Highlights From New York Times‘ Science Graphics Editor Jonathan Corum’s Keynote Address At Tapestry Conference
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.
As legislative sessions start to kick off in states around the country, newsrooms will undoubtedly be looking for ways to cover various negotiations and budget crises. The idea of a “budget balancing” game is nothing new — lots of newsrooms have tried it — but many have taken their own conceptual approaches. Here are a few different examples:
This approach lets users select multiple options (tax increases and spending cuts) then watch on a scale how much money those decisions make in the short-term and longterm. You can read more about the methodology on the Economix blog.
Best feature: See impacts on both the short-term and long-term
The LA Times first lets you select a starting point based on how much you’d spend on public schools, and from there, you can granularly reduce or eliminate funding in other areas using a slider. As you make decisions, you watch the remaining deficit drop. Unlike the NYT approach, the LA Times lets the user have more control over the values inputted, rather than basing it off real-life proposals.
Best feature: When you’ve come to a proposal you’re happy with, you can see your breakdown for where money is allocated, then share it on social media. Read more
It’s responsive, it’s overflowing with data and it’s beautiful. The most recent project from The Chicago Tribune news apps team, Crime in Chicago, is a glowing example of the power of data in telling stories — and helping readers find their own stories in context of the big picture.
The standalone app lets easily learn about “crime on your block, in your community, along your commute, and more.” You can type your address or select from a map your community of interest to see an extensive breakdown of crime reports for the most recent 30 days, crime type breakdowns, historic crime trends for the community and granular locations for crime (e.g. garages, alleys, grocery stores). In South Chicago, for example, most violent crimes happen on the sidewalk whereas most property crimes and quality of life crimes happen in apartments. But you don’t just get a dump of data from a table — there are colorful, interactive charts that visually convey the information in an easily-digestible way.
The app also pulls in recent headlines about the community in a “coverage” section on the community’s detail page, providing extra context or details about crimes that have happened there. Read more
Feeling nostalgic for back-to-school lately as your Twitter feed and Facebook wall fill up with posts about first days and weeks of classes?
Journalists already on the job, both recent grads and lifers, don’t have to feel left out. Here’s a chance to bone up on your data analysis skills, learn more about tracking congress, and learn other skills to make you a better reporter and investigator. Best of all: The training is tailored specifically to journalists, including to their budget — which is to say, it’s free.
The Sunlight Foundation launched a series of online training courses, known collectively as Sunlight Academy, this month to help reporters better master their craft, with a heavy focus on watchdog tools and tips. They also have several politics related modules that can help track the presidential and other election campaigns as we head into the last few months before November.