Posts

Archive of posts from
March 2015

  • Long a challenge, Snapchat delivers crowd-sourced storytelling

    In the last few months, I cheered from the sidelines of the Macy’s Day Parade, I built a kite to fly in India, I strutted the streets of New York Fashion Week and I tailgated a football game in the dead of January. All from the comfort of my bed. How did I do it? Well, I watched these events unfold via Snapchat, an app I normally reserve for sending selfies to friends. I didn’t see...

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  • Newsroom love stories start with collaboration and communication

    This twice-weekly exchange has been going on since my first editor’s meeting two years ago when I first joined the editing team of North by Northwestern, Northwestern’s online student-run news magazine: “We’re going to do a story on the architecture on campus for this Sunday,” a section editor declares excitedly at the editorial meeting. “It’s going to be interactive. It’ll be so cool!” “That’s great,” a managing editor responds. “Have you talked to the interactive...

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  • Andrew Golis on launching This.cm and creating a social "magazine experience" on the web

    Occasionally we'll do a Q&A with an impressive maker or strategist from media and its fringes. Each person brings a unique perspective on journalism, publishing and technology. Catch up and/or follow the series here. Up until the end of last year, my daily news experience involved sifting through endless tweets and clickbait on Facebook. When I got an invite to This, a link-sharing social network that aims to “find and share the web’s best stories,...

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  • NICAR 2015: Machine learning lessons for journalists

    Machine learning is certainly not a new concept in journalism, but it seemed to enjoy plenty of prominence at NICAR this year — fantastic news for newbies to the field like me. I attended several sessions on it, both theoretical and technical, and a few key concepts came up repeatedly. Whether this year’s conference was your first exposure to machine learning, or you’re a seasoned pro, here are four takeaways worth reviewing: Machine learning is...

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  • NICAR15: Finding business data outside of "business" datasets

    If you want to uncover business news, never underestimate the power of looking at datasets that don’t look like traditional business datasets. Speaking in the “Investigating business with data” session at NICAR15, the Wall Street Journal’s Andrea Fuller and CNBC’s John Schoen provided a wealth of examples of stories written using not only traditional business datasets like the SEC's Edgar and FINRA but also non-traditional business data sets such as Medicare.gov. Datasets like Medicare.gov greatly...

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  • NICAR 2015: Jack of all trades, master of none?

    Participants in the NICAR conversation, "The 'hybrid reporter' identity crisis?" posted their official job titles and what they want their job titles to be. Despite the fact that neither drinking nor networking (“You need to be more sure of yourself!” Alex Duner wailed to me after an awkward introduction to his former colleagues) is really my thing, I found myself at the bar of the Marriott Marquis, in a circle of journalists from across the...

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  • NICAR 2015: Space Journalism and Remote Sensing

    Some of the coolest investigations that have been published over the last year have made use of remotely sensed data from satellites in space. Space is cool. And journalism is cool. So surely the combination of the two must be interesting. And while it didn’t involve firing rockets with journalists on them into orbit, a session at #NICAR15 titled “Space Journalism” introduced some really cool ideas about using satellite data to find and tell stories....

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  • NICAR 2015: On the necessity of interactivity

    Data. Interactive. D3. X charts and Y graphs that explain Z. I feel that we’ve reached a point where “interactive” has become an empty buzzword in journalism. It’s amazing how quickly interest and adoption of news apps and data visualization has grown in the last few years (just look at the sheer size of this year’s NICAR conference), but as interactive and data-driven journalism becomes more pervasive, we also need to reexamine the meaning of...

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  • NICAR 2015: Data from scratch — How to crowdsource data

    We know data tells us a lot. We write programs to automate data scraping. We spend hours creating data visualizations that help readers see what they need to see. We use data to make claims and generate stories that are reliable and have impact. Data is important and we seem to be surrounded by it. But that's not quite true. Sometimes, there is no data? A session at NICAR that really resonated with me was Data from Scratch:...

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  • NICAR15: 10 tips to avoid data mistakes in the newsroom

    A big mistake when dealing with data can ruin your day. Luckily there are simple ways to avoid big mistakes and maintain credibility with your colleagues and your audience. At NICAR 2015, a panel of data journalists from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussed the road blocks they've encountered when working with data for a story. The panel, moderated by MedPage Today reporter Coulter Jones, featured advice and cautions to keep in mind when dealing with numbers,...

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  • NICAR 2015: Finding the elusive data/prose sweet spot

    Before I become a good data journalist, even an adept data journalist, there is a skill I really need to nail down: balancing data and anecdotes in an easy-to-understand narrative. Super simple stuff, right? Wrong. It’s a skill that I was drilled and tested on in a handful of courses at Medill, but I don’t feel I've reached the sweet-spot where numbers are present, yet not boring facts that most readers skip. Coming into NICAR...

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  • Say hello to Knight Lab at NICAR15!

    Knight Lab brought a big crew to Atlanta and we’d love to meet as many of you as possible. If you’re interested in talking some shop, sharing ideas, or just saying hello, keep your eye out for: Heather Billings (presenting PyCar, an introduction to Python, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday) Joe Germuska Ryan Graff Jordan Young Mallory Busch Alex Duner Anne Li Anushka Patil Luke Rague Kulwant Saluja Ashley Wu Nicole Zhu (facilitating...

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