Justin Hendrix

Democracy Cohort

Justin Hendrix is promoting a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between technology and democracy.

Justin Hendrix began his career at The Economist, where he observed firsthand how digital media was changing the landscape of journalism. He pursued a graduate degree to better understand the impact of this digital evolution, and joined the NYC Media Lab, where he got a closer look at the information ecosystem. After teaming up with faculty at five universities to develop “Tech, Media & Democracy,” a course designed to help students explore the information ecosystem's impact on democracy, he found clarity on what he wanted to do with the rest of his career.

In 2020, Justin co-founded Tech Policy Press, a nonprofit media venture focused on the effects of technology on democracy. It published more than 300 pieces by 100 authors in its first year, assembling a journalistic collective with new insights on these interconnected issues. He also collaborates regularly with Just Security, a publication associated with NYU Law School, and is a key contributor to its online repository of all information related to the January 6, 2021 events at the U.S. Capitol.

Technology has had an oversized effect on global democracy. It has compromised mechanisms for consensus, made ensuring election integrity a challenge, changed concentrations of power, and provided new venues for hate speech and misinformation, even as it has also offered methods to fight these phenomena. The consequences are easy to see. What’s harder, however, is identifying good policies to help technology work in harmony with democratic systems and institutions.

As an Emerson Collective Fellow, Justin will continue to build Tech Policy Press as an advocacy-minded space that brings together timely reporting, research, scholarship, analysis, and dialogue around these issues. His hope is to bring together new, diverse voices by advancing the prototype of the platform, building its community, and establishing a nonprofit business model to sustain it well into the future.