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Sen to deliver Pulitzer Lecture at SDSU

Arijit Sen
Arijit Sen

Journalist Arijit Sen will focus on the intersection of artificial intelligence and journalism when he delivers the annual Pulitzer Lecture at South Dakota State University.

The lecture, “AI and Journalism: Looming Threat or Massive Opportunity,” is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the University Student Union Lewis and Clark Room. It is free and open to the public.

“My lecture will focus on will focus on … what AI is, how journalists can take advantage of AI tools to augment their reporting, what threats these tools pose to the future of journalism and how to cut through the hype to cover these tools accurately and responsibly,” Sen said.

Sen is award-winning computational journalist at The Dallas Morning News, working primarily on long-term investigative projects, with a particular interest in criminal justice and algorithmic accountability stories.

As part of the lecture, Sen will feature a case study from his own investigation into Social Sentinel, an AI surveillance tool used on several college campuses.

“I hope attendees will come away with a greater understanding of AI technology so they can go out and report stories of their own on the topic,” he explained. “In particular, I'd like to inspire more students to do this kind of accountability journalism as I did with my Social Sentinel project.”

Before coming to The Dallas Morning News, Sen worked for the Asheville Citizen-Times and NBC News. Sen grew up in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his bachelor's degree in journalism.

He also has a master's degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and a graduate certificate in applied data science from UC Berkeley's School of Information. In his free time, he enjoys listening to audiobooks and podcasts, biking and running long distances.

Sen will also present a workshop for area journalists in partnership with SDSU Connect on Friday, Sept. 29. SDSU Connect aligns the university’s traditional land-grant mission with the modern needs of Sioux Falls.

His workshop, “Journalism and AI Training. Shining a Light on the Black Box: Tips and Tricks for Investigating AI,” will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Dakota News Now studio in Sioux Falls.

To attend the Sept. 29 workshop in Sioux Falls, RSVP to Tiffany Peterson by Sept. 25.

The Pulitzer Center is an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to supporting independent international journalism that U.S. media organizations are increasingly less able to do. Its partnership with SDSU allows the university to connect students and the community with Pulitzer Center grantees.

The center’s educational initiatives provide students with fresh reporting from around the world, help them think critically about the creation and dissemination of news and inspire them to become active consumers and producers of information. The partnership includes an international fellowship for an SDSU student to report on an underreported issue with the center disseminating the fellow’s work.

This year’s annual Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium program is funded by Karen Stuck, class of 1966.