ICFJ Knight roundup: New sensor technology to measure air quality in the Amazon

by Jefferson Mok
Oct 30, 2018 in Investigative Journalism
person in front of computer

Each week as part of the Knight International Media Innovators blog, the ICFJ Knight team will round up stories focused on how their fellows are making an impact in the field. Find out more about the fellows' projects by clicking here.

How sensor technology measures air quality, AfriLEAKS launches in South Africa, a fellow hosts a drone meetup in Nigeria and more in this week's roundup.

New tools created with sensor technology to measure air quality

Former ICFJ Knight Fellow Gustavo Faleiros helped build new low-cost sensor technology to measure air quality as part of his InfoAmazonia project, which tracks environmental and man-made changes in the Amazon rain forest. During his fellowship, he received funding from the Google Global Social Impact Challenge that's paved the way for InfoAmazonia to build and use sensors to monitor water quality in the Amazon.

AfriLEAKS, a platform to protect whistleblowers in Africa, launches in South Africa 

Spearheaded by the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR), AfriLEAKS provides a secure platform for sources to share information and sensitive documents with journalists online. “It’s not just state surveillance that you need to worry about," ICFJ Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein, who helped launch AfriLEAKS, told the Daily Maverick. Read more about the platform here.

Drone journalism meetup in Nigeria

ICFJ Knight Fellow Babatunde Akpeji will lead a Hacks/Hackers-Lagos meetup on June 13 to showcase examples of drone journalism and data collection.

Chris Conte publishes book about women in today’s Uganda

Former ICFJ Knight Fellow Chris Conte edited a new collection of stories titled “Women Coming of Age in Uganda.” The book depicts women's lives in Uganda from the perspectives of the past, present and future.

Chicas Poderosas holds training for next generation of women tech leaders at Stanford University

Recent ICFJ Knight Fellow Mariana Santos kicked off the Chicas Poderosas event at Stanford University. The conference featured sessions training the next generation of women journalists working with new platforms in Latin America. She raised more than US$10,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to help bring journalists to the event.

Managing Editor of ProPublica Scott Klein gave a presentation on how to apply data journalism to news applications. USC Annenberg Associate Professor Robert Hernandez talked wearbles. Chicas Poderosas also visited Google to hear from data editor Simon Rogers, got an audio lesson from Radio Ambulante and heard from other notable digital journalists.

What else the fellows have been up to

  • Flashcast, a real-time news delivery and audience engagement tool, was developed in 2013 with a grant from the African News Innovation Challenge, a project led by ICFJ Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein. This post by Journalism.co.uk highlights how passengers in Kenya are using Flashcast to participate in lively discussions about daily events – while riding the bus.
  • How do you tell a story that has been retold dozens of times? Going airborne helps. Journalist and founder of African SkyCAMDickens Olewe, is using drones to tell the story of the Dandora Dump, a landfill outside Nairobi. Here’s how he did it, as told by Journalism.co.uk.
  • Code for Africa and CFI are hosting two hackathons to be held June 19-21 in Douala, Cameroon, and Antananarivo, Madagascar. Journalists, technologists, coders and designers will compete over one weekend to produce a service or prototype to advance digital journalism. The two events are part of the “Africa Innovation: Reinventing Media” series. (Link in French.)
  • South Africa is one of the few African countries tracking marriage and divorce statistics. Using that data, Code for South Africa and iAfrikan are examining trends, such as why it feels like most people get married in December and the length of a marriage before divorce.

Main image CC licensed by Flickr via Benjamin Chun.