Nearly one million users visit the influential news hub Techdirt each month to find the latest news about and analysis of emerging innovations, privacy and regulation, and digital free speech. The site explores how technology fosters the exchange of ideas and connects people in meaningful ways.
The Charles Koch Institute and the Charles Koch Foundation have supported Techdirt’s coverage of free speech issues in the past. Now, with a six-month CKI sponsorship, Techdirt will curate content that examines how technology and innovation have positively impacted communities, individuals, and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s no secret that technology has become central to our lives, but the COVID-19 pandemic has really put a spotlight on how the world can cope with a crisis in a very different way than it has historically,” said Techdirt founder and CEO Mike Masnick. “Given how COVID-19 has been causing many to re-evaluate the way things were done before, it seemed like the perfect time to explore the role that technology is playing in how we communicate, work, and cope during a time of confusion, fear, and uncertainty.”
The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized the real value of technology in everyday life. Americans have relied on the internet and mobile applications to help them work and learn, and while the pandemic has wrought personal and economic hardship, it would have been much more difficult without modern technologies. Many businesses have survived by bringing their products online. Community organizations have used digital tools to bring aid and comfort. Doctors and medical professionals have used social media to share research and challenge assumptions. Families simply have kept in contact.
Techdirt will highlight these stories and explore how digital tools continue to aid users beyond the pandemic. The site also will continue to provide in-depth analysis of legal and regulatory trends that could keep Americans from leveraging new technologies for their own benefit and the benefit of their families, communities, and businesses.
“We are excited to continue our support of Techdirt, especially during this unique moment when we’re likely to see significant creative destruction and experimentation with new business models in digital media,” said CKI Executive Director Derek Johnson. “Innovation has been a force for good throughout human history, a trend especially evident today. Telling the story of how American individuals and institutions are leveraging digital tools during the coronavirus pandemic will reinforce that, as a society, we remain open to exploring creative applications of technology and ingenuity.”