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Jay Lauf: Charts Are Quartz’s Version of Cat Videos

If you’re not already familiar with Flipboard’s excellent On the Red Couch interview series, the latest episode is a perfect introduction. Editorial team member Najib Aminy recently caught up with Quartz publisher Jay Lauf at the digital startup’s NYC headquarters.

At one point, Aminy asked Lauf what he meant exactly by the notion that “code will be what tomorrow’s journalism is based on.” The publisher’s reply:

“The easiest example [of that] right now is the way we approach charts. Probably 50% of Quartz stories have some sort of a chart in them. Kevin Delaney, our editor-in-chief, refers to charts as our version of cat videos.”

“We built a tool called Chart Builder, which allows every one of our journalists on the fly to creat charts and graphs and put them into their own stories. We also open-source that tool on GitHub. It’s available to anybody, other journalistic institutions are using it.”

Lauf goes on from there to talk about the importance in the Internet firmament of sites like Medium. Great 12-minute window into the mind of this media company exec.

Correction (April 22):
The original version of this post incorrectly identified Lauf’s interviewer as Chris Heuer, a Flipboard guest contributor during SXSW 2011. FishbowlNY apologizes for the error.

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