Things You Made, Oct 25
New journalism code projects, plus updates from OpenNews
Things on Source Recently
We’re powered by our contributors, and really proud to be a place for documenting and sharing how you work and what you believe in. Some recent things:
- We’re Building a New Central Resource for Public Data: Public data often exists in silos. What would happen if it was all in one place? The Investigative Reporting Workshop created The Accountability Project to make much of that data available in one search, so that more journalists can focus on stories about conflicts of interest, influence, and accountability. Plus, pitch them a project using the data and get a stipend, data support, and co-publishing/promotion.
- How We Visualized the Challenges and Limitations Facing Autonomous Cars: How the Washington Post reported and developed a visual story to show how an autonomous car sees, thinks, and operates—in sometimes unexpected ways. A kangaroo is involved.
- Every Working Journalist in the U.S. Needs to Understand the 2020 Census. We’ll Help You Host a Workshop On It.: The Census intersects with pretty much every beat in the newsroom. The Center for Cooperative Media has a simple guide to creating a training about the 2020 Census, and OpenNews has small grants available to help.
Contribute to Our Big List of Gratitude
This year, we’ve thought a lot about the value of learning from peers. As the year winds down, we want to help you celebrate and champion the unsung heroes who’ve shared their time and energy with you, in ways big and small, with a series of shoutouts on Source.
It could be for something as simple as reviewing a few lines of your code, helping you think through a quirky dataset, or giving feedback on a map. Or maybe someone supported you over time or in something broader, like navigating tough workplace culture issues. Peer mentoring and coaching is largely invisible work—and it doesn’t have to be. Send in your thank-you, by Oct. 30.
Things You’ve Been Making
We’re always on the lookout for new work and things we can learn from each other. This week, we’ve collected projects about tracking, in various forms.
(Financial Times, Sept 4, 2019) From Robin Kwong, Head of Digital Delivery: Air pollution stories are often told at a city level but what matters to individuals is their personal exposure. We sent the Plume monitoring device to five FT correspondents around the world, worked with them to construct a hypothesis to test (Should I cycle, walk or take the tube to work in London? Just how much better Beijing’s air has gotten since the 2013 ‘airpocalypse’?) and asked them to use the device for a week or two, keeping notes and a video diary. We received pollution recording data as well as location data back from Plume, and had to write a script to join the two so we can show where pollution was highest or lowest. Steve Bernard, our senior data visualisation journalist, then talked to the correspondents to find a story in the data and the best way to visualise it, always being mindful that we don’t over-reach on our conclusions with just a small and not necessarily representative sample.
(The Trace/Measure of America/THE CITY, Oct 17, 2019) This team mapped more than 12,000 shootings and found that a bullet wound in Queens is more likely to be fatal than elsewhere in the city due to the lack of trauma centers.
(Univision, Oct 17, 2019) An investigation into the powerful surveillance being used to secretly track residents of New York.
(WBEZ, Aug 18, 2019) A user’s question becomes the inspiration for a ratty explainer zine.
What else are you making? Tell us what’s happening. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even More Things
How the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is tracking child homicides. Can you make AI fairer than a judge? Play this courtroom algorithm game. Soup recipes for when you’re working from home. Source designer Ethan Marcotte’s recent talk on what it means to be a worker of the web. A letter that reached its destination in Iceland thanks to a hand-drawn map on the envelope.
Source Via Voice
Remember to join our biweekly community call—it’s an open conference line where we talk to community members about their work and projects. It’s like a podcast, but with phones. The next one is October 31.
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Editor of Source from 2015-2020