Rebecca MacKinnon is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she teaches "new media", examining the intersection between the Internet and journalism. At the Berkman Center, MacKinnon and her colleague Ethan Zuckerman co-founded Global Voices Online, an award-winning international citizen media community, with which she remains involved in management. Starting at the bottom of CNN's Beijing bureau, she became a correspondent for the news channel, and Bureau Chief from 1998-2001. She served as the Tokyo Bureau Chief from 2001-03.
MacKinnon started a fellowship at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in January 2004. Her research focus was on blogs and participatory online media, especially as relates to international news. Three months in, she resigned from CNN, and was invited to stay at Harvard as a Research Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The enabled her to re-direct her career from TV news to online media.
Her ongoing research interests are the future of media in the Internet age, freedom of speech online, and the Internet in China. She serves on the Board of Directors for Tor, which aims to improve safety and security on the Internet, and the US Advisory Board for FON, for most of 2006.