Lauren Kirchner is a journalist who writes about the intersection between government and technology, and how the use of data in decisions affects people, particularly the most vulnerable. Previously, Kirchner was a senior reporting fellow at ProPublica, where she was part of the team of reporters and programmers who were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for their “Machine Bias” series. Before that, Kirchner was an assistant professor of Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. She has also worked as a freelance reporter, and her writing on technology and criminal justice has appeared in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Wired, Slate, The Awl, and Pacific Standard magazine. She began her journalism career at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. Kirchner received her B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University, and her M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Over the last decade, born from the chaos of the 2008 financial crisis, automated tenant screening has grown into a billion-dollar industry. Now, nine out of 10 landlords rely on automated tenant-screening reports, scraped from eviction history, criminal background records, and terror watchlists, to decide if they can trust potential renters. The problem? Often, the reports contain major errors, mistaken identities, and criminal records that are supposed to be expunged. Can these reports really be trusted?Guest: Lauren Kirchner, investigative reporter at The MarkupOriginal reporting with Matthew Goldstein, reporter at The New York Times HostCeleste Headlee Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Invisible computer algorithms increasingly shape the world we live in, but they don't always get it right. There is a raging debate about whether these algorithms mitigate human bias or compound it. A ProPublica investigation found that one of the major algorithms used to inform the judicial process is racially biased, predicting black defendants will have higher risks of recidivism than they actually do, while white defendants have lower rates than they actually do. In response, City Council recently passed a bill to study whether the algorithms used by city agencies are inadvertently discriminatory, the first such bill in the country.  Lauren Kirchner, senior reporting fellow at ProPublica, weighs in on the bill and  the use of algorithms by government agencies.
Bill Grueskin, Lucas Graves, and Ava Seave are the authors of a new report released by Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism, entitled "The Story So Far: What we know about the business of digital journalism." In this conversation with assistant editor Lauren Kirchner, Grueskin and Graves discuss the report's recommendations for the news industry, from aggregation to advertising.
Lawrence Pintak, author of the book The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil, wrote the cover story of the May/June issue of CJR, entitled "Breathing Room: Toward a new Arab Media." In this conversation with assistant editor Lauren Kirchner, Pintak talks about the origins of television news networks like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, and assesses their long-lasting impact on the popular uprisings of the region. He also discusses the shift in American public opinion of Al Jazeera English, and how the death of Osama bin Laden has been handled in the Arab media.
View 4 more appearances
Share Profile
Are you Lauren? Verify and edit this page to your liking.

Share This Creator

Recommendation sent

Join Podchaser to...

  • Rate podcasts and episodes
  • Follow podcasts and creators
  • Create podcast and episode lists
  • & much more

Creator Details

New York, New York, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 39 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 477504