Why I really love NICAR (and the New York Times)

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | One Comment

While discussing the rambly nature of this blog, Heather Billings and I decided late at night it might be time to change the tagline to “A Data Ghetto of my Thoughts.”  I thought some here might appreciate this. Today marks my triumphant, yet sad, return from the NICAR conference in Raleigh.  There was a frightening […]

An inside look at life at PBS News

Posted by on Feb 17, 2011 in Blog, pbsnews.org, programming, theory | No Comments

Our industry of “news application development” is still in its infancy.  As I’m given the freedom to reinvent how we do news apps over at PBS News, I’m relying heavily on staying plugged in to what’s going on elsewhere in the community.  What have people done so far?  How is it going?  What have they […]

DataStories: How I Envision News Apps 2.0

Posted by on Feb 13, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

When we last met, dear reader, I *may* have gone into a frighteningly long rant on the state of news apps.  It’s a conversation that came up again this Friday on Twitter, and it just reminded me how lucky I am (I’ll say it again and again) to be in my current environment. But I […]

News apps: Are we doing it right?

Posted by on Feb 4, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

This is officially the longest post I’ve ever written, and I hope not to repeat it. About 2500 words. I’m sorry. If that annoys you, well, it’s my blog. But when someone from the group of journos you expect to have a secure job..doesn’t–It calls everything into question. Here is the reaction to a wake-up […]

PBS post: Sharing our work, does it make “Census”?

Posted by on Feb 3, 2011 in Blog, pbsnews.org | No Comments

Yes, my editor has an affinity for puns and actually encourages the type of behavior in the headline. Breaking out of the typical j-school mold a little more each day (but little about me is typical to begin with). I was delighted to hear that USA Today, and more specifically data journalist-colleagues Anthony DeBarros and […]

Making the structured usable: Transform JSON into a CSV

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Blog, programming | 14 Comments

Nothing too groundbreaking here, if you’re a coder, but this was interesting to me in my coding development. This weekend, I pounded away at the Document Cloud API, experimenting with how we might integrate it into our continually-developing workflow at PBS News. This taught me a) the DC folks have some of the clearest documentation […]

Universities should apply expertise to explain complex topics

Posted by on Jan 20, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

News doesn’t always come in quick bursts, focusing on THE HOT STORY on a given day. If we’re telling stories about our world, there’s got to be more than “feeding the beast”. What about helping the public understand a large issue, as opposed to a soundbyte, or in addition to an anecdotal story? This is […]

Be the LA Times’ next “Data app producer intern”

Posted by on Jan 2, 2011 in Blog, CAR, django, education | 3 Comments

Imagine for a minute that you’re a journalism student, about to launch into the “real world.” You dream of a way ot bring readers interactive experiences that make the most of the facts behind a story. You admire the kind of work they’re doing at the New York Times, ProPublica, Chicago Tribune, the St. Petersburg […]

Looking back on a year: What now?

Posted by on Jan 1, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | No Comments

I realize New Years posts are completely overdone. And I really wanted my next post to be about how to use a JQuery library to make interactive tables. And I’m working on that. But I’d like to ask you to indulge me for the next few minutes, as I take a step back to reflect […]

PBS post: What Data Can’t Do For You

Posted by on Dec 14, 2010 in Blog, pbsnews.org | One Comment

The year’s end is always a good time for reflection. I’ve been doing a lot of personal thinking, and reading a whole slew of top 10 lists. Hype over static infographics that add to the overwhelming amount of info but ultimately fail in providing real understanding have always annoyed me. Interactivity can help, when used […]