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Posts Tagged ‘data journalism’

There’s a Lack of Diversity in New Media Orgs. How Do We Fix It?

peopleThe Internet turned 25 this week and, like most twenty-somethings, still has much to work on, despite its ego. The Internet’s id shows itself in recent conversations surrounding the “new (new) journalism,” and various journalism start-ups. Emily Bell wrote yesterday that these start-ups are far from revolutionary — if only because many of them are founded and fronted by men. Think Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, Nate Silver.

Is this because female journalists are less likely to be plugged as “marquee” writers, as Bell suggests? Or that they have to choose between serving others or being a stand-alone presence as columnist? Or are women simply less likely to apply (remember that Clay Shirky post?).

While I’m glad she brought it up, it’s worth noting that she may be asking the wrong question. There are successful “new” news orgs founded by women and run by them. While Melissa Bell may have, according to Bell’s post, worked in the background at Wonkblog, she seems to have a presence over at Vox — if only because she gets screen time in the launch video. What about Sarah Lacy or Kara Swisher? Vox just poached Eleanor Barkhorn. Read more

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Need Data For a Story? You Can Now Buy It From ProPublica

logo-printJournalists writing about health, business and transportation issues can now purchase extensive data sets from independent, nonprofit reporting outfit ProPublica via its Data Store.

Launched Feb. 26, the store allows news organizations and individual reporters to “shop” for research that ProPublica has either been given access to by the federal government through FOI requests, or data resources gathered by ProPublica’s internal team. The site is launching the experiment to see whether the store might add a unique revenue stream to ProPublica.

Let’s say you need some figures on mortality rates along with cause-of-death data: ProPublica will link you directly to the data they have found from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for free (they’re linking from their site to ensure you’re getting the most current numbers). The same goes for data on nursing home deficiencies and documented oil/gas pipeline incidents, which ProPublica also provides links to.

But for the datasets that the investigative journalism provider has collected as a “result of significant expenditures of time and effort,” ProPublica will impose a one-time fee: $200 for journalists and $2,000 for academic researchers.

Read more

Steve Buttry Wants to Change How You Work (It Will Be Better, We Promise)

project unboltMost of our newsrooms, if we’re honest, are print organizations with the digital initiative “bolted on.” Or so admitted Digital First Media CEO John Paton. I can’t decide whether I’m jealous of or pity the man, Steve Buttry, who has been tasked with unbolting four test newsrooms as DFM’s digital transformation editor.

He obviously knew what he was getting into. More than just refocusing attention to mobile reporting, engaging with audiences over social media or creating new ways to play with and use data, Project Unbolt is about actually changing how newsrooms think and act. Buttry elaborated on his blog this week about what it will actually entail and look like to ‘wrench’ newsrooms away from thinking for print. Here are some highlights:

  • Everything is live, all the time. He writes:

Virtually all event coverage and breaking news coverage are handled as live coverage, with ScribbleLive, livetweeting, livestreaming, etc. This includes sports events, government meetings, trials, community festivals, etc….Live coverage is routine for the unbolted newsroom. Reporters and/or visual journalists covering events plan for live coverage unless they have a good reason not to (a judge won’t allow phones or computers in a courtroom; a family would rather not have you livetweet a funeral; connectivity at a site is poor).

  • In the unbolted newsroom, you post content when you have an audience. Digital content is fresh every morning, you aren’t planning for morning editions, and those ‘Sunday magazine’ style features go up during the week. Read more

Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund Announces 24 New Projects

Photo courtesy of Knight Foundation

Photo courtesy of Knight Foundation


Earlier this week, the Knight Foundation announced funding for 24 new projects as part of its Prototype Fund. The fund allows innovators to move from idea to demo with $35,000 in funding.

A spokesperson for the fund says there are several noteworthy elements particular to the current round of funded projects. Read more

Improve Your Data Journalism Skills, For Free

In today’s journalism environment, data is abundant, but journalists skilled at collecting, interpreting and maximizing it are not as plentiful. These are real skills that can improve your reporting today and improve your job prospects in the future.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to do your journalism job better (which probably should just be a standing resolution anyway), here’s a great free way reporters, editors and designers can improve their data journalism skills.

From European Journalism Centre, the people who brought us the Data Journalism Handbook, comes this five-week online course starting early in 2014: Doing Journalism With Data: First Steps and Skills

Among the topics to be covered by some industry experts: Read more

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