August Dichter - Global Challenges Scholar

Born in the birthplace of American Democracy, ​August Dichter​ is from Philadelphia, PA and a product of educator parents who believe in the value of using education and art to change the world. His interest in politics started while learning and laughing along to the satirical news shows of the early 2000s. Through comedy, he was able to learn about complicated political topics, such as campaign finance reform and gerrymandering. In his undergraduate studies his focus turned to understanding the media’s ability to critique and create strategic narratives. An underlying passion of August’s through his studies has been media freedom and media literacy.

Educational and Career Background

In 2019, August graduated from Eckerd College, receiving the Murphy-Rackow Award in recognition of outstanding performance in Political Science. His undergraduate thesis focused on the ways in which satirical news can benefit our modern media ecosystem. His findings from the study were featured on NPR’s On Point, and presented at the National Political Science Honor Society conference in Washington, DC.

Outside of the classroom, August has explored how media channels communicate political messaging. Some of these experiences include creating a satirical newspaper, interning in late night TV at Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and working as a writer’s assistant at Crooked Media, a podcast company run by former President Barack Obama’s communication team.­

Areas of Expertise

During his placement for this program, August will be researching the life of the Digital Services Act, the legislation that aims to further democratize the internet in the EU. He will also be researching how public policy can curtail disinformation campaigns. 

As disinformation threatens to undermine democratic institutions around the world, August knows the Global Challenges Programme will give him the framework and insight into global leadership and policy to answer some of his biggest questions. August's areas of expertise include satirical news and media production. 

Ambitions and Hopes for the Future

"My hope for the future is that I can influence policy and create educational content for public broadcasting aimed at combating misinformation and disinformation using humor.

Other things I want to do along the way include: creating a national education curriculum which more accurately depicts the dark realities of US history so we can be better prepared for our challenges ahead, write for SNL’s Weekend Update, and find ways to contribute to the fight for media freedom around the world."


August's undergraduate thesis was on

“The Political Effectiveness of the Satirical News Desk”

A selection of newspapers

August's undergraduate thesis was featured on NPR’s On Point

“Class Of 2019: It's Time for the Senior Thesis Showcase,” May 14, 2019

NPR On Point logo

August presented his thesis at the 2019 National Student Research Conference

at George Washington University, Washington, DC, February 15-17, 2019

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August was a guest lecturer at his university for the course

"Satire and the Art of Protest", Eckerd College, January 11, 2018

Eckerd College logo