My Writing

The following is a list of my published work, loosely organized by topic. I also blog occasionally at Medium and write creatively on a blog called Noun Sense

Parents and Social Media Use / Online Freedom of Expression and Privacy / Data StorytellingMedia Reporting / University of Maryland Coverage / ReportsAdditional Writing

Parents and Social Media Use

In 2013, I began researching how parents use social media to share information about their children online. I’ve written about this work in various venues. I’ve also been quoted in the media about this topic.

How Do We Prevent Parents From Posting Embarrassing Pictures? Slate, September 26, 2016.

Parents Need to Listen to Their Kids When It Comes to Social Media Sharing, Slate, March 23, 2016.

Inheriting a Digital Identity, Brooklyn Quarterly, Issue 5, June 2015.

Facebook’s New Baby-Photo Feature Lets Children Inherit a Digital Identity, Slate, April 6, 2015.

Now Mothers Have a Third Shift – on Facebook, Time (originally appeared on Medium), March 25, 2015.

Parents: You Can’t Control Your Baby’s Digital Footprint, Slate, November 17, 2014.

Online Freedom of Expression and Privacy

I currently work on a project called Ranking Digital Rights, which evaluates the world’s largest technology companies on their commitment to freedom of expression and privacy. I have also researched and written on freedom of expression issues at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. My work there appeared on the blogs of Internet Monitor and Herdict. Internet Monitor examines global Internet censorship and surveillance, and Herdict tracks website blockages.

The Double-Edged Digital Pen, New America Weekly, May 12, 2016, (cross-posted on Context, New America’s Medium channel.)

RightsCon 2016: Corporate Accountability Enters the Mainstream, Ranking Digital Rights blog, April 8, 2016.

RDR @ RightsCon, Ranking Digital Rights blog, March 22, 2016.

RDR in the Public Eye, Ranking Digital Rights blog, March 16, 2016.

Improving Corporate Transparency Reporting, Ranking Digital Rights blog, March 1, 2016

RDR’s Comments to the UN on the ICT Sector’s Role in Free Expression Online, Ranking Digital Rights blog, February 10, 2016.

Ranking – and Improving – Digital Rights, Pacific Standard, (originally appeared as the lead story in New America Weekly) February 4, 2016.

When Was the Last Time You Read a Privacy Policy?, Slate, January 27, 2016.

RDR Media Mentions, Ranking Digital Rights blog, February 1, 2016.

Ranking Digital Rights Findings on Transparency Reporting and Companies’ Terms of Service Enforcement, Ranking Digital Rights, January 13, 2016.

RDR in the News, Ranking Digital Rights blog, December 2, 2015.

Kicking off the Conversation, Ranking Digital Rights blog, November 6, 2015.

RDR @ re:publica, Ranking Digital Rights blog, May 13, 2015.

RightsCon Manila: Laying groundwork and building partnerships, Knight Foundation blog (originally appeared on the Ranking Digital Rights blog), April 6, 2015.

The World-Wide Muzzle and What to Do About It, by Rebecca MacKinnon and Priya Kumar, Time (originally appeared in The Weekly Wonk), January 30, 2015.

Priya Kumar: How Knight Foundation empowers innovators, Knight Foundation blog, October 23, 2014.

Insights from the Knight News Challenge: What does it mean to strengthen the Internet?, Knight Foundation blog, May 16, 2014.

#imweekly: August 5, 2013, Internet Monitor blog.
In this week’s IM Weekly: new legislation in Vietnam bans bloggers from discussing mainstream media, Wikipedia will enable native HTTPS for all its projects, and more.

Increased News and Social Media Accessibility Following Iran’s Election, Herdict blog, July 17, 2013.

“Surveillance Camera Man” Draws Ire, Provokes Questions About Recording in Public, Internet Monitor blog, July 10, 2013.
Videos of a man filming people in public draw the ire of those on camera but raise questions about expectations of privacy in an age where institutions and individuals can easily and legally record others. Removal of the videos on various sites also highlights free speech and copyright concerns.

Data Shows Internet Inaccessibility During Iranian Election, Herdict blog, July 8, 2013.

Law Enforcement and Mining Social Media: Where’s the Oversight?, Internet Monitor blog, July 1, 2013.
As people share more about their thoughts and actions on social media and as algorithms grow more sophisticated, law enforcement’s ability to mine such information for clues into how to prevent crimes raises concerns of profiling and questions of oversight.

#imweekly: July 1, 2013, Internet Monitor blog.
This week’s #IMweekly contains news on cyberattacks in Korea, prosecution of a teen over Twitter use in Bahrain, and troubling legislation in Taiwan and Ecuador.

Singapore Media License Requirement “Casts a Chill” on Free Expression, Internet Monitor blog, June 7, 2013.
Singapore recently passed a measure that requires online news websites to obtain licenses, pay a $40,000 bond, and agree to remove “prohibited content” within one day. Netizens protest, saying the measure’s vague language could force bloggers and grassroots journalism out of business and chill their speech.

Tiananmen Square Anniversary: China Experiments with Subtle Censorship and Netizens Fight Back with Images, Internet Monitor blog, June 4, 2013.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square massacre. In what has become an “Internet maintenance” ritual, the popular microblogging site Weibo blocked terms relating to the event but could not keep up with the memes netizens circulated to memorialize the event.

Data Storytelling

Using Data Storytelling to Engage Audiences, MediaShift’s Idea Lab, March 12, 2015.

The Pursuit of Open Government, Internet Monitor blog, August 12, 2013.
Countries around the world are talking about open government, and people are creating useful tools and uncovering important stories with open data. But legislative obstacles, fear, and gaps in access to information communication technology can reduce or even detract from the benefits of open government.

Map-Based Data Visualizations Reveal Patterns in Human Behavior, Internet Monitor blog, July 19, 2013.
Social media companies and researchers use map-based visualizations to link virtual information with the physical world, surfacing patterns of human behavior that dazzle and educate. As cheap data storage abounds and visualization tools proliferate, maps offer a window into how humans live, in addition to guidance on how to get around.

Twitter’s Geography: Visualized and Explained, Internet Monitor blog, June 17, 2013
New research into the Twittersphere reveals that users connect with people nearby and far away at almost equal rates. People also share local and faraway news at almost equal rates. This study, the first to examine tweets based on geography, illustrates that social media helps people transcend the boundaries of distance that have typically hindered communication.

(This post garnered 6,000 page views, driving 80 percent of the Internet Monitor blog’s traffic during the second quarter of 2013)

Media Reporting

In 2011, I covered World Press Freedom Day, held in Washington, D.C. for the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet). Prior to that, I profiled journalists and wrote about media innovations for the American Journalism Review.

AJR: The internship that changed my life, Medium, August 23, 2015. Included in Poynter’s “This Week on Medium” roundup.

World Press Freedom Day Closes by Honoring Imprisoned Iranian Journalist, IJNet, May 3, 2011.

Social Media: a Tool, Not a Solution, IJNet, May 3, 2011.

The Omidyar Network Awards Almost $5 Million in Media Grants, IJNet, May 3, 2011.

Digital media create new paths, obstacles to press freedom, IJNet, May 1, 2011.

Fighting for Press Freedom in Thailand, IJNet, April 29, 2011.

I conducted research for the American Journalism Review’s December/January 2011 cover story about foreign coverage in American media. The feature was nominated for a Mirror Award in the category of Best In-Depth Piece, Traditional Media.

Backpack Journalism Overseas, American Journalism Review, December/January 2011.
Broadcast organizations increasingly rely on smaller one- or two-person operations in most of their foreign bureaus, a strategy that makes sense when money is tight and technology reduces the need for large crews.

Shrinking Foreign Coverage, American Journalism Review, December/January 2011.
Over the past quarter-century, foreign news in dailies examined by AJR fell by 53 percent.

Foreign Correspondents: Who Covers What, American Journalism Review, December/January 2011.
The number of foreign correspondents employed by U.S. newspapers has decreased markedly since the last AJR census, taken in 2003.

Farewell to Foggy Bottom, American Journalism Review, December/January 2011.
The number of newspapers and newspaper chains covering the State Department has shrunk dramatically since 2003, the last time AJR conducted its foreign reporting survey.

Shuttered Bureaus, American Journalism Review December/January 2011.
The following newspapers and newspaper companies have eliminated their foreign bureaus since AJR began a series of surveys of international coverage in 1998.

Goodbye Without Leaving, American Journalism Review, August /September 2009.
A newspaper editor converts her investigative team into a nonprofit—with her former paper as partner and chief benefactor.

Journalism in Your Face, American Journalism Review, August/September 2009.
The award-winning Virgin Islands Daily News is committed to aggressive watchdog reporting.

A Newsosaur Takes to the Web, American Journalism Review, June/July 2009.
Alan Mutter and his quest to help figure out the future of journalism

A License to Experiment, American Journalism Review, June/July 2009.
A popular Washington Post columnist moves from writing to heading an innovative multimedia reporting team.

Farewell to New Orleans, American Journalism Review, June/July 2009.
A veteran New York Times correspondent reflects on covering the rebuilding of ‘an irreplaceable cultural treasure’ as he starts a new beat in West Africa.

Journalist of the Future, American Journalism Review, April/May 2009.
The groundbreaking NBC digital correspondent Mara Schiavocampo

Adieu to Des Moines, American Journalism Review, February/March 2009.
After 35 years at the Des Moines Register, Iowa political reporting legend David Yepsen looks forward to a new career in academia.

University of Maryland Coverage

I have written features for various U-Md. publications, including the alumni magazine, TERP. I also covered the university administration for the student newspaper, The Diamondback.

Learning to Give, TERP Magazine, Spring 2011, p. 31-33.

ACC Civil Rights History Takes Center Stage, TERP Magazine, Winter 2011, p. 20.

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences: Tracking Wildfires Worldwide, TERP Magazine, Winter 2011, p. 26.

School of Public Policy: Strengthening Good Governance, Globally, TERP Magazine, Winter 2011, p. 29.

Calling All TerrAPPins: University of Maryland Contest Seeks Student-Developed Mobile Apps, UM Newsdesk, October 15, 2010.

Young Poet Publishes Book of “Rich” Work, Between the Columns, September 15, 2010.

Fundraising Goals Require Big Effort, The Diamondback, July 29, 2009.

Even During Hiring Freeze, University Staff Expands, The Diamondback, July 22, 2009.

BSOS Hires New Dean from Within, The Diamondback, July 15, 2009.

BSOS Gets Crucial Funds in Provost’s Reallocation Plan, The Diamondback, June 24, 2009.

University Contributes $3.4 billion to State Economy, The Diamondback, June 10, 2009.

Freshman Class Bigger than Last Year, The Diamondback, June 3, 2009.

Veering From Hard Science on the Road to Pre-Med, The Diamondback, June 17, 2009.

Lecturing Around Laptops, The Diamondback, April 20, 2009.

An Alumnus’s Animated Career, The Diamondback, April 19, 2009.

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ like Sports Gear, The Diamondback, February 12, 2009.

Reports

Kumar, P., Youngman, M., Fernandes, S., and Pal, J. Culture in a Connected World: Exploring the Work of Digital Observatories, University of Michigan School of Information, Spring 2014.

Budish, R., with contributions from Kumar, P. (2013, December 12) Just in Time Censorship: Targeted Internet Filtering During Iran’s 2013 Elections. In  Gasser, U., Faris, R., and Heacock, R., Internet Monitor 2013: Reflections on the Digital World (pp. 32-33). Cambridge, MA: Berkman Center for Internet and Society. [Full PDF]

Additional Writing

The Depressingly Common Consequences of Flying While Brown, Huffington Post blog, May 6, 2016 (Originally appeared in Context, New America’s Medium channel).

The Value of an Alternative Spring Break, Pacific Standard, March 3, 2016. (Originally appeared as Spring Break−Information Style in New America Weekly).

On My Mind: What We Can Learn From the Life of Oliver Sacks, Context, New America’s Medium channel, February 12, 2016.

As part of the Internet Monitor project at the Berkman Center (Summer 2013), I researched and wrote about infrastructure, Internet access, censorship, and online activity in the following countries:

  • Iran
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Burma
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Tanzania
  • Ethiopia
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Venezuela

As  a researcher at the Education Advisory Board (2011-2012), I researched and wrote 28 reports on a variety of topics within higher education, some of which are listed below. These reports were based on interviews, literature reviews, and in one case, analysis of Census data.

Academic Affairs

  • Development of administrative decision-making procedures
  • Creation of an undergraduate major in business consulting
  • Measurement of academic quality
  • Support for student writing programs

Business Affairs

  • Intellectual property assignment policies and procedures
  • Cost center funding and cost rates in an RCM budget model

Student Affairs

  • Strategies to attract a more diverse applicant pool
  • Alcohol policies for Greek-hosted events
  • Policies and procedures to report sexual misconduct

Continuing and Online Education

  • Development and assessment of student services for distance learners
  • Measurement of academic quality in online education

Community College Affairs

  • Conducting a community needs assessment
  • Development of a ballot measure proposal