OUR STORY

About the Local News Lab

Who we are

The Brown Institute’s Local News Lab is a new team of engineers, designers, data scientists, and journalists, working to build AI-powered, open-source products to help support local newsrooms and their businesses. The team’s work is collaborative, partnering with small- and medium-sized publishers across the country.

What we'll be working on

Our first project will create and deploy a “smart paywall” that adapts to the needs of each newsroom and their audience, is attentive to journalistic ethics, and helps to drive subscriptions. Ultimately, through projects like this, we aim to help local newsrooms overcome the barriers to mobilizing the best data science to support their business strategies.

Why local?

While large national news outlets can have groups of data scientists in-house producing insights and products that optimize audience engagement and drive subscriptions, ultimately helping ensure their sustainability and survival; local newsrooms are often left stretching their limited resources in every direction. The team’s work is collaborative, partnering with small- to medium-sized publishers across the country.

Established in 2012, the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute is a collaboration between Columbia University and Stanford University, designed to encourage and support new endeavors in media innovation. At Stanford, the primary focus is on media technology, and the Institute is anchored in the School of Engineering. At Columbia, the primary focus is on content, and the Institute is anchored in the Graduate School of Journalism.