iPhone App, Children’s Coloring Book, Searchable Database Among Components Of California Watch’s Winning Project
The Center for Investigative Reporting and its online reporting initiative California Watch won the Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism for their “On Shaky Ground” series about earthquake safety at California public schools.
In addition to a three-part reporting series, On Shaky Ground included multiple online components that helped the organization earn the $5,000 prize. The project was published more than a year ago, but it’s such a good one that its worth recapping all the various elements.
The map and database
The investigation included a map and database component that lets users see whether a particular school is near a fault and whether construction there raised red flags.
If you remember the post I wrote about Brian Boyer’s tips for creating a usable app, the three questions he asks are 1) Who are our users? 2) What are their needs? and 3) How can we help them fulfill their needs? This app addresses each of those in a very usable way — readers can create their own stories through the data by seeing information that is particularly useful to them based on where their children go to school, or where they might work.