Rich Gordon

Professor and Director of Digital Innovation

Journalism/tech intersection, my passion for 25 years, data journalism, Miami Herald web director, now hacker journalism.

Posts

Posts by Rich Gordan

  • Join us in October: NU hosts the Computation + Journalism 2017 symposium

    An exciting lineup of researchers, technologists and journalists will convene in October for Computation + Journalism Symposium 2017 at Northwestern University. Register now and book your hotel rooms for the event, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14 in Evanston, IL. Hotel room blocks near campus are filling up fast! Speakers will include: Ashwin Ram, who heads research and development for Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence (AI) agent, which powers the...

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  • Software developers interested in journalism

    Northwestern and The Washington Post want you!

    Northwestern University and The Washington Post are offering a unique opportunity for two talented software developers interested in applying their programming skills in media and journalism. Here’s the proposition: (1) a full-tuition scholarship to earn a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University, followed by (2) a six-month paid internship with The Post’s world-class engineering team, with the possibility of subsequent full-time employment. These opportunities are made possible by the John S. and James L....

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  • Ten lessons learned after launching the Miami Herald online in 1996

    The Miami Herald homepage on the day it launched, May 11, 1996. Check out a complete, saved copy of the site here. Twenty years ago today, The Miami Herald went live on the World Wide Web, unveiling its website a couple of weeks ahead of schedule because of breaking news: the crash of a passenger airplane into the Everglades about 25 miles northwest of The Herald's building on Biscayne Bay. At the time, when newspaper...

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  • Seeking developers interested in journalism: New options at Northwestern

    Through a unique scholarship program, the Medill School at Northwestern University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have brought a dozen talented developers into journalism over the last several years. Successful as these scholarships have been, the program could benefit only those technologists who were able to take a year out of their lives to study journalism in Medill's full-time master's degree program. Now that's changed: Money from the Knight Scholarships is...

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  • New journalism/technology prototypes unveiled Wednesday

    On Wednesday, December 3, journalism and computer science students in the latest version of Northwestern’s “Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology” class will unveil the prototypes they’ve built over the past 10 weeks. You’re invited to see what they’ve come up with. The students have been working since September, when I and Associate Prof. Larry Birnbaum of the computer science department in the McCormick School formed seven interdisciplinary teams out of the 25 students enrolled...

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  • From Sourcerous to Trendable: Nine new tech prototypes unveiled next week

    Nine new projects from teams of Northwestern journalism and computer science students demonstrate ways that technology could help journalists, publishers and media consumers. And you can see them unveiled next week. The final presentations in our unusual "Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology" class take place at 6:30 p.m. (Chicago time), Wednesday, June 4 in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum. If you can attend, please let us know. If you can't, catch the live stream...

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  • Nine new projects unveiled this week by journalism, computer science teams

    Journalism and computer science students from the latest “collaborative innovation" class at Northwestern will unveil nine new technology prototypes this week — and you can see the demos in person or via a live stream on Wednesday. The technologies they will be presenting are: Spectacle: An app for Google Glass that provides an augmented-reality experience exploring the Northwestern campus. TweetBeat: A service that helps a journalist find Twitter users worth following to keep up with...

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  • Meet Chris Williams, programmer-journalist in training and the first Knight/Washington Post scholar

    Chris Williams Chris Williams, a freelance web developer for the past nine years, enrolls in the journalism master's program at the Medill School this week as the first recipient of a Washington Post scholarship for people with programming backgrounds. Williams is the 11th master's student to enroll at Medill under a program established with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to attract experienced programmer-developers into journalism. He is the first to participate in...

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  • twXplorer — A smarter way to search Twitter

    TwXplorer, a new social-media research tool launched today by the Knight Lab, started with one journalist who told us he had a problem. Peter Slevin, a Medill faculty member, has been working on a book about Michelle Obama. As part of that work, he periodically tracks her place in the "global conversation" by searching Twitter for references to the first lady. What he gets back: a long list of tweets mentioning Michelle Obama. He can...

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  • Journalists! We're building a tool to help you discover obscure relationships and we'd like your help

    Can new software help journalists do a better job of gathering, organizing and making sense out of newsworthy information? That's the question the Knight Lab has set out to answer through our Untangled project. When Joe Germuska wrote about Untangled in April, we were imagining a multipurpose "browser-based knowledge management" tool that would help journalists keep track of information they found online. Since then, we have explored this idea through a variety of approaches: by...

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  • How our university lab is helping prepare future hacker-journalists

    Medill “unicorns” at graduation (left to right): Assistant Prof. Jeremy Gilbert;Hilary Fung; Dan Hill; Sarah Adler; Katie Zhu, Prof. Rich Gordon The Knight Lab produces software -- but not just software. We also help produce a new generation of journalists who can thrive at the intersection of journalism and technology. The lab is contributing to Northwestern's educational mission, while also giving students a platform to prepare themselves to have an impact after they leave. Cases...

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  • Six things to know about successful open-source software

    In the community of media and journalism innovators, it is commonly accepted that releasing software with an open-source license is the best way to maximize the chance that others will use your code. Yet, by any measure, the vast majority of open-source software goes nowhere. That's why we've spent some time at Knight Lab trying to understand the dynamics of software adoption — especially the factors that cause open-source software to be widely adopted. After...

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  • 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 doing it...

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  • Journalism, computer science students to unveil eight collaborative projects

    Next week, journalism and computer science students from Northwestern’s “Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology” class will unveil the prototypes they’ve built over the past 10 weeks. And you’re invited to see what they’ve come up with. The students have been working since April, when I and my Knight Lab colleague, Associate Prof. Larry Birnbaum of the computer science department in the McCormick School formed eight interdisciplinary teams out of the 27 students enrolled in...

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  • Data's nice, but a school choice tool is better

    In Chicago, like most big cities these days, there's no shortage of data available about the local public schools. A parent trying to find the best school for his or her children can find data about schools in at least five different places: the Chicago Public Schools website, the State Board of Education's website, the Chicago Tribune's school report card section, Northern Illinois University's Interactive School Report Card and the "Five Essentials" site operated by...

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