In Hawking Hawking, I explore how Stephen Hawking came to be thought of as humanity’s greatest genius. Hawking spent his career grappling with deep questions in physics, but his renown didn’t rest on his science. He was a master of self-promotion, hosting parties for time travelers, declaring victory over problems he had not solved, and wooing billionaires. In a wheelchair and physically dependent on a cadre of devotees, Hawking still managed to captivate the people around him—and use them for his own purposes. [more inside]
More and more critical world events are documented by regular people with cell phones. I'm working to strengthen the verity of cell phone videos by augmenting them with corroborative data. [more inside]
This project shows how journalism has collapsed, and why. It shows how the profession's untested truisms and assumptions brought systemic problems and rigs into the profession, and how an alternative model to journalism where patriarchal, binary, biased, narrative, unscientific, and Great Man ideology doesn't corrupt the product. [more inside]
I co-wrote a paper looking at the future of public media and outlining where public media has stayed most true to its original mission.
A deep dive into how abuse by higher ups in the music industry is both an economic and social issue, and how our perceptions of those in power can bias us against supporting victims. It touches on two recent cases of shady and sexually abusive behavior from two record label heads (Calvin Johnson of K Records, Michael Gira of Swans) and the #freekesha movement. [more inside]
On November 13, 1872, a week after he lost the most lopsided Presidential election in history, and two weeks before his death, Horace Greeley wrote a letter to nobody, fueled by the paranoia brought on by a nervous breakdown. The letter is a heartbroken litany his debts and mistakes, some real, most imaginary. This is that letter.
Last year I submitted the work of a team of volunteer journalists at KBOO in Portland for several journalistic awards. While looking for places to submit work from that team, I discovered the means to apply for awards is very disjointed. Many links offering such opportunities are several years old, meaning in some cases, the organization is no longer making the offering. In other cases, the links are dead because the organization has folded. In still other cases, there is simply a message saying the organization is not taking applicants for the current year. [more inside]
Refugees and migrants have traveled over two billion miles to seek asylum in Europe this year. Follow the journeys yourself, and make choices along the way, in this interactive video narrative.
I'm producing a five-part podcast series on the intersection of journalism and privacy issues. Episode one, When Governments Spy on Journalists, went live today. It looks at the spyware-maker Hacking Team and journalists who spent years under surveillance by the London Metro Police. With guests from The Intercept and Privacy International.
KBOO, a community radio station in Portland, Oregon, has just completed a months long project investigating the American Legislative Exchange Council's effect on members of the state legislature. The project, made possible by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, contains pieces from volunteer reporters about aspects of ALEC's lobbying efforts, interactive maps and spreadsheets detailing legislator involvement in ALEC sponsored model legislation and links to ALEC and organizations that watchdog ALEC. KBOO intends the work to be a model other community stations in other states might use as a starting point for investigating their own legislatures.
After being annoyed with the sheer amount of misinformation being spread by news agencies and social media about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, myself and a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur have been working together on a blog that debunks some of the common myths, factchecks news sources, and answers reader questions. We work on getting as close to the original source as possible and generally try to stay away from "unnamed officials" or "unnamed sources" as much as we can. [more inside]
For years I've been disappointed with the quality and substance of technology news. The vast majority of it is far too niche interest (regular updates on AAPL) or marketing disguised as news (new Android tablet everybody!), and much of what's left is just not interesting to the average person interested in technology. The Brief is my answer to that. Every day I collect the news that is actually news and summarise and link to it. [more inside]
Find news articles derived from press releases. Just paste a press release in and see what you get!
Spillway, my blog, is now one year old. It's a portal to my writing and journalism. May contain traces of serial killers' back gardens, George Orwell, short stories, gangland civic pride, security infrastructure and zones, love for an underpass, London retro-futurism, Swiss minaret alternatives, how childhood movies shape the world of tomorrow, Koolhaas and Tatlin, Poundbury and insane asylums. (Why Spillway? Why "card-carrying neophilia"?)