How does the press hold technology companies, and technology itself, accountable? One way to do this is with what Julia Angwin’s The Markup calls the scientific “The Markup Method:” “We build datasets from scratch, bulletproof our reporting, and show our work.” But what does that mean exactly, and how does it help us keep technology companies, and technology itself, honest? In this May 2022 discussion on Hearsay Culture Network’s flagship show Hearsay Culture Radio (KZSU-FM Stanford), host Dave Levine chats Pulitizer Prize winner (and college math major) Julia Angwin about the journalism ecosystem and scientific method in journalism. Julia Angwin’s career, including work for The Wall Street Journal and ProPublica, makes her a leading voice on technology media and the state of technology now and in the future. Focusing on The Markup’s specific methods of investigative journalism, combined with critique of social media companies and the technologies that they use, the conversation takes on the fundamental question of whether it is technology itself, or how it is used by humans, that is the core question of our day. Who is responsible for these decisions, and how do we assure that their decisions are the best possible for society?
“I was really drawn to that idea of what does it take to prove that something is true in the world? It also turned out that that was a pretty rare skill in the newsroom.” – Julia Angwin
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill