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: December 2014

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

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

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.

The devil is in the details: shifting gears from developer to designer

For an entire quarter, I had the privilege (a curse to some) of focusing all my time on a single project. Romaine, a social platform/tool for selecting courses, had a simple goal: how do we harness the community nature of the question, “what class are you taking next quarter?” My initial solution was laughably naive and simple. ‘Just link each course to Facebook!’ I thought to myself. We’d be done in no time.

What can we learn from the history of social network analysis?

When I joined Knight Lab as a student fellow six months ago, I became determined to make progress on a social network analysis (SNA) tool. As journalists we continually look to provide quality information through captivating perspectives and I believe that network data fulfills a part of that purpose in capturing the details of our society from a structural point of view. But the fact is that network analysis is a tough problem