The Transparency Series
About
2018/2019
2017/2018
2016/2017
2015/2016

Reporting on Devices
Dec 3/8, 2018
Talk: Surya Mattu, Gizmodo
Workshop: Consumer Reports Digital Standards Team

Register for the Talk | Apply for the Workshop

Dec 3 2018 at 5pm
More than ever, objects in our homes and on our person are connected, sharing data about our lived experience with companies and with the public. How do we measure what our devices collect about us, and more importantly, what they share? Join us for a conversation with Surya Mattu, an artist, engineer and journalist who will share with us a variety of stories that investigate connected devices. Mattu is currently a data reporter at Gizmodo, an R&D Journalism Resident at Eyebeam and a Research Scientist at the Center for Civic Media. Previously, Mattu was a contributing researcher at ProPublica.


Dec 8 2018 from 10am-5pm
Most consumer advocacy is based on a definition of consumer rights anchored on two things: value and safety. While these issues are perennial concerns for consumers, they don’t capture the larger threats posed by the 21st C marketplace: reductions in individual agency and control. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the other corporate powers offer products that don’t pose traditional ‘safety’ threats. In this workshop we start with the hypothesis that the consumer movement has mostly ‘solved for the 20th C.’ Products are better, safer, and cheaper than ever. That what we need, instead, is a new framework anchored in contemporary threats to agency and control. And from this framework, new models for product ratings, consumer decision-making, and so on, for evaluating network-connected devices and “apps.” We will explore this new terrain through the lens of Consumer Reports’ new Digital Standard. We will apply both technical as well as analytical tools to examine how to report on connected devices and “apps.”

dec 3/8 2018

Reporting on Devices
Talk: Surya Mattu, Gizmodo
Workshop: Consumer Reports Digital Standards Team

Image Analysis
Feb 15/16 2019
Presenters To Be Announced

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Feb 15 2019 at 5pm
Alongside advances in personal computing power, as well as machine learning techniques, is the ability to create data from images and video. Computer Vision and image analysis has infiltrated our cameras, detecting faces and friends; its in security systems detecting identities of entire populations; and it's in cars, reading road lines, signs, and objects. Join us as we hear about computer vision and image analysis, and its application in a journalistic space.


Feb 16 2019 from 10am-5pm
Join a Stanford Researcher who will walk us through image analysis over large collections of videos. In this process, you will learn how to extract summary information from an archive, detailing everything from gender bias through screen time to fashion trends by channel and season.

feb 15/16 2019

Image Analysis
Presenters To Be Announced

Digital Security
Mar 9/14 2019
Talk: Runa Sandvik, New York Times
Workshop: Presenter To Be Announced

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Mar 14 2019 at 4pm
As part of the Distinguished Lectures in Computation, Runa Sandvik, senior director of information security for The New York Times, will discuss her efforts to keep the Times, its reporters and readers, safe. In a Times profile earlier this year, these efforts include “two-factor authentication for reporters; … a confidential page for tips from sources; secure communication methods; protection for Times subscriber accounts; and more.” In a time when journalism is under attack, Sandvik is deploying tools to secure journalism’s most crucial processes against digital interference.


Mar 9 2019 from 10am-5pm
Journalism depends on digital tools — from reporting to writing to distributing content. Communications with sources is often mediated via computer in some way. How do we make sure our journalism is “safe” — protecting our reporters and our sources, protecting the process. In this workshop, we will teach you some of the basics to protect your devices, from mobile phones to laptops, and introduce you to “best practices” to secure your reporting.

mar 9/14 2019

Digital Security
Talk: Runa Sandvik
Workshop: Presenters To Be Announced

Drone Photography
Apr 12/13 2019
Presenters To Be Announced

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Apr 12 2019 at 5pm
As with Virtual Reality, drone journalism offers opportunities in data collection and visual representation afforded by few other technologies that are within the grasp of a typical newsroom. Drones, or unmanned aerial systems, provide a perspective that is truly unique. It seems to be good for providing a sense of scale (moving from the ground to a significant vantage point above some event or phenomenon). Drones can provide access to regions that are otherwise impossible to film. The artful, informative deployment of drone photography and its role in journalism is the subject of this Transparency Series event. On Friday, we will explore the various uses of drones as a means for reporting, as well as the legal/ethical concerns associated with the medium.


Apr 13 2019 from 10am-5pm
On Saturday, we will get our hands dirty and take a field trip north of NYC and give students the chance to both pilot small drones as well as stage shots from the robotic, onboard camera.

apr 12/13 2019

Drone Photography
Presenters To Be Announced

Polling
Oct 12/13 2018
Talk: Amanda Cox, New York Times
Workshop: Dhrumil Mehta & Janie Velencia, FiveThirtyEight

Register for the Talk | Apply for the Polling Workshop

Oct 12 2018 at 5pm
Join us for a discussion with Amanda Cox from the Upshot at the New York Times who will discuss polling and its importance in the political races. As the 2018 midterm election nears, we pore over opinion polls looking for subtle (or not so subtle) clues about how things will fare on November 6. When looking at the race for the house and for the senate, polls vary wildly. Which polls are right? Or reliable? To journalists, of course, the polls themselves aren't the story, they help tell us a story. The narrative power of polls extends far beyond a single number on a given day. Taken collectively and in combination with other data, we can tell deep stories about the nature of our public’s opinions.

Oct 13 2018 from 10am-5pm
The first workshop in the Transparency Series takes you through techniques for looking at one or more polls over time. Join Janie Velencia and Dhrumil Mehta who lead Pollapalooza at FiveThirtyEight to get exposed to sources, tools, and strategies for working with polls — starting at the very beginning with simple random samples, and leading to the detailed models that are employed today. All the while, we will emphasize how to find and tell interesting, novel stories with polls. No prior experience in statistics or data analysis is needed.

oct 12/13 2018

Polling
Talk: Amanda Cox, New York Times
Workshop: Dhrumil Mehta & Janie Velencia, FiveThirtyEight

Voice Interfaces
Nov 16/17 2018
Talk: Joseph Price, Washington Post & Tommy O'Keefe and Liz Danzico, NPR
Workshop: Ha-Hoa Hamano & Nara Kasbergen, NPR

Register for the Talk | Apply for the Workshop

Nov 16 2018 at 5pm
Voice assistants are changing the way people search for and consume content. By one estimate, half of the adults in the US make use of voice interfaces — for now, mostly on their smartphones. But with the steady improvement of voice recognition, smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, Apple’s HomePod constitute new platforms for accessing information. How will journalism fare in this new ecosystem? Obviously, a direct reading of news stories written for the print or the web will tax the capabilities of current speech synthesis — not to mention the patience of a listener. In this discussion, we will get an overview of the current voice experience ecosystem and hear about the voice promised land: why voice interfaces are so powerful and alluring and what the future will look like. We will also hear about first hand experiences from folks at The Washington Post and NPR.


Nov 17 2018 from 10am-5pm
Authoring experiences for a voice assistant or smart speaker is a combination of several distinct skillsets. Some conversational interfaces are driven by keywords, depending on users stating specific terms, while others involve artificial intelligence to create more natural conversations around content. The content itself is a product of both editorial work as well as programming effort to implement the conversation in code. In this workshop, students will prototype a journalistic application for a smart speaker. We will focus on Amazon’s Alexa platform and use simple graphical interfaces to design content delivery. Emphasis will be on developing insights into what makes a good conversation, reformatting and focusing on journalism that translates well to the platform.

nov 16/17 2018

Voice Interfaces
Talk: Joseph Price, Washington Post & Tommy O'Keefe and Liz Danzico, NPR
Workshop: Ha-Hoa Hamano & Nara Kasbergen, NPR