Cronkite Innovation Day to feature drones, telepresence robots at ASU

January 27, 2017

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is hosting a public expo featuring a host of cutting-edge technologies impacting journalism’s future.

Cronkite Innovation Day includes a variety of interactive attractions, including indoor drones, telepresence robots, wearable technologies, 3-D printers, virtual reality experiences and more. The event is open to all ASU students, faculty, staff and the public. Innovation Day ASU's Cronkite School is hosting Innovation Day on Feb. 3, a public expo featuring hands-on activities with cutting-edge technologies. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now Download Full Image

Innovation Day is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3, from 4-8 p.m. at the Cronkite School on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. The event is happening in conjunction with ASU’s Night of the Open Door, a public open house with free activities across the Downtown Phoenix campus, and First Fridays, a monthly art walk in Phoenix.

Innovation Day was established last year by Cronkite Innovation Chief Eric Newton, who drives cutting-edge ideas at the Cronkite School and Cronkite News, the school’s multiplatform daily news operation.

“Imagine a festive environment in which the curious try new technologies and brainstorm ways these new tools can help make journalism better,” Newton said. “That’s Innovation Day.”

Cronkite and ASU faculty and staff are joined by technology companies big and small to provide information and instruction about the technologies. Attractions include:

  • Drive a Robot, See the Drones: Drive a telepresence robot and learn how the school uses them. Witness different types of drones and how they can impact news coverage.
  • Inside a Human Cell: Experience what it’s like to walk through a cell inside a human through a virtual reality experience from ASU’s Center for Education Through eXploration. 
  • Visit a “Future Classroom”:  Demo a new learning platform that enables teachers to interact with students using both screen displays and phones.
  • Experience 360 News Video: See how immersive news video is becoming more journalistic, with more compelling productions, with the help of the Cronkite New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab. Watch a live stream of Innovation Day itself at a camera station — and try to find yourself in the picture.  
  • Visit the Desert: The ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering invites you to put on an advanced Oculus Rift headset and feel like you are right in the middle of the desert, with sights and sounds from every direction.
  • Try Apps and Wearables: Try out more than a dozen mobile reporting apps that are reshaping journalism with help from Cronkite News faculty members. Or test wearable media that helps you stay informed — or keep fit (with the help of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation).
  • See 3-D Printers: Check out 3-D printers in action from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the ASU library system, and learn how they are transforming industries and everyday life.
  • New Ways to Broadcast: Test a variety of clip-on lenses, microphones, tripods and other accessories that transform a smartphone into a broadcast camera. If your phone isn’t enough, try the fully loaded Video Journalist Backpack with even more equipment. Check out the highest-quality mics and headphones from leading brands.

“Innovation Day reflects the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of our fantastic students and faculty at the nation’s most innovative university,” said Cronkite School Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan. “We are excited to welcome the community to tour our school and experience the future of journalism and beyond through some fun hands-on activities.”

Students who tweet great ideas for journalistic uses of technology using the hashtag #cronkiteinnovation can win prizes in continuous giveaways during the evening.

Participating companies include the event’s lead sponsor, Sony, as well as B&H Photo Video, Suitable Technologies, Sennheiser, Rode, iOgrapher, Reticare, PanzerGlass, Whoosh!, Mobile-Catch and Plasticase.

Innovation Day will be located in the Cronkite School’s First Amendment Forum at 555. N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. 

Communications manager, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication


Study finds race plays key factor in police use of force

ASU researcher co-authors report that quantifies whether race plays a role

January 27, 2017

A new study looks at the role race plays when it comes to how police use force. It found white officers use greater force on black suspects than they do on white suspects. Black officers, meanwhile, were found to use similar force against both black and white suspects. The study, recently published in the British Journal of Criminology is co-authored by an Arizona State University criminology professor.

“Much of what’s purported to be known about the role of race and force has been almost universally anecdotal in nature,” said professor William Terrill, a police use of force expert with the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “Hence, we examined data from seven mid-to-large police agencies to look at suspect and officer race in a more comprehensive manner by examining both resistance on the part of suspects and force on the part of the police.” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detain a suspect Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detain a suspect during a 2009 New Years Eve event. First Night Charlotte 2009 photo courtesy Creative Commons: James WIllamor/ Download Full Image

The study reviewed 6,000 use of force cases in seven cities over a two-year span: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Knoxville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon and St. Petersburg, Florida. Only data from male police officers and male citizens were used to remove outside variables such as female suspects and other races.

Researchers also examined whether the amount of resistance shown by the suspect was different depending on whether the officer was black or white.

“We found that both black and white suspects offered similar levels of resistance toward the police irrespective of the officer’s race,” Terrill said.  

While the data suggests possible bias on the part of white officers when it comes to the use of force, Terrill says the study by no means proves it.

“This is not, in any way, to say that police officers are ‘racist,’ but it is to say that race cannot be dismissed,” noted Terrill. “As our findings demonstrate, white officers used greater force on black suspects compared to whites. Hence, race is playing some sort of factor.” 

William Terrill

William Terrill is a professor in the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Photo courtesy Michigan State University.

The study, “Race and the Police Use of Force Encounter in the United States,” was published Dec. 26 in the British Journal of Criminology. University of Central Florida criminal justice professors Eugene Paoline and Jacinta Gau authored the study along with Terrill. It is based on data from the Assessing Police Use of Force Policy and Outcomes Project funded in 2005 by the National Institute of Justice, a research unit of U.S. Department of Justice.

“There are no easy solutions to improving relations between police and communities, such as hiring more black officers or simply training white officers on non-biased policing,” Terrill pointed out. “Police departments have to at least be open to the possibility that some of the disparity in police use of force behavior may indeed be based on race such as how officers view black suspects and the lens in which they view potential danger.”

Paul Atkinson

assistant director, College of Public Service and Community Solutions