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Media Publications

Heidi's research has also been published in magazines and newspapers across the world, most notably in English and German publications. Most recently, her published work has focused on effective government communication during pandemics and the push to regulate digital economies.

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2021 • 20202019201820172016 and before

March 24, 2021 • Globe & Mail

This article argues that the naming of diseases can seem to be an abstract question, but attention to history and rising racism are evidence that words matter. The article suggests how to prevent stigmatization, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic against East Asians. 


“Stories, Statistics, and Authenticity in Health Communications,” Beyond Disinformation, Social Sciences Research Council (May 25, 2021). 


“Why We Need to Change the Narrative on Outdoor Transmission,” (with Zain Chagla and Sumon Chakrabarti), Toronto Star (April 12, 2021).

“Why Disease Names Matter,” Globe & Mail (March 24, 2021).

2021 articles

August 7 2020 • The Independent

This article argues that the lack of regulation among social media platforms has given them unchecked influence to threaten democracies. While leaders of social media giants have pledged to combat disinformation, their promises remain empty as the continue to spread, and profit from, the fake news spreading in their feeds.



“Simply Talking about the Pandemic the Right Way Can Help Rebuild American Democracy,” (with Ian Beacock), The New Republic (December 24, 2020).

“A Year of News Mocktails,” Predictions for 2021, Nieman Lab (December 2020).

“What We Can Learn from Covid Communications in Other Countries,” (with Ian Beacock and Eseohe Ojo), Policy Options (November 5, 2020).

“Ontario’s Covid-19 Messaging Needs a Reset: Here is What to Do,” (with Ian Beacock) Ottawa Citizen (October 20, 2020).

“B.C. Shouldn’t Be Afraid of a Pandemic Election – It Could Strengthen Our Democracy,” (with Ian Beacock) The Province (September 29, 2020).

“Leaving Big Tech to Govern Themselves Doesn’t Work. They’re Getting Even Worse,” The Independent (August 7, 2020).

“Getting Your Book Read When You’re a Humanities Scholar,” (interview of me by Letitia Henville), University Affairs (May 15, 2020).

“Pandemics and History – a Roundtable on COVID-19 and Its Historical Connections (with John Christopoulos, Robert Brain, and Timothy Brook),” UBC History Department (May 3, 2020).

“When a Virus is the Cause, Racism is Often the Symptom: Q&A with Heidi Tworek,” UBC News (February 25, 2020). Reprinted in Richmond News.

“The Year of Positive Pushback,” Predictions for 2020, Nieman Lab (January 2, 2020).

2020 articles

May 26, 2019 • The Atlantic

This article draws examples of state media control in Nazi Germany as warning signs for current policymakers on how to regulate social media today. Most importantly, governments must consider the balance of free expression and the elimination of harmful content, and ensure safeguards that would also prevent the state from taking easy control of all media. 


“Canada Needs a Social Media Council to Help Solve Complex Problems with Online Content Moderation,” Re$earch Money (December 11, 2019).

“News from Germany,” TRAFO: Blog for Transregional Research (August 14, 2019).

„Falsche Nachrichten hat es immer gegeben: Ein Interview zwischen Heidi Tworek und Georg Ismar,“ Der Tagesspiegel (August 3, 2019).

“Government-Imposed Internet Blackouts Are A Power Move to Suppress Dissent,” The Conversation (June 24, 2019).

“Author Q&A: Informational Wars,” Vancouver Sun (June 22, 2019).

“A Lesson from 1930s Germany: Beware State Control of Social Media,” The Atlantic (May 26, 2019).

“Information Warfare is Here to Stay: States Have Always Fought for the Means of Communication,” Foreign Affairs (April 2019).

“News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900–1945,” The Page 99 Test (April 2019).

„Informationskriege,“ Internationale Politik (March/April 2019), pp. 122–129.

2019 articles

March 27, 2018 • Columbia Journalism Review

This article documents the rise of the tweet as a form of vox populithe voice of the people that not only allowed journalists to gauge the collective sense of a certain community's thoughts, but also their feelings and psyches. In the past, this had only been possible through media interviews and letters to the editor, but the tweet has become the primary source.


“We Can’t Rely Solely on Silicon Valley to Tackle Online Hatred,” (co-authored with Chris Tenove and Fenwick McKelvey), Globe & Mail (November 12, 2018).

“Quietly, One of Trump’s Tariffs Threatens Democracy,” Washington Post (September 11, 2018).

«L’âge d’or des médias: une exception historique?» Ina Global (September 4, 2018).

„Als ob Flüchtlinge Touristen wären,“ Süddeutsche Zeitung (June 20, 2018), p. 2.

“Why the ‘Golden Age’ of Newspapers was the Exception, Not the Rule,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton), Nieman Lab (May 2, 2018).

“What Europe Can Teach Canada about Protecting Democracy,” (co-authored with Chris Tenove), The Conversation (April 5, 2018).

“Tweets are the new Vox Populi,” Columbia Journalism Review (March 27, 2018).

“Is Germany’s Foreign Minister Having a Chrystia Freeland Moment?” The Conversation (January 8, 2018).

2018 articles

October 3, 2017 • Made By History, Washington Post

This article addresses growing concerns with the threat of foreign propaganda around the world  again, unwarranted or not. However, while relevant decision-makers and media platforms need to be wary of their effects, one should avoid the widespread panic that persisted especially during the Cold War Era in the United States—it only leads to more social disarray.


„Nicht bei der Verteidigung sparen!“ (co-authored with Niklas Helwig) ZEIT Online (October 30, 2017).

“Foreign Propaganda is a Problem Again, But Maybe a Smaller One than We Think,” Made by History, Washington Post (October 3, 2017).

“Die Probleme mit Freihandelsabkommen,” Der Tagesspiegel (August 7, 2017), p. 6. Appeared online as  “Nichts aus den Fehlern gelernt,” Der Tagesspiegel (August 30, 2017).

“Privacy Shapes Our News,” Goethe Institute, Washington DC (June 22, 2017).

“How to Make Facts Matter Again,” OECD Yearbook 2017 (June 2017).

“How Germany is Tackling Hate Speech,” Foreign Affairs (May 16, 2017).

“Cambridge Analytica, Trump, and the New Old Fear of Manipulating the Masses,” Nieman Lab (May 15, 2017).

“Microsoft is Right: We Need a Digital Geneva Convention,” Wired (May 9, 2017).

“How to Spend It: Three Simple Suggestions to Increase German Military Spending,” War on the Rocks (May 2, 2017).

„Was Deutschland von Kanada lernen kann: Die Trump-Diplomatie,“ Der Tagesspiegel (March 9, 2017).

2017 articles

May 17, 2016 • The Conversation

Co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton, this article discusses how the evolution of news has reflected contemporary events and trends throughout history.  The article argues that news will persist even with the decline of print newspapers and newsrooms, which have been increasingly challenged by digital media. However, digital media will not effectively end the industrialized, high-standards form of journalism that older generations today are familiar with, they only have to learn to coexist with them—as the casual journalism commonly seen on digital media has existed since the 16th Century.

2016 and Before

“What Makes Health Special?” Invited Blog Post for Reluctant Internationalists, Birkbeck, University of London (December 19, 2016).

“Why the History of News Explains its Future,” (co-authored with John Maxwell Hamilton) The Conversation (May 17, 2016).

Contributor, “What Can One Photo Tell Us about the Media and 2016?,” Politico Magazine (May/June 2016).

“Lab Partners: Experimenting with Active Learning,” (co-authored with Gabriel Pizzorno) Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association (April 2016), pp. 23–24.

“From World Health to World Heritage: Seventy Years of the United Nations,” UN Chronicle 52 (September 2015).

„Das Märchen vom Schicksalstag,“ (co-authored with Thomas Weber) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (November 8, 2014).

“History Lessons: Why Germany’s ‘Google Tax’ Won’t Work,” (co-authored with Christopher Buschow) Nieman Reports (October 23, 2014).

“Does England Have the Solution to the Grade-Inflation Problem?” The Atlantic (October 20, 2014).


„Wettbewerbsvorteile durch Gesetzgebung? Debatten zum Nachrichtenschutz im Wandel der Zeit,“ (co-authored with Christopher Buschow) Der Digitale Wandel - Magazin für Internet und Gesellschaft 1.2 (August 2014), pp. 14–16.

“LSR: Wiederholt sich die Geschichte?” (co-authored with Christopher Buschow) Vocer, iRights, and Golem (July 2014).

“Writing a Student Evaluation Can Be Like Trolling the Internet: How a Long-Despised University Tradition Can Be a Chance to Teach Civility,” The Atlantic (May 21, 2014).

“The Real Reason the Humanities are ‘in Crisis’,” The Atlantic (December 18, 2013).

Interviews and blog posts about the United Nations History Project website on US History Scene, Humanitarianism and Human Rights, Russian International Affairs Council, UN Dispatch, and the United Nations Foundation blog.

2016 articles
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