A Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science. Northwestern University joint initiative of Medill & McCormick School of Engineering.

Learning by copying: Why pulling inspiration from existing ideas is great

Back in September I finally started to build my portfolio site from scratch. This was back when the extent of my coding knowledge pretty much ended at how to save a document as an HTML page. Making my own website? Forget it; I had no idea where or how to start. Former student fellow KK Rebecca Lai suggested I find a bunch of websites, study the elements I liked through the console (the

Joe Germuska expands Knight Lab role

News veteran and technology expert Joe Germuska will take on an expanded role at the Knight Lab as interim director. Germuska has served as director of software engineering for the Lab. He previously co-founded OpenGovChicago and was on the Chicago Tribune News Apps team. Knight Lab executive director Miranda Mulligan will take a job in late January as creative director of National Geographic Digital. Mulligan has led the Lab for two years. “Our

How news organizations are using SnapChat to report and distribute news

On the surface Snapchat would seem like a poor service for journalists seeking to convey information. Users are restricted to images, text or drawings that last no more than 10 seconds before disappearing. And the only people who will see your content are people who already follow you. But that hasn’t stopped a few enterprising news organizations from experimenting, adding their own voice to the more than 500 million Snaps sent each day.

Nine tools for journalists to cut Twitter list creation and management time

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Journalists know Twitter can be a pretty crazy place, but it’s not like they can just leave. News occasionally breaks amidst the chaos! To cut down on all the noise Twitter offers a little-used but very helpful feature, lists. Lists allows users to cut Twitter down into bite-size Twitter chunks.  With lists journalists can specify which accounts they’re interested in and then view the accounts separately from their main Twitter feeds. Each list

How four girls conspired to take down CAESAR

Someone once said, “we should totally just stab Caesar.” Our school’s student account system, CAESAR, is the official course registration tool and is also the source of several frustrations for students. So my peers and I committed an infamy. We dared to totally take a stab at CAESAR. Each quarter, Knight Lab encourages its student fellows to think of how best to develop skills specific to our personal interests and needs. In the

How the git mergetool solved my anxiety, fears, and most importantly, my merge conflicts

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Back in March, another student fellow Nicole Zhu and I worked on a team challenge for which we were the primary coders. One day, she emailed me: “Uhh. I messed up. Sorry. I think you have to delete your repo.” She had been attempting to resolve a merge conflict, ended up in vim somehow, nope’d out of there, and messaged me to let me know her solution was to delete everything and re-clone.