About Michael Cervieri

Media. Strategy. Design. Storytelling.

Hi, I’m Michael,

I was the founder of The Future Journalism Project, an initiative I began that first investigated disruption, opportunity and innovation in the news industry and later created live events that explored better ways to produce, consume and understand the news.

I’m currently on sabbatical but typically lead teams of storytellers, media strategists, marketers, and designers to help organizations share their stories with the world and increase engagement with their products and work.

Most of my work involves leveraging digital platforms for effective storytelling through a combination of text, images, audio and video. This includes a mix of hands-on creation, team development, team training and overall management to make that happen.

Over the years I’ve won an Emmy in advanced media; taught at both the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and its School of International and Public Affairs; ran a media tech consultancy; and served as the national editor for a newspaper in Saudi Arabia.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch. You can contact me here or connect directly on Twitter over here.


Creating the Future Journalism Project, a multiplatform initiative that explores better ways to produce, consume and understand the news.

Leading a virtual reality retreat of media makers and subject matter experts to create anti-bullying VR experiences in partnership with Harmony Labs, Google Daydream Impact, Screenwriters Colony, Sensorium Works and Institute of Play.

Creating and implementing content and technology strategies at WITNESS to reach a diverse audience of global advocates using video to document human rights abuse.

Leading teams of software developers and media producers at ScribeLabs as we worked with media, technology and advocacy organizations on their digital, media and strategic visions.

Winning an Emmy Award in advanced media for a Web video series called Reporting AIDS. The series profiled the researchers, activists and history of the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

Teaching digital media production and Web development at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Teaching digital media strategy and global Internet and mobile policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The course focused on how NGOs, nonprofits, activists and governmental agencies use new technologies to communicate with constituent audiences.

Advising governmental ministries in Moldova on their use of social networks to publicize their Open Government and Open Data initiatives.


Relatively Recent Appearances

Yale University, Department of Political Science
Media. Code. Power: A lecture exploring traditional power structures of established media in Western democracies alongside state-run and/or controlled media elsewhere, and how software code is now both an avenue for new press freedoms and further suppression and control.

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
News, Media and the NGO: Disruption in traditional news organizations has given NGOs, non-profits and others the opportunity to enter the news cycle with created media of their own… provided they do it right.

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Getting Started: Lessons learned from the journalist as a startup.

Fashion Institute of Technology
Occupy Media: As organizations in all fields become publishers, a set of best practices for entering the digital media world.

American Society of Journalists and Authors
So Much Video: Using online video for personal brand building and marketing.

Online News Association
The Ambience of Information: Information ecosystems are widely dispersed. Strategies for news organizations and other content producers to make their works known, shared and influential.

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
BoomGen: A conversation with Reza Aslan and Mahyad Tousi, founders of BoomGen Studios, about Muslim representation in Western media.

Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
The Internet Threat: How closed networks and copyright and libel laws affect citizen participation in e-governance and policy making in the digital age.


Things I Think I Think About Digital Technologies

  • I believe in a free and open Internet without curry or favor for who’s creating content or applications, or their relationship with corporate and governmental gatekeepers.
  • The Creative Commons, Open Culture and Open Source movements have allowed me – and those I work with – to do what I and we do. We should work on expanding their ideas and practices.
  • I simultaneously believe in the radical transparency of governmental and public (corporate) entities and the fundamental right to privacy and anonymity of all individuals.
  • I’m a digital skeptic insofar as I deeply explore, leverage and exploit the opportunities that technology affords individuals, movements and organizations but don’t believe technology is the solution to many of our problems.
  • I believe and advocate for the digital rights, access to information and free expression of all, everywhere, and at all times.

Non-digital bonus: I like oceans, mountains, cheese and wine. Sometimes in that order. Sometimes in reverse.

Previous Projects

Future Journalism Project

Business Strategy
Media Strategy
Media Production


Web Development
Graphic Design
Media Training

White Moustache

Digital Strategy
Media Strategy
Business Development