Features / Tool
Across many days at SRCCON, I heard many people express a common wish: a single piece of software that would unify every piece of knowledge in a newsroom. Reporters’ notes, interview transcripts, style guides, story drafts, published articles, and updated corrections: All of it would be eaten by this wonderful engine. It would store notes and publish stories and accumulate knowledge and even handle permissions.
Tik Tok creates elegant vertical timelines by pulling from a variety of data sources. It’s designed for newsroom coders of all levels. If you can copy and paste, you’re on your way.
Helping newsrooms improve interactive graphics and data visualizations by making them more accessible to all users.
Earlier this year at La Nación, we developed Doc2Media, an app that adds media resources to documents hosted on DocumentCloud. We created it to visualize hearings from a famous trial led by Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who died in unclear circumstances hours before testifying against the Argentinian president. After we finished the project, we wanted to extend its functionality and abstract it to a tool that can be used in other projects as well as by other newsrooms.
Remembering where all our tools live and how to use them can be tiresome, even for us. As a potential solution, we’re experimenting with packaging these previously web apps into a desktop application using GitHub’s Electron framework, which NPR has also been experimenting with for photo tools. The project is called Aufbau and it’s up on GitHub.
Meet our Twitter bot that follows a list of users and retweets them when they mention a certain topic.
Offloading some of a burden of continuous human monitoring to a friendly bot can be just the comfort you need on a cold Election Night.
Christopher Groskopf, master of CSVs, breaks down the magical powers of csvkit.
CSV Fingerprints creator Victor Powell talks about the tool’s inception, inner workings, and potential to help data-slingers in newsrooms finally ditch Excel.
Last week, NPR’s Visuals team released their dailygraphics rig, which offers workflow for small-scale visualizations, interactives, and graphics, along with “automated machinery for creating, deploying and embedding these mini-projects.” Their introductory blog post breaks down how to set up and use the rig, and the code is open source and ready to use. Alyson Hurt joined last week’s OpenNews community call to talk a little about the project, and we chatted with her and Christopher Groskopf afterward about how the rig came to be, what kind of skills are required to use it, and their aim to improve code quality and culture through process-improving tools.
If your websites have SSL enabled (when users log in, for example), or if you use VPN software to secure your network, or if you run your own mail servers, your newsroom might be affected by Heartbleed. Here’s what to do next.
I was asked to join BBC News Labs a couple a weeks ago to work on a project that, when it was first briefly explained to me by email, left me clueless about what it was about. (Imagine the discomfort before my job interview with Matt Shearer, Innovation Manager at the Lab.)
The project is called #newsVane—and yes, we refer to it with the hash sign every time, don’t ask me why.
We see a moment coming when the collection of endless streams of data is commonplace. As this transition accelerates it is becoming increasingly apparent that our existing toolset for dealing with streams of data is lacking. Over the last 20 years we have invested heavily in tools that deal with tabulated data, from Excel, MySQL, and MATLAB to Hadoop, R, and Python+Numpy. These tools, when faced with a stream of never-ending data, fall short and diminish our creative potential.
In response to this shortfall we have created streamtools—a new, open source project by the New York Times R&D Lab which provides a general purpose, graphical tool for dealing with streams of data. It offers a vocabulary of operations that can be connected together to create live data processing systems without the need for programming or complicated infrastructure. These systems are assembled using a visual interface that affords both immediate understanding and live manipulation of the system.
Today, we’re launching Source Jobs, a new place to list jobs for the newsroom designers and developers already populating our Community section—and for the curious developers and designers who don’t yet realize that their future lies in journalism. As the global journalism-code community continues to grow, our goal is to offer a simple, scalable listings service that newsrooms can edit on their own.
The code and thinking behind NPR’s implementation of the JPEG “filmstrip” technique in “Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt.”
Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director Trevor Timm discusses SecureDrop’s evolution and future prospects.
2013 OpenNews fellow Brian Abelson has been conducting research on pageviews as a metric, and on the relationship between pageviews and promotion at the New York Times during his fellowship there. This article is cross-posted from his blog.
Al Jazeera America’s Michael Keller introduces the three new open source libraries behind AJA’s displaced Syrians interactive app.
Introducing the double-whammy of Simple Map D3 and Tulip, a new mapping app from MinnPost.