News Nerd Roundup, Oct 16

Newsroom code and projects that caught our eyes

ProPublica looks at collection suits, mapping the impact on communities. (ProPublica)

Our browser tabs overfloweth with beautiful, remarkable things from the news dev world and beyond. Here’s a few we especially appreciated, from the past few weeks.

The Color of Debt

ProPublica (October 8, 2015)
ProPublica investigates the concentration of debt collection law suits in several highly segregated cities. Invisible, personal struggles become visible en masse; small debts add up to immeasurable wounds.

The Hard Truth about Cops Who Lie

WNYC News (October 13, 2015)
WNYC’s five-month investigation into police credibility turned up a slew of records on cops who didn’t tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A data-rich narrative makes the case, proving why these distortions simply can’t be overlooked. Part of the NYPD Bruised series.

Marshall Project screenshot

The Next to Die

Marshall Project (September 10, 2015)
One silhouette, one name, one countdown. The Marshall Project’s stunning interactive on death row executions strives to bring “attention, and thus accountability” to capital punishment. Includes an embeddable tracker.

Danny Meyer is eliminating all tipping…

Eater (October 14, 2015)
We love the concept behind this interactive. Form and function interlock with one, simple sentence. Here’s some behind-the-scenes, from the Vox Product blog.

WBEZ screenshot

The World Series and mortality

WBEZ (September 11, 2015)
How do you cover huge local baseball news, when a good chunk of your audience isn’t exactly sports crazy? We spoke with WBEZ’s Chris Hagan on our most recent OpenNews Community call, and learned all about this one. See the call notes here (check line 133).

The Ungoverned World

Bloomberg Business (October 13, 2015)
Spin and learn: It’s a devastating overview of our globe’s worst humanitarian crises right now.

Then head over to Aftonbladet for an incredibly moving close-up: Where the Children Sleep.

WBEZ screenshot

Raiders of the Lost Web

The Atlantic (October 14, 2015)
Archiving our work is a critical topic right now, so here’s a fascinating/terrifying peek into the wormhole.

“It’s gone gone. A piece of paper can burn and you can still kind of get something from it. With a hard drive or a URL, when it’s gone, there is just zero recourse.”


Book screenshot

Check out this classic book on information visualization, and see which pioneering ideas are still totally relevant.

And keep your graph love rolling — use the Sankey Arc technique to make better arc diagrams. See this paper for a cool case study using public transit ridership in Singapore.

We’re also fans of this AMA from D3 creator Mike Bostock, who urges aspiring data journos to stay patient and solve small problems first.

And ICYMI here on the home front, we dug into the dialogue on Google’s AMP, both here on Source and on our most recent community call.




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