Features / How-to

How-to documentation GitHub Better Documentation Is Within Reach

Better Documentation Is Within Reach

Good docs help people use your work, but they have other benefits too. They encourage community contributions. They save you from your past self when you’re revisiting your own code six months from now. And they help you think: much like talking to a rubber duck helps you find bugs, carefully documenting your work for users helps you see it from a different perspective and design better code.

How-to charts If Your Reporters Aren’t Making Their Own Charts You’re Wasting Everyone’s Time

If Your Reporters Aren't Making Their Own Charts You're Wasting Everyone's Time

Someone could screw it up” is a terrible excuse not to cede control. We hear it often as a defense of why a newsroom doesn’t let its reporters make their own charts. It sounds reasonable enough, but when you consider the deluge of other types of content that come out of a newsroom getting swiftly edited to the highest standard, it becomes easy to see how the possibility of “screwing it up” is a terrible excuse. It’s time to think about and produce graphics in the same way that we do paragraphs: crafted by a reporter and vetted by an editor for both substance and style.

How-to reproducible data analysis What We’ve Learned About Sharing Our Data Analysis

What We’ve Learned About Sharing Our Data Analysis

Last Friday morning, Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger, and I published a BuzzFeed News investigation highlighting the ease with which American employers have exploited and abused a particular type of foreign worker—those on seasonal H–2 visas. That same morning, we published the corresponding data, methodologies, and analytic code on GitHub. This isn’t the first time we’ve open-sourced our data and analysis; far from it. But the H–2 project represents our most ambitious effort yet. In this post, I’ll describe our current thinking on “reproducible data analyses,” and how the H–2 project reflects those thoughts.

How-to How We Made “Faces of Death Row”

How We Made "Faces of Death Row"

This week, the Texas Tribune launched Faces of Death Row, a simply designed news app that prominently features photographs of each of the 261 people currently awaiting execution in Texas (accompanying article). The app allows for filtering by age, race, sex, and number of years spent on death row. Its simplicity—an artifact of the unavailability of the data the Tribune originally sought—is also its strength.

How-to How We Made “Money as a Weapons System”

How We Made "Money as a Weapons System"

How ProPublica’s team communicated the complexities—and absurdities—of $2B in mostly unrestricted spending by military personnel in Afghanistan.

How-to bots #botweek Die, Bot, Die!

Die, Bot, Die!

When and how to say goodbye to the bots when something has gone terribly wrong…or when no one’s really laughing anymore.

How-to bots #botweek Node.js Forecast.io Twitter Hi, Weatherbot!

Hi, Weatherbot!

A Node-based Twitter bot, one easy step at a time—plus the way John Keefe teaches basic botmaking to class of journalism/design students.

How-to mapping Twitter Twitter Mapping: Foundations

Twitter Mapping: Foundations

Twitter’s data editor lays out the major challenges and opportunities that arise when you set out to map tweets.

How-to TopoJSON svg SVG mapping D3 animation Animating Maps with D3 and TopoJSON

Animating Maps with D3 and TopoJSON

An exploration of an easy way to animate paths in SVG maps.

How-to Work Getting a Job in Journalism Code

Getting a Job in Journalism Code

Job hunting can be an intimidating process, especially for recent grads or people looking to break into a new field. The journalism tech community is a welcoming place for new faces and Sisi Wei and Jeremy B. Merrill want to help you overcome any fears and apply for jobs and internships in this growing and evolving field.

How-to Python #botweek bots A Botmaking Primer

A Botmaking Primer

Not sure where to begin with this whole bot thing? Joseph Kokenge is here to help you get started with botmaking 101.

How-to network diagrams Network Diagrams Are Hard

Network Diagrams Are Hard

Alyson Hurt digs into the challenges of producing legible, useful network diagrams using evolving web technologies and methods.

How-to elections Watching the Results Change

Watching the Results Change

Jacob Harris on the challenges of reporting and calling elections and the making of the NYT’s chart of minute-by-minute Virginia governor’s race reporting action.

How-to video Varnish Django traffic Live Streaming History

Live Streaming History

The Texas Tribune’s Travis Swicegood explains how his organization handled a massive, unexpected wave of traffic when they became the only news organization closely covering the SB 5 filibuster in Texas.