Sensors and Journalism

Acknowledgements The hardworking journalists, scientists, activists, and researchers featured in the case studies gave a lot of their time to talk with the Tow Center, review drafts, and clarify fine points. In some cases they went back to years-old work to dig out important context for current trends. Really, any valuable analysis in this report is built on their work, so without their efforts, this would all be imaginary. They are: Dina Cappiello, Thomas Stock, Jeffrey Warren, Liz Barry, Shannon Dosemagen, Ben Gamari, Don Blair, Mat Lippincott, John Feighery, Alison Young, Blake Morrison, Sally Kestin, John Maines, Guan Yang, John Keefe, Josh Davis, James Jensen, Brian Boyer, Brendan Schulman, David Fallis, Matt Waite, and Mickey Osterreicher. The authors of the legal and ethics collection enthusiastically powered up their experience and talents to shine a light on this field, despite our (then) lack of definition and way too much hand-waving from me. Then, having figured it all out, they endured our nitpicking through more rounds of editing than I’d signed them up for. The result is a set of essays laying out a legal and ethical base that the industry can refer to in the years ahead. Their biographies are on page 1. On behalf of everyone they will help keep out of trouble, “Nice one.” At the Tow Center, Director Emily Bell and Research Director Taylor Owen gave me great direction and huge amounts of freedom and trust. They assigned generous funding from The Tow Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation so I could work with wonderful people, and gave useful feedback at critical points through the drafting process. This was a serious opportunity, for which I am extremely grateful. Back at the very start of my interest in this subject, Professor Mark Hansen generously showed me all the work that had come before, and introduced me to ideas, analysis, and so many of the brilliant people he attracts. Charles Berret stepped in midway to tell a masterful story of sensor history. His scholarship dazzles. Lauren Mack kept everything on rails, explained how the place worked, got people paid, and this report printed. Thanks. Finally, my deepest appreciation goes to Abigail Ronck, who edited this report like a champion. I sent her drafts full of messy syntax, terrible spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and flabby paragraphs. She uploaded copy with clean, sparkling sentences, told me when my thinking had holes, and filled in more of those gaps than I’d prefer to admit. As the word count grew she remained encouraging, committed and, perhaps most importantly, interested. Thanks. A lot. —Fergus Pitt, May 2014