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.
Blog: June 2013

Want to build a data journalism team? You’ll need these three people

When I started using software to analyze data as a reporter in the late 1980s, “data journalism” ended once my stories were published in the newspaper. Now the publication of the story is just the beginning. The same data can also be turned into compelling visualizations and into news applications that people can use long after the story is published. So data journalism — which was mostly a one-person job when I started

SoundCite gives voice to WaPo’s account of Wendy Davis’ filibuster

Knight Lab couldn’t have been more excited to learn that The Washington Post used our newly launched project, SoundCite, to tell the story of the Wendy Davis ‘tweetstorm’ following her filibuster in Texas. There’s just something about launching a project and seeing it used to help tell stories. It’s like sending a child off into the world and watching her succeed. SoundCite co-creator and Knight Lab student fellow, Tyler Fisher, said it best:

On receiving Google Glass: The world – well, the Web – #throughglass

REPOST: Wednesday, June 19 — my grades turned in, and commencement yet to come — I headed to Google’s Chelsea Market space in New York City, across the street from the massive New York headquarters building the company bought for $1.9 billion in 2010 (check out Andrew Blum’s book “Tubes” to learn an interesting reason the location is important). I had a 2 p.m. appointment, you see, with a product I had just purchased …

Web scrapers for journalists: Haystax and other graphical interface systems

I’ve spent my last weeks as a Knight Lab student fellow exploring web scrapers for non-programmers through an open source browser plugin called Haystax. As a journalism student who picked up computer science, I love scraping because you create a program that acts like a reporter, tracking the information you want from web pages you specify. It’s a useful technique to save journalists time copying and pasting data from an organization’s website, and

SoundCite beta, in-line audio tool, ready to use

Knight Lab officially took the wraps off of SoundCite this week, our most recent tool for content creators. In a nutshell, SoundCite makes it really easy for web publishers and writers to include in-line audio in their stories. We released an alpha version a month or two back and WBEZ’s Jim DeRogatis used it to give a profile of Chance the Rapper more depth by allowing readers to hear the lyrics DeRogatis cited in his piece. Indeed, music reviews were the original inspiration for SoundCite, but …

Slimformation: A prototype that helps you read smarter, improve your “information diet”

How many of you have tried to diet before? I know I have my fair share of attempts. So we all know there are better and worse foods for you (say, vegetables over macarons). The same logic applies to information. We live in a world of information overload, and consuming more of this information doesn’t necessarily make us smarter. In fact, it can do the opposite. People need to be more conscious about