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:Untangled

How Byron Lutz untangled the Calderon family’s connections and what it tells us about social network analysis

The main visualization for the Los Angeles Times' investigation in to the Calderon family.

On Friday, February 21, 2014, two members of a Southern California family dynasty were indicted on a series of political corruption charges, including tax fraud, money laundering, and bribery. Two members of that family — Tom Calderon, a consultant and a former assemblyman, and Ron Calderon, a state senator — would surrender themselves by the following Monday, both pleading not guilty to the charges. Tied to their alleged wrongdoings was an extensive network

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

Brainstorming ideas for social network analysis in investigations and journalism

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This year’s CAR conference has had many discussions about organizing data and surfacing stories, whether it’s through crowdsourcing personal stories in Al Jazeera’s “Uganda Speaks” project or by analyzing 80,000 censored Weibo posts in ProPublica’s “China’s Memory Hole.” Social network analysis, which is the analysis of the connections linking people, businesses and organizations, provides opportunities to uncover critical, and otherwise unknown, connections among such entities. For a while now, the  Lab has been

Knight Lab team at NICAR 2014

Hello, NICAR 2014. It’s lovely to see you all again. Knight Lab’s brought a small(large) crew to Baltimore for this year’s annual conference. Some of us are old friends and some of us are just dying to get to know you. So, please, don’t be shy. Reach out and say hello! Student fellows: Alex Duner (freshman, developer, journalism) Tyler Fisher (senior, developer, journalism) — Find Tyler at the student brown bag lunch and

New microsite to document and explore social network analysis in journalism

Campaign contributions. Insider trading. Conflicts of interest. Each of these topics requires a journalist to understand relationships among people, places and organizations — social network analysis. The Knight Lab started exploring this subject in April 2013 by experimenting with software that makes it easier for journalists to perform SNA. Our next step: a Knight Lab microsite that serves as a hub for collective intelligence around the application of network analysis to journalism. The

Noticias del futuro Knight Lab: My talk at #hhba #mediaparty

Ciudad Cultural Konex, Buenos Aires

Last week, my partner-in-crime and the chief nerd around the Lab, Joe Germuska, and I had the privilege to join what just might be the largest Hacks/Hackers gathering in the history of the grassroots journalism organization at the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party. The group is reporting over 900 people participated in its three-day gathering, with participants coming from all over North and South America, plus Africa! This year’s event was its second and was organized