle

2017-wardle-150Claire Wardle is the Director of First Draft, a non-profit dedicated to finding solutions to the challenges associated with trust and truth in the digital age. She was previously the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, head of social media for the UN Refugee Agency and Director of News Services for Storyful. She is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content, and has led two substantial research projects investigating how it is handled by news organizations. She also sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Information and Entertainment.