Anita Varma is a publicly engaged educator and researcher. As the assistant director for Journalism & Media Ethics as well as Social Sector Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, she leads the Solidarity Journalism Initiative and Ethical Storytelling for Nonprofits. Her ongoing academic research examines the social justice implications of how and why journalists humanize marginalized communities.
Varma received her PhD in Communication in 2018 from Stanford University, where her doctoral research focused on the role of solidarity in American journalism. Her dissertation, Solidarity in Action: A Case Study of Journalistic Humanizing Techniques in the San Francisco Homeless Project, received the inaugural Penn State Davis Ethics Award in 2019.
Her scholarly work has been published in Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, and Journalism. She has forthcoming contributions to the Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty and A Handbook of Global Media Ethics (SpringerLink).
At Stanford, she was a teaching fellow and received the 2015 Centennial Teaching Award from Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. 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 a community journalist and interned at The New Yorker magazine as well as the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press.
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