Reporters who draw


I'm an avid news consumer, so it was a treat to help a gaggle of tech journalists from outlets like the Wall Street Journal, WNYC, and Gizmodo, draw their way to understanding new developments in technology and the datasphere at Data & Society yesterday. To get  them started I gave a quick drawing lesson and then had them create and share their own personal technology stories (image above). They also played a picture guessing game similar to a game that rhymes with the word "Wiktionary," and created icons that represented new tech terms while avoiding visual cliches. The verbal and visual metaphors we use influence and color our understanding. So to loosen up their thinking and get them to think about tech differently, we got them to visually represent technology terms with novel imagery. Angie Waller of Data & Society came up with this game.


Here is a drawing trying to show what a botnet was, without using robot imagery.


After our activities I asked the participants to share one word that summed up their experience with what we had done. Then I made an illustrated poster out of their responses which ranged from "discovery" to "creative" to "conceptual." Thanks to Data & Society and all the journalists who dove in!