J298 – War and Data: Telling Human Rights Stories Using Open Sources

Warriors murder civilians in the shadows. By their nature mass killings take place in war zones and other hard to reach places. Inaccessibility, lack of witnesses, conflicting stories: all of these help militaries and governments succeed in what they prefer to do, which is to lie and to deny. In human rights reporting confirmation is the Holy Grail. To this ancient fact the relatively recent advent of open source data has brought a true revolution. Images and videos posted from “citizen journalists” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, coupled with publicly accessible satellite images, let journalists confirm an event thousands of miles away in areas thought impossible to reach. But these methods, powerful as they are, raise issues of their own. In this seminar, we will learn how to use open source methods, develop protocols for confirmation and come to a broad familiarity with classics in human rights reporting and with current human rights issues, including Syria, Venezuela, Chile, the southern US border and beyond. Using open sources students will develop their own human rights reporting projects and bring them to fruition.



Time:  M 3:00 -6:00

Location:  108 North Gate (Lower News)

Class Number:  10847

Section:  003

Units:  3

Length:  15 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  12

Restrictions & Prerequisites