Category: NTNM Turned-In Assignments

#NTNM Assignment Three – Keith Zubrow

In the next decade drones and journalism will become synonymous. The addition of technology that allows storytellers to reach places that were previously untouched will help bolster a struggling industry. One of the key impacts drones will have on journalism deals with surveillance. Unmanned aircrafts will give journalists access to locations that were once considered illegal or impossible to reach.

In a previous post I discussed how drones will allow journalists to access restricted crime areas like fires. However, the impact of drones will far exceed simple crime scenes. In the past, journalists covered foreign American wars by being embedded with military members. That practice has since ended, and in the time since the accuracy of frontline reporting has suffered. Drones would provide a new opportunity for journalists to cover dangerous military conflicts without being in harms way.

Finally, imagine how the coverage of the Fukushima nuclear disaster would have altered if journalists had access to drones. The coverage would have unquestionably included better footage of what was actually going on inside and around the reactor. In the time that followed drones could have been utilized in an investigative way, to determine what precautions the government was taking to cleanup the disaster site. Newer technology that allows drones to perform 3-D scans, like the depiction found below, will one day allow the common person to not only read and watch a story, but move around and interact with the story.

Dandora Dumpsite in Nairobi, Kenya
by African skyCAM
on Sketchfab

#NTNM Assignment 3

(Source: YouTube)

That video isn’t shot with a helicopter. It’s pure drone action at its finest. This video not only demonstrates what drones are capable of  now, but it provides a glimpse into the new world that drones will help usher in. In five years, drones will be more commonplace within society and people will be more familiarised with drones as they will be an inherent part of the media as well as the average person’s daily life.

With its ability to reach new heights at that is more than half the price of a helicopter, drones will be a more cost-effective way to obtain footage from great distance and are able to reach areas that helicopters aren’t able to go to without endangering lives. While this may mean job cuts for people in the film industry, this is fantastic news for storytellers who are looking to reach areas that weren’t accessible to them before due to high costs. Journalists can access dangerous areas that they aren’t able to cross, allowing them to uncover more of the story and show more in-depth footage for their viewers. The average filmmaker can film footage with less people and the digital divide is broken down as flying a drone is certainly easier than flying a helicopter!

Big conglomerates are also looking to utilise the power of the drone. Facebook is also looking to use drones to carry Wi-Fi access to remote areas, which could improve rural societies with better education. Meanwhile, Amazon is researching a way to use drones to deliver packages and products to their customers directly.

In essence, the drone in 5 years will make people’s lives overall a lot easier. Storytelling will go in a different direction, forcing cinematographers and journalists to reconsider how things are shot. Personally, I could also imagine drones being used to deliver aid and services in areas that need assistance. I also wouldn’t be surprised if drones just showed up in in every household, right next to the vacuum cleaner…or maybe someone will develop a drone vacuum cleaner? We’ll just have to wait another 5 years. In the meantime, here’s a video, summing up how far drones have come:

(Source: YouTube)

#NTNM Assignment 2

Five years from now, advertising will be doing its part to make our world a much better place, enhancing our lives by putting brands right in front of us everywhere we go with gestural interfaces.

Alright, so I lied about the “enhancing our lives” part, but waveable technology certainly does have the opportunity to change the way that we interact with advertisements in out-of-home environments. For advertisers, getting consumers to interact with your brand in a deep way is the holy grail of engagement. Advertisers that are doing it already are ahead of the curve and have seen huge success.

For instance, this ASICS ad in a subway station lets commuters race an elite marathon runner:

Advertising like this works now because it has a factor of surprise and delight, standing out from the standard billboards or posters that people in large cities are accustomed to tuning out. It works because it provides tangible value to peoples’ lives, giving them permission to let loose for a short period of time.

Five years from now, though, it will be much more difficult for advertisers to stand out once this technology becomes more common.

Keith Zubrow #NTNM Assignment 2

There is no question that the inclusion of new technology in society will have a great affect on journalism. Pin-pointing what that affect will be seems difficult, but by basing my opinions on both historic and present trends, and some help from my crystal ball, here is some insight as to what journalists should anticipate.

The most trusted factual information will be based on data collected without anyone even realizing.

The next time you walk into a shopping mall, look around and to see if you’re being watched. No, not by the creepy guy on the other side of the store, by data collecting cameras.

New technology is emerging to track the habits of customers in order to better advertise to them. Within the next five years this data gathering technology will come from your cellphone and media companies will be equally interested in the trends, as retailers are interested in them now. The information will help journalists determine what you actually care about, and further optimize what content you see compared to others. Data will become one of the key drivers in journalism.

Is this real or fake?

We may not all have run out to the store to by a 3-D TV, but if you could travel back through time, would you? In the next 20 years, emersion technology will be come readily available and the oculus rift will become affordable. Instead of telling you about the day’s big news story, journalists will put you into the situation. The use of emersion technology will alter the perception that we as a society have on, well society. Instead of imagining what it is like to walk in someone’s shoes, we will walk in someone’s shoes. Furthermore the demand for journalists who can code will be at an all-time high.

Tummino #NTNM Assignment 2

5 years from now, waveables will be used in the broadcast journalism industry to enhance the quality of storytelling that is already out there. So long as any new technology exists than can enhance a craft, there will be a demand for its use, and waveables are no exception.

Right now, you see national news organizations make computer models of places where news stories take place. But using technology such as the Structure Sensor, they will be able to map entire places where a newsworthy event occurred. For example, if a murder occurred at a home, a news organization could map the home to show what happened. Granted, it would be a bit macabre, but it exemplifies how the technology would be used to bring the viewer to the scene of news.

You could also see interactive gesture walls popping up in newsrooms. Many news organizations are using giant televisions as part of showcasing news stories, and an interactive wall would definitely make those screens more appealing. Using the screens, anchors and reporters could interact with structural data taken from the real world.

LeapMotion technology could also be used to create interactivity with online audiences. News organizations could create content that users can manipulate themselves so long as they have the technology. This would make the news much more appealing because it turns consuming information — usually a passive act — into an active process.

20 years from now, the television component of journalism will be obsolete. Oculus Rifts will be in every home in America and will be the primary means by which news is consumed. Structural data sensors will be used to recreate real environments around the world and news consumers will merely put on their headsets to see what happened somewhere. Scanning technology will allow all major newsmakers to be scanned so virtual reenactments can take place. Online news consumers will be able to use technologies which interpret their body motions to explore virtual environments as well — and even alter them to uncover different things. By that point in time, an augmented reality platform like Magic Leap may have even evolved to let a news consumer step into a version of a real event without even having to put on a headset.

#NTNM Voll – Assignment One

With the progression of technology moving in the direction of portable and personal electronics, the way that we consume news is very rapidly changing. I want to explore the opposite of that: opening up news in a much more public venue, where multiple people are encouraged to interact with a story at once. Just like Microsoft’s Kinect sensor fundamentally changed how we experience video games, it can also change the way that we tell stories.

I would like to test out how the Kinect sensor, when combined with a large screen in a public area, changes how people use media, and answer several questions:

  • How can it best be used to convey information and data?
  • How can we make such an interface intuitive, so anyone walking by can interact with it?
  • How should such an interface be designed?
  • What types of stories work well? (e.g., longform vs. short, video vs. graphics, deeply interactive elements, etc.)
  • What are the benefits of storytelling in a public area?
  • How can such a medium be utilized for other forms of media, such as advertising?

#NTNM Keith Zubrow – Assignment One

The technology I am most excited to learn more about is the use of drones in journalism. While this topic is incredibly broad, so are the possibilities of what journalists can do with them. In the past we have seen footage from drones used in everything from amateur videos to professional footage, but strict regulations from the FAA have limited what journalists can do with the devices. These limitations not only hurt those looking to produce content with drones, but also the viewer who misses out seeing all of the possibilities of what could be produced. First consider the small-scale events that are often difficult to get close to. One would be a fire where the photographer does not have a clear shot of the burning building or the rescue-taking place. A drone would allow for closer footage to be shot. Additionally, when there is a car accident and the road is shutdown, a drone would be a great asset to get closer footage.

The test I would like to run experiments covering certain news stories with and without drones to demonstrate to the regulators and viewers why restricting this technology hurts us all. I believe that often local news stories are told without all of the footage needed to accurately depict what is taking place. By showing the footage that one has the access to shoot now compared to what a drone could capture could be instrumental in changing the legislation.

#NTNM – Assignment One


(Elders React to the Occulus Rift – Fine Brothers, YouTube)

With technology always advancing and becoming more accessible, humanity is empowered to answer the unknown, and solve the once-thought impossible. Discovering and adapting with the new development of technologies inspires courage and confidence for the future. Learning about a plethora of technology I was once unfamiliar with before, has provided a welcome disruption in my perception of the future of our evolving society.

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Tummino #NTNM Assignment 1

The technology I am interested in using for a field test is the Autographer. I have chosen the Autographer because the way it takes shots candidly is an interesting concept to me. In reading reviews about the device, I found one which praised the device for its ability to capture real moments in “the age of Instagram selfies.” This really jogged by brain to the fact that many photos taken nowadays are staged and manipulated to the liking of the photographer. However, the Autographer (as its name implies) uses internal sensors to take photos that it feels are important — taking the human decision-making process out of the equation.

The test I would like to conduct involves using the Autographer to measure engagement with TV and online news. I would put the Autographer on someone and sit them down to watch a 30-minute newscast on television, and then I would have them look at online news for a half an hour. The Autographer would take photos of what the person is looking at; hence, if the person is engaged with the news, the pictures will show that the person is looking at what is on-screen, be it a TV or computer screen. If the person is not engaged with the news, the photos will not be of the screens but rather other parts of the room, the person checking his or her cell phone, etc.

The test is inspired by the Eyetrack test done by the Poynter Institute which helped show how readers look at print and online content. The results of that test have served as a case study among print and online media outlets and shaped the manner in which they showcase and present their content to their respective audiences. I think the results of my Autographer field test can achieve a similar effect, especially for the broadcast journalism industry. I have been told many times over the course of my Newhouse education that viewers are not always engaged with the news, and I think this study can be used to see whether that is the case, and to what extent viewers are or are not engaged. Based on the findings, the broadcast and online journalism fields can possibly see what needs to be done in order to connect more with the audiences they are trying to reach.