Source Project Roundup, Jan 26

Interactive features, data journalism, and best practices


Two weeks of highlights and bookmarks: projects and code that showed us new angles, got newsroom coders talking, and pointed toward better ways of working.

Follow NYC Snow Plows and Use Our Flood Monitor to Check for High Tides

(WNYC, January 23, 2016)
WNYC didn’t just report on the storm, it helped residents navigate the snow (and its aftermath) more safely. For the daredevils among us, it aggregated great sledding spots, too.

Elsewhere, storm-related apps made good snow day projects.

Where Texas’ Private Universities Stand on Campus Carry

(Texas Tribune, last updated January 14, 2016)
Next school year, concealed handguns will be allowed on public university campuses. But private universities can opt out. Will they? This app shows where private universities stand on the issue, pairing each college’s position with a quote from its official statement—proving there’s nothing universal about Texans’ thoughts on guns.

MLive screenshot

How Government Poisoned the People of Flint

(MLive/The Flint Journal, January 21, 2016)
MLive/The Flint Journal is on the front lines of the Flint, Mich. water crisis, covering both the backstory and the fallout. This timeline of events builds upon extensive prior reporting, to serve the people who need the news most.

Public Integrity screenshot

Tracking TV Ads in the 2016 Presidential Race

(Center for Public Integrity, January 21, 2016)
As the U.S. presidential campaign rolls onward, we’re more clear on which candidates to watch. A new question: who’s paying for us to watch them? The Center for Public Integrity puts television ad spending into context with this series of colorful maps, some accompanied by video from the actual ads.

Guardian screenshot

The Injustice System

(The Guardian, January 16, 2016)
Follow Tyra Patterson’s grinding journey through the American justice system. The Guardian’s extensive reporting, bold data visualizations, and embedded documents give new depth, context, and weight to a familiar story of justice gone awry.

NYTimes screenshot

Dear Architects: Sound Matters

(New York Times, December 29, 2015)
We loved this rumination on spaces and sound. Each piece of audio puts background noise front-and-center, a reminder of the underlying hums, squeaks and roars that fill our days and our rooms. (Try it with headphones!)

And hey, the New York Times digital edition just turned 20. Here’s a look back at its many iterations and milestones, on the cusp of a changing web.

LA Times screenshot

Powerball Simulator

(LA Times, January 8, 2016)
Lottery simulators popped up earlier this month, as jackpots ballooned. We appreciated the blunt reality check and clear demonstration of why were all destined for Loserville.

…and More

DataBasic screenshot

It’s hard to love data-crunching when the tech feels totally out of reach. If you’re teaching beginners, look into DataBasic. It’s a new set of tools that inspires students to dig into simple datasets with fewer barriers, and it includes sample lessons. (A review.)

Melody Kramer explores the media landscape across the world, from an insider’s point of view. Jump into the first of 52 installments, which lands us in Vermont.

Watch the blue ball glitter, just for one day—then check out this conversation between its creator, Charlie Loyd, and the Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer.

Back at the OpenNews home base, the Coral Project is working to make communities around journalism better, stronger, safer, smarter. Join the Coral community, won’t you?

And, let’s talk soon. Our next Community Call is January 27.




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