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 […]

I’m speaking at NICAR (come anyway!)

Posted by on Dec 9, 2010 in Blog, CAR | No Comments

We can talk about journalism until the sun sets on the last printing press, but doing > talking. That’s why I’m fortunate to have found a great playground at PBS in DC. But I wouldn’t be able to attempt half of my experiments without the support of another community – NICAR. The acronym stands for […]

Are time-intensive story presentations worthwhile?

Posted by on Dec 3, 2010 in Blog, pbsnews.org | No Comments

My new post on PBS NewsBlog argues yes (not shocking if you know me). A sample: “If a story is posted on a news site, and no one cares, was there a point? Sometimes, us newsies wonder what the modern audience is looking for, and how to best convey interesting and engaging information. You shouldn’t […]

“I do not believe programming replaces the story” No, no, no!!!

Posted by on Dec 1, 2010 in Blog, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I placed this comment in response to Robert Hernandez’s post on OJR re: whether journalists should be delving into databases and programming. I hope to write more on this later, but my greater issue is at the separation of coding and storytelling. OJR’s posting policy means my comment is pending approval, so I’m posting here […]

Join the data convo at PBS NewsNav

Posted by on Nov 23, 2010 in Blog, pbsnews.org | No Comments

When I last spoke about my new shiny data journo job in the outskirts of DC known as Arlington, I said it was a dream come true. A month later, I stand by that statement, and say I couldn’t have imagined just how great it would be. I now even have teammates, and we have […]

Using Google spreadsheets as your database

Posted by on Nov 22, 2010 in Blog, data visualizations | 22 Comments

UPDATE 2/7/12: The whole, copyable script has been added to the bottom of this post, at the request of a few folks. Hopefully that’s helpful. The database is a key part of data journalism.  We spend a good amount of time making structured of the unstructured, and then we need to shove it somewhere so […]

Tools to help bring data to your journalism

Posted by on Nov 8, 2010 in Blog, data visualizations | 6 Comments

NOTE: This entry was modified on the evening of 11/9/10 to deal with typos and missing words, resulting from posting this too late the previous night.  Sleep deprivation isn’t always a good thing — although it allows one to do things more fun than sleep.  Like play with data. Note to self: Be more careful […]