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Posts Tagged ‘graphics’

Make Charts, Not a Mess: Quartz Open-Sources Chartbuilder

Today, Quartz open-sourced the code for their in-house application Chartbuilder on Github, so we can all make charts worthy of our reporting, and without driving the graphics editor insane. There’s a minor learning curve, but you don’t have to be a graphics whiz to make them.

David Yanofsky, a reporter for Quartz and the creator of the application, writes on Nieman Journalism Lab that everyone benefits: reporters become more independant in working with their own data and it makes life easier for our colleagues over at the graphics desk, who can get bogged down with requests for data visualizations.

The charts are easily customizable to match any newsroom’s standards, they provide ‘immediate visual feedback’ so you don’t have to update and preview to make sure you didn’t mess anything up, and you can work on them offline if you download the source code. Most importantly, it’s simple. Yanofsky writes:

A reporter’s understanding of an image file is exponentially higher than a reporter’s understanding of an iframe embed code snippet. Content management systems’ understanding of an image file is exponentially higher than a CMS’s understanding of an iframe embed.

You can get started right now, and if you are one of those reporters who starts zoning as soon as you hear “source code,” bring it to a developer in the newsroom. They’ll probably thank you.

 

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Ready to Share: Packaging Your Digital Content

Chris Johanesen of Buzzfeed says that publishers should ban slideshows. Can we get a round of applause? They are remanants, like pageviews and the ‘like‘ button, of the beginnings of everything digital. Nothing fills me with a sense of dread more than clicking on a link and realizing there are ten, 30 page slideshows at the bottom of the story. It’s why it’s hard to read certain sites.

And of course, slideshows and the pageview complex go hand in hand. Johansen writes that you can’t trick people into sharing content, which is how Buzzfeed considers engagement. Which is sort of interesting in that, while also ploys to get readers to click through and add to the tally, slideshows are also perfect packages of content to share. Like silly lists.

Sometimes, content is made for slideshows. A collection of really great photos, be it of a newsworthy event or a fashion spread, that enhance a story is one. But who has a staff photographer anymore?

Other kinds of niche content will still exist in slideshow form as long as we’re clicking though on desktops, too. I’ve recently made grilling a bit of a hobby and when I’m browsing for ideas, I click through Food and Wine collections, in the same way my grandmother used to peruse her tattered recipe box.  Maybe they’re tricking me into monetizing their site for them, but there’s something inherently ‘browse-worthy’ about food and restauarant pages, much like travel.

As our content all ends up mobile, we’re going to have to be more innovative about packaging it. Even good tablet versions of good magazine just replicate the print version of the magazine, like Wired or the Atlantic, with some extra features and links. Meanwhile, content like this spread here, should just be one colorful, interactive page on the web, sort of like it used to be in the magazine.

Slideshows, and lists, will only die when mobile content really subsumes your desktop view. Do you think slideshows are ever anything but a way to garner pageviews? Are you encouraged to create them?

Photo c/o The Huffington Post

Highlights From New York Times‘ Science Graphics Editor Jonathan Corum’s Keynote Address At Tapestry Conference

A breakdown of Tapestry Conference attendees, compiled by Ellie Fields.

NASHVILLE — A group of 100 journalists, academics, software developers, business leaders, designers, non-profits and government representatives are gathered at a hotel in Tennessee this morning to talk about weaving stories and data in the first-ever Tapestry Conference.

Jonathan Corum, graphics editor at the New York Times, opened the conference with a keynote about how he finds stories in data. More about Jonathan:

Jonathan Corum is the science graphics editor at The New York Times. His print graphics have won 15 awards from the Society for News Design and 8 medals from the international Malofiej competition. In 2009 the Times graphics desk received a National Design Award for communication design.

He talked about narrative, exploration, editing, audience and more. Here are the best tweets from his keynote address (after the jump).
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Happy V-Day: Valentines For Journalists (Part IV)

It’s that time of year when even the most hard-hearted journalist puts off deadline for a few sugary conversation hearts of questionable grammar. If you’re lucky enough to have a sweetheart to send those “Be Mine” confections to, bundle them with our annual run down of journo-inspired Valentines cards brought to you by the 10,000 words team and our readers.

Feel free to distribute any of these, along with any from previous editions: here, here and here. And don’t forget to let us know if you have an awesome idea we didn’t include, @10000Words with the hashtag #journolove or in the comments below. Maybe we’ll use it next year!
My #love for you is trending

You're my favorite RSS, really special someone

I'd jump sections to find you

There’s more behind the jump!
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Surprise As ProPublica Image Posted On Facebook Goes Viral

The next time you log onto Facebook to post your latest article, think twice about what you share. Instead of copying in the link, why not share an image from the story instead?

That method worked well for ProPublica. Its graphic of changing congressional support for SOPA and PIPA from Jan 18. to Jan. 19 went viral after being posted on ProPublica’s Facebook page Thursday night. In less than 48 hours, the image received more than 17,000 likes, was shared more than 10,100 times and received a whopping 1,298 comments. And those numbers are still rising.

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