Assistant Director, Journalism & Media Ethics; Social Sector Ethics
Anita Varma is the assistant director for Journalism & Media Ethics as well as Social Sector Ethics. She focuses on the design and implementation of applied ethics projects, conducts research, and facilitates public engagement for both program areas. From 2018-2019, Varma was a program manager at the Markkula Center.
Prior to joining the Markkula Center, Varma was a doctoral candidate at Stanford University in the Department of Communication, where she focused on journalism ethics and received her PhD in 2018. Her dissertation (Solidarity in Action: A Case Study of Journalistic Humanizing Techniques in the San Francisco Homeless Project) analyzed the role of solidarity in American journalism using a case study of how and why Bay Area journalists humanize homeless people.
Before Stanford, Varma was an online advertising strategist at Google for three years. Varma received her BA in Media Studies with honors from Vassar College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the only student-run campus newspaper, and interned at The New Yorker magazine as well as the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press.
Articles by Anita Varma
Misinformation during the pandemic isn’t always intentional or malicious. Sometimes media coverage, as in these five examples, is more subtle.
How journalists can better humanize death tolls, coronavirus cases, and unemployment rates.
Drawing the Distinction Between Explanatory Journalism and Expedient News
The general public requires both slow journalism and frequent and timely updates, providing them with both information and serving their need for guidance on how to process and interpret what this information means.