Sensor Ethics, Team Blinky

Well we had another exciting week in our sensor journalism class! This week we covered the important aspect of ethics when using sensors for news gathering and reporting. The recent Tow Report on Sensor Journalism has a great section on the ethics of sensor journalism and served as our reading and point of discussion this week.

When doing sensor journalism, there are four key things that every reporter and news organization should discuss before jumping in:

  • Privacy and surveillance issues
  • Building, acquiring and ownership of the technology
  • Accuracy, interpretation and representativeness of the sensor data
  • Community involvement – roles of responsibility and transparency

john keefe

On Wednesday, we had the thrill to do a Google Hangout with sensor guru and Senior Editor for Data News for WNYC, John Keefe. He gave a great talk  (you can check out his short presentation here) about the ways in which he has used sensors in his work at WNYC and his work with Team Blinky. We had time for Q&A and were able to get some new insights and advice on our sensors, calibration, and the challenges with reporting with sensors. It was a thrilling week!

Next week we will have Lise Olsen, investigative reporter for The Houston Chronicle join us for a virtual chat on her data work on environmental news stories and Dr. Penelope Quintana, professor in the Graduate School of Public Health at SDSU to share with us her research on air quality.

More exciting news to come!


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