Erin Kissane


Editor, Source, 2012-2018.

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Erin’s work on Source


  1. Shift Change
  2. Five Years, What a Surprise
  3. Introducing the Field Guide to Open Source in the Newsroom
  4. Hello Again
  5. Welcome to Work Week
  6. About that Guardian Website

Articles by Erin

  1. Shift Change

    Lindsay into lead, Erin over and out

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    I am excited about where you are going, and it has been a gift to spend five years in service of your work.

  2. Things You Made, March 13

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, best practices, and updates

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    Our biweekly roundup of interactive and data journalism you may have missed.

  3. Source + OpenNews at NICAR 2018

    Where we’ll be and how to join us for workshops and food

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    Lindsay and Erin and the rest of the OpenNews crew will be in Chicago for NICAR 2018, and we’d love to see you there. Come hang out with us!

  4. Things You Made, February 13

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, best practices, and updates

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    Our regular biweekly roundup.

  5. How We Made Our School Segregation Interactive

    A Q&A with Vox’s Alvin Chang

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    We really appreciated Vox’s recent illustrated interactive on school segregation and gerrymandering—particularly because its creator, Alvin Chang, worked alongside Tomas Monarrez, a UC Berkeley economics PhD candidate.

  6. At the End of 2017

    Thank you for everything. We’re going to go lie down.

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    Very subjectively, it was an astonishing year in data and interactive journalism. Every week, we found ourselves both horrified by the subject matter and thrilled to see our community producing so much good work, and doing so with open kindness and generosity.

  7. The Work We Do Tells Amazing People That They Do Not Belong

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Sydette Harry

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    With SRCCON:WORK just getting underway, here’s our Q&A with our opening speaker, Sydette Harry of the Coral Project and the Mozilla Foundation. Sydette spoke this morning about journalism’s inclination to skip the critical questions about diversity and representation.

  8. Mental Health Strategies for the Non-Invincible Newsroom

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Erin Brown

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference.

  9. Building Collaboration Without Surveillance

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Mandy Brown

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference. Here’s our Q&A; with Mandy Brown.

  10. Changing Newsrooms from the Ground Up and the Top Down

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Jessica Morrison

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference.

  11. What Mentorship Means and Why It’s Magic, Pt. 2

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker David Yee

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference. Here’s our Q&A with David Yee.

  12. What Mentorship Means and Why It’s Magic

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Nicole Zhu

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference. Here’s our Q&A; with Nicole Zhu.

  13. Data Stories That Aren’t Downers

    In which NICAR-L provides a big list of stories that might make you feel a little better

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    Last week, ProPublica’s Olga Pierce wrote to the NICAR-L list asking for help putting together a list of “happy data stories” or stories related to the arts, at the request of some of her students.

  14. You’re Perfect, We Can’t Hire You

    A brief interview with SRCCON:WORK speaker Disha Raychaudhuri

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    SRCCON:WORK is coming up fast. In the run-up to the event, we’re publishing short interviews with the nine people selected to give talks to frame the participatory sections at the heart of the conference. Here’s our Q&A; with Disha Raychaudhuri.

  15. Wanted: Your Syllabi and Most-Shared Resources

    Source Guides collect resources—from our archives and elsewhere—to help journalists do their work

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    We launched Source Guides a couple of years ago as a way of giving readers new angles on our archives—but it quickly became apparent that they’d work even better if they included external resources as well. Earlier this year, we opened up Guides to non-staff curators, and as we look toward the end of the year, we want your Guide pitches.

  16. How to Save DNAInfo/Gothamist Bylines

    What we know so far about rescuing the destroyed archives of local reporting

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    The owner of the DNAInfo and Gothamist family of local news websites shut the sites down today, which means that not only are all their 115 journalists out of work, but all their bylines—and all the vital information in their years of reporting—is gone.

  17. Things You Made, Oct 24

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, best practices, and updates

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    Our regular biweekly roundup.

  18. Five Years, What a Surprise

    We made a website and people showed up.

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    How we made Source, and why, and what happened then.

  19. Visualizing Mass Shootings

    Two years of interactives and data on gun killings in the US

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    Over the past two years or so, we’ve kept tabs on our community’s work around guns in America. We’ve seen a wealth of data visualizations and a huge breadth of interactive projects that bring clarity to stories of gun violence and mass shootings—projects often assembled quickly amidst the chaos of breaking news.

  20. Things You Made, Sept 12

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, best practices, and updates

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    Our biweekly roundup of projects in the journalism/code universe.

  21. All About the New ProPublica Site

    David Sleight, ProPublica’s director of design, breaks it down

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    A Q&A about how the new ProPublica site came to be.

  22. Farewell, SRCCON 2017

    Two days of work and culture sessions with newsroom nerds from all over

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    What we did on our summer vacation SRCCON 2017.

  23. SRCCON Spotlight: Accessibility in Media

    A close look at the practicalities of making interactive and data journalism available to more people

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    The session on accessibility and media run by Joanna S. Kao and John Burn-Murdoch in 2016 was one of our favorites, and deals with one of those topics that hovers at the fringe of most newsroom-dev conversations.

  24. SRCCON Spotlight: Building a Culture of Documentation

    Lauren Rabaino and Kelsey Scherer’s session on making space and time to write it down

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    Last year’s SRCCON participants got a lot out of Lauren Rabaino & Kelsey Scherer’s docs session, and we’ve found ourselves returning to the transcript more than once.

  25. SRCCON Spotlight: Keeping Data Stories Human

    William Wolfe-Wylie’s 2016 session on representation in data journalism

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    One of the SRCCON 2016 sessions that attendees talked about most was “Keeping People at the Forefront of Data Stories,” facilitated by William Wolfe-Wylie and based on his experience working on the CBC News project, “Missing and Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls.”

  26. Harlo Holmes on Newsroom Security in 2017

    The Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Director of Digital Security on the biggest risks newsrooms face

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    Harlo Holmes is a media scholar, software programmer, and activist who leads digital security work for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the organization co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg and Trevor Timm in 2012 to fund and protect adversarial investigative journalism. Holmes has long been a contributor to the open source mobile security collective The Guardian Project, and was a founding member of the DeepLab cyberfeminist collective. In 2014, Holmes was a Knight-Mozilla Fellow at the New York Times.

  27. Welcome to Security Week

    Privacy, paranoia, tools, and journo-nerd tradecraft, all week long

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    When the conversation in nerd-journalism concentrates around a particular topic, we sometimes assemble a theme week on Source to help collect the loose threads and encourage journalists (and designers and developers and data analysts) to document their related work. Sometimes they’re excuses for robotic fun, and other times a catalyst for difficult but necessary culture conversations. A Security Week in 2017, though, is a no-brainer.

  28. Q&A with Emily Goligoski

    Research at the NYT + the brand-new Membership Puzzle Project

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    Emily Goligoski has spent nearly three years doing deep-dive ethnographic research as user experience research lead at the New York Times, where she analyzed reader interactions with breaking news stories, studied millennial news junkies, and more. Goligoski recently announced that she is leaving the Times to join the brand-new Membership Puzzle Project, a collaborative effort between De Correspondent and NYU, and kindly agreed to speak with us during her transition between projects.

  29. Wanted: Security Pitches

    Contribute to Security Week, coming to Source in June

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    Next month on Source, we’re running a week of pieces focused on security for journalists and news organizations—our first-ever Security Week.

  30. Tracking the Trump Trackers

    A meta-analysis of how US news orgs are following the president’s political promises

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    We’ve been collecting examples of “Trump trackers” since shortly after Election Day, and now that we’ve passed the Day 100 mark of Trump’s presidency, we’ve pulled together the most comparable of them to look at what they’re tracking, how they’re visually presenting the information, what kind of language they use, and what structural and design approaches underlie each feature.

  31. Competition Be Damned

    How reporters at the Washington Post, New York Times, ProPublica, and more self-organized to free trapped FEC data

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    Last Wednesday, the Trump Inaugural Committee’s FEC filing appeared on the FEC site in its horrible hand-delivered image-PDF glory. ProPublica’s Derek Willis noted its arrival on Twitter.

  32. Things You Made, March 28

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, and best practices

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    Projects from the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Pudding, the Sun Sentinel, and more.

  33. Things You Made, March 14

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, and best practices

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    Projects from the Center for Public Integrity, ProPublica, Reveal, Univision, and more.

  34. How We Made Nu Source

    Our redesign evolved slowly and came together quickly, with a small team

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    How our small team redesigned Source, with a design refresh and a new navigation and structure that matches the way we publish now.

  35. Things You Made, Feb 21

    Interactive features, project breakdowns, and best practices

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    We’ve returned from roundup hiatus with a new website, a new OpenNews, a bunch of great columnists and new writers, and the another batch of excellent new things you made.

  36. Hello Again

    New site, new setup, more you

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    Source is published by OpenNews, a project incubated at Mozilla and funded by the Knight Foundation to support and strengthen the community working on open technologies and processes in journalism. As of today, OpenNews is independent, working as a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit fiscal sponsor. You can read about our new setup and the programs and events we’ll be offering—and get the just-released dates and location for SRCCON 2017—at our blog.

  37. Source Update: New Columns, Call for Pitches

    The latest on our direction and plans for 2017

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    Call for pitches, looking ahead to 2017.

  38. What You’ve Been Making, Nov 11

    Interactive features, data journalism, and best practices

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    OpenNews (and thus Source) exists to do one thing: to help a community of newsroom technologists, data scientists, and interactive designers thrive. We believe in the value of the work, now as ever. We will continue to look for new ways to support what you do, and to support you, as human beings. For now, we offer some links to your work on the way the vote went down, a map of loss, images of new Europeans, strong words, and more.

  39. How (and Why) ProPublica Got Into the Elections Game

    A Q&A with the team behind Electionland and the Election DataBot

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    Yesterday morning, ProPublica announced two new projects: Electionland, a large-scale intiative to report on voting access and problems in the upcoming US elections, and Election DataBot, a comprehensive election-info data tracker and feed.

  40. Botweek’s Closing Circle

    Botweek is over, but the bot conversation has never been richer

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    A few of our favorite bits of thinking and linking around bots.

  41. The People and Tech Behind the Panama Papers

    How Long-Term Infrastructure-Building Enabled the Biggest Leak in Data Journalism History

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    As the ICIJ-led consortium prepares for the second major wave of reporting on the Panama Papers, we spoke with Mar Cabra, editor of ICIJ’s Data & Research unit and lead coordinator of the data analysis and infrastructure work behind the leak. In our conversation, Cabra reveals ICIJ’s years-long effort to build a series of secure communication and analysis platforms in support of genuinely global investigative reporting collaborations.

  42. Bring Us Yer Bots

    Time to round up your bot thoughts for #Botweek 2016

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    Our third annual Source #Botweek will kick off April 25, 2016, bringing another batch of automation-related project teardowns and walkthroughs, bot-centric how-tos, and considerations of the challenges and implications of bots in newsrooms.

  43. An Open Guide to Zika Data

    Finding and curating datasets for an open guide, when data is scarce

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    Over a month after Brazil declared a state of emergency in response to a Zika outbreak, clear information on the virus is hard to come by. On Monday, BuzzFeed’s Jeremy Singer-Vine started an open guide to Zika-related data, to collect what we do know and help other journalists do the same. It points to resources like global and country-specific data on the spread of the virus, its mosquitos, and microcephaly, from respected sources. We asked why he started it, how he curates it, and where he can use everyone’s help.

  44. How We Made ‘Homan Square: a portrait of Chicago’s detainees’

    A Q+A with The Guardian U.S. interactive team

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    On October 19, the Guardian published Homan Square: A Portrait of Chicago’s Detainees as a part of its ongoing investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s alleged abuses of detainee rights at a warehouse facility on Chicago’s west side. We spoke with the Guardian interactive team responsible for the interactive feature, both in their NYC offices and via email.

  45. Tell Us How You Work

    Pitches due Sept. 5 for Work Week on Source, so get ‘em in now

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    Pitch now for Work Week (September 14-18), and tell us your best ideas related to workflow, project management, team communication, burnout, and more. Pitches due Friday, September 5.

  46. Fellows + Code Convening = New Open Source Tools

    Seven new projects out of our July code convening

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    Our fifth OpenNews code convening wrapped up last Friday. Uniquely for our convenings, this one included all seven of our current Knight-Mozilla Fellows, each working with a colleague from their news organization or another organization with shared challenges and complimentary skills. Over the next week, we’ll be posting project introductions from each of the seven project teams that joined us in Portland for the event. In the interim, a quick intro to the teams, the projects they brought to the convening, and what they got done.

  47. Seven Projects from the OpenNews + Write the Docs Code Convening

    New code and documentation for news organizations

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    Journalist-coders tackled last-mile work and documentation at our Open News code convening in May, held in affiliation with the Write the Docs conference. Here’s what they did and what comes next.

  48. Front-End Performance with Vox Media

    A chat roundtable from the News Nerdery Slack group

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    A chat roundtable from the News Nerdery Slack group focused on practical ways to make sites (and news apps) run faster.

  49. Attack of the Helpful Chatbots

    Small, Powerful, and Adorable—the Chatbot at Work

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    A roundup of the little bots that make daily research and administrative tasks easier and more fun.

  50. Source Hiring & Appreciations

    Backstage changes and a new editorial opening

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    We’re planning many changes and additions to Source over the course of 2015. I’ll write about those as they happen, but our first announcement is about changes behind the scenes. I am very happy to announce a new opening for an assistant editor, to join me and the rest of the team in keeping Source watertight and pointed in the right direction. If that sounds like you or someone you know, please take a look at the job description and send us a résumé.

  51. Return of the Code Convenings: Elections and Updates

    Four new projects and news from many others

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    Earlier this month, we held our third-ever OpenNews Code Convening, and our first one west of Portland, Oregon. Code Convenings are short events that bring together pairs of developers from news organizations to finish, document, and release open source projects they’ve been chipping away at.

  52. The Guardian Launches an Open Redesign for US Readers

    The new site is responsive, speedy, and fully backed by new tools for journalists

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    The new site is responsive, speedy, and fully backed by new tools for journalists. We spoke with the project’s leaders about their experience, the new features, and what they have planned for the future.

  53. All About CSV Fingerprint

    Victor Powell talks about the tool’s inception, inner workings, and potential

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    CSV Fingerprints creator Victor Powell talks about the tool’s inception, inner workings, and potential to help data-slingers in newsrooms finally ditch Excel.

  54. When the News Calls for Raw Data

    Thoughts on recent dataset postings from BuzzFeed and the New York Times

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    We spoke with the NYT and BuzzFeed about recent data postings prompted by the news from Ferguson, MO.

  55. The Great SRCCON Brain Dump

    All the write-ups, transcripts, and links we can find, updated frequently

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    SRCCON, the first-ever OpenNews conference, wrapped up last Friday night at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. As Quartz’s Nikhil Sonnad notes in his wrap-up post, the problem with even the most energetic and inspiring conference is that the motivation found often fades when everyone returns to the daily hustle and sprint. Like Sonnad, we’re confident that the news-code community that showed up in force at SRCCON has the stamina and sustained interest to maintain the momentum that built up in sessions and around the coffee-hacking stations, and we want to help with that as much as possible. We also want to scoop up as much of the energy and intensity and brain-sharing from SRCCON as we can and pour it out into the wider world that couldn’t fit into the physical conference itself.

  56. How We Made “Spot the Ball”

    Photoshop, interaction design, and the secret origins of the game

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    Even among the many wonderful World Cup interactives and news apps we saw this year, the NYT’s Spot the Ball was a standout, both in conception and execution. We spoke with the team behind it about the project’s design, world-class Photoshopping, and surprising inspiration.

  57. Planting the Next Crop of Newsroom Coders

    It’s time to send your smart, curious, and dissatified friends and colleagues our way

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    We are exactly one month away from the August 16th deadline for applying for the 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellowships, and this is the perfect time for you—the people actively wrangling data, building news apps, and designing interactives in newsrooms—to help chase amazing candidates toward the Fellowship application. We’ve assembled a one-stop shop of your arguments for joining development teams in news organizations, along with some of our former Fellows’ experiences and exhortations to future candidates.

  58. The NYT’s Detroit Foreclosure Interactive

    Designing and Building the Mosaic

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    Last week, the New York Times published an interactive photo-mosaic of 43,634 Detroit properties at serious risk of foreclosure. As you scroll down the page, viewing neighborhood after neighborhood, the number of properties and the total amount owed on them adds up at the top of the page. We contacted Matthew Bloch and Haeyoun Park at the Times to ask about the making of the interactive and the design choices they made along the way.

  59. Meet FCC Squishify and OpenImage

    The Final Projects from #owhack, and Our Wrap-Up Notes

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    In part one and part two of our #owhack report-backs, we introduced four new projects that emerged from the Hack Day. Today, we introduce the final two and wrap up with our notes from the event’s closing circle.

  60. Mandy Brown and Trei Brundrett on Vox Product

    Our Q&A on the Editorially Acquisition and More

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    On Tuesday, Vox Media announced that it was acquiring the technology and co-founding team of the late and much-missed collaborative writing tool Editorially. We chatted with Editorially’s Mandy Brown and Vox Media’s Trei Brundrett about the team’s next steps, the probability of open sourcing more code, and the internal Vox hack week going on at this very moment.

  61. Meet Disputed Territories and SSN Redactor

    The first two projects out of the #owhack Hack Day

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    Over the weekend, we put on the third Knight-Mozilla-MIT Hack Day, leading into the 2014 MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference. As usual, the hack day was loosely organized around the conference’s theme: this year, “The Open Internet and Everything After.” After 24 hours of hacking in the welcoming environment of the MIT Media Lab (spread over two days because we believe in sleeping), we ended up with six wonderful projects ranging from an ultra-practical redaction utility to a fake astroturf campaign againt Net Neutrality.

  62. All About the dailygraphics Rig from NPR

    A Q&A with Alyson Hurt and Christopher Groskopf

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    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.

  63. Derek Willis on Newsroom Innovation

    A primer in tweets

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    A tweeted rebuttal to selected claims in the NYT Innovation Report from a journalism-code insider at the Times.

  64. What “Open” Really Means for 538, Vox, and The Upshot

    The code and data they’ve released so far and what they’re planning next

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    Now that FiveThirtyEight, Vox, and the Upshot have been live for a few weeks, we’re taking a closer look at the data, and especially the code, that each has released.

  65. Announcing SRCCON

    It’s going to be wonderful and you should come

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    Everything you need to know to get psyched about coming to SRCCON 2014.

  66. Welcome to Bot Week

    Behind the scenes on journalistic automation of all kinds, all week

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    Automated news-gathering tools aren’t new, but they’re multiplying like crazy and getting quite a bit of attention. Little bots have also turned into interesting remixing devices and distribution channels, especially on Twitter. This week on Source, we’re going 100% bot.

  67. Introducing Source Guides

    Topical collections for readers new and experienced

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    In the year-and-a-bit we’ve been publishing Source, we’ve built up a solid archive of project walkthroughs, introductions to new tools and libraries, and case studies. They’re all tagged and searchable, but as with most archives presented primarily in reverse-chron order, pieces tend to attract less attention once they fall off the first page of a given section. We’ve also been keeping an eye out for ways of inviting in readers who haven’t been following along since we started Source, and who may be a little newer to journalism code—either to the “code” or the “journalism” part.

  68. Introducing Source Jobs

    Newsroom Code, Data, and Design Job Listings for All

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    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.

  69. The Code (and Thinking) Behind Today’s Paper

    A look at the workings of the NYT’s infinite-scrolling web app

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    Last month, while the team behind today’s NYT redesign were crunching away on final adjustments, another team at the Times launched Today’s Paper, an infinite-scrolling, offline-caching web app available to the paper’s subscribers. We spoke with three members of the team—a developer, a designer, and an editor—about the project’s challenges and ambitions.

  70. Behind the Scenes on the NYT Redesign

    What it’s made of and why

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    The New York Times just launched the first piece of their sitewide redesign: new article pages, with other tweaks and nudges throughout the site. We spoke with two designers and a developer who worked on the project to learn about the tech choices, design ideas, and strategy behind the new look and feel.

  71. 2013 Wrap-Up, Part 2

    A year’s worth of useful, excellent things from our readers and contributors

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    Just before Christmas, we asked you to submit one thing you found helpful or wonderful or excellent this year. Here’s part two of your favorite things—the first half lives here.

  72. 2013 Wrap-Up, Part 1

    A year’s worth of useful, excellent things from our readers and contributors

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    Just before Christmas, we asked you to submit one thing you found helpful or wonderful or excellent this year. The gist where we made the call grew into its own comment ecosystem of awesome links, and we’ve combined those submissions with the ones you emailed and DMed.

  73. How We Made “Behind the Bloodshed”

    Behind the scenes with USA Today and Gannett Digital

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    “Behind the Bloodshed: The Untold Story of America’s Mass Killings,” is a collaboration between the database team at USA Today and Gannett Digital’s interactive applications and design teams. We chatted with Anthony DeBarros of Gannett Digital, with input from colleagues Juan Thomassie and Destin Frasier, on how the project came together.

  74. Collaborating on the T-Shirt Project

    Planet Money + the NPR Visuals team

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    Back in April of this year, NPR’s Planet Money began a Kickstarter campaign to learn about and report on global supply chains by making a t-shirt and telling the story of its creation from start to finish. The new Visuals team at NPR collaborated on the project’s web manifestation, which went live last night, but the source code is already on GitHub, and we spoke with team lead Brian Boyer about the collaboration.

  75. How We Made the (New) California Cookbook

    The LA Times team behind the site breaks it down

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    At the Los Angeles Times, a design-editorial-programming team has resurrected the spirit of the beloved, out-of-print California Cookbook as a new website collecting hundreds of recipes from the Times Test Kitchen. In our Q&A;, the project’s editor, designer, and lead programmer share their goals and challenges, and offer a peek at the site’s building blocks and planned future.

  76. How We Made Lobbying Missouri

    NPR’s apps team talks about their collaboration with St. Louis Public Radio

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    Lobbying Missouri is a collaboration between St. Louis Public Radio and members of NPR’s news apps teams. We spoke with three team members about the project, their design process, and the code under the hood.

  77. US Elections Roundup, November 2013

    Results maps both usual and unusual with bonus Arduino

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    A light round of elections were held this week in the US, giving news developers an opportunity to outdo their usual coverage. We’ve rounded up a few highlights.

  78. NPR’s Brian Boyer on Building and Managing News Apps Teams

    Process, hiring, and what it takes to make it in newsroom code

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    Yesterday, NPR announced that news apps team leader Brian Boyer was assuming a new role as head of the combined news apps/multimedia superteam. Boyer offers the unusual experience of having built out two news apps teams within five years, first at the Chicago Tribune and then at NPR. We spoke with him about his new gig, his path from computer science to journalism, his focus on sound process, and the internal obstacles new teams can face.

  79. John Keefe on leading a news development team

    The head of WNYC’s Data Team sits down with Source

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    Today is Source’s one-year anniversary. To celebrate, we’re kicking off a new series of interviews with news apps and interactive features editors. John Keefe tells us about learning as you go, cicadas, and how the WNYC Data News team came to be.

  80. Call for Submissions

    A renewed invitation and a new opportunity

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    With the hustle of fall around the corner, we’re keener than ever to bring your projects and hard-won lessons to light. As always, we welcome your write-ups and code index entries—and we’re also inviting you to something new.

  81. All About Reporter

    News developer Jeremy Singer-Vine introduces a tool for a divided readership

    Posted on

    The Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Singer-Vine recently released Reporter, an open source tool that makes it easy to hide and reveal the code behind common forms of data visualization presented on the web. We spoke with him about the tool’s makeup, design goals, and future development plan.

  82. ProPublica’s Jeff Larson on the NSA Crypto Story

    Our Q&A with the news apps developer who helped report Bullrun

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    We sat down with ProPublica’s contributor to the story, Jeff Larson—with an assist from news apps editor Scott Klein—to talk about the tech involved and why the story needed someone from the team affectionately called the news nerds.

  83. Responsive CSS Testing Made Simple with the BBC’s Wraith

    A Q&A with BBC News developer David Blooman

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    Last November, the BBC News team created a front-end regression tool that collects and diffs screenshots to automatically highlight discrepancies produced (intentionally or otherwise) by CSS changes. Last week, the team open-sourced Wraith. We spoke with David Blooman, who developed the tool last fall and worked with Simon Thulbourn to prepare it for public release.

  84. All About Transcribable

    Al Shaw breaks down ProPublica’s latest open source tool

    Posted on

    Yesterday, ProPublica released Transcribable, a new open source tool that makes orderly crowdsourced transcription available to any organization that uses Ruby on Rails. ProPublica’s Al Shaw introduced the project to the public in a post on ProPublica’s Nerd Blog yesterday and here answers all our questions about the project.

  85. Projects from the OpenNews-MIT Hack Day

    Six data liberation projects in twenty-four hours

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    On the weekend leading into the Knight-MIT Civic Media Conference, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and MIT sponsored a hack day focused on data liberation and housed at the MIT Media Lab.

  86. OpenVis Conf Wrap-Up and Videos

    All the talks, all the time

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    The first ever OpenVis Conf, held last month in Cambridge, MA, was jam-packed with excellent talks. All the talks are now online, and we’ve pulled out a selection of special interest to people working in and around journalism.

  87. The Boston Globe’s Gabriel Florit on Responsive Visualizations

    His OpenVis Conf talk in a nutshell

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    Gabriel Florit creates data visualizations at the Boston Globe, and was at OpenVis Conf to talk about the surprising difficulties of bringing the principles of responsive design to data viz.

  88. The Nerd Side of the Redesign

    A Q&A with Paul Smalera

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    In early May, Reuters began rolling out previews of its new design for We checked in with Paul Smalera, Editorial Tools Product Manager and Technology Editor at, who fought his way out from under a stack of redesign-related work to answer our questions.

  89. Twitter’s Miguel Rios on Choosing Viz Methods

    In our second dispatch from OpenVis Conf, Rios considers four major options

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    In our second dispatch from OpenVis Conf, Twitter's Miguel Rios digs into four major options for displaying visualizations on the web.

  90. The NYT’s Amanda Cox on Winning the Internet

    Her opening keynote at OpenVis Conf

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    Our first write-up from OpenVis Conf in Cambridge, MA features the opening keynote from Amanda Cox of the New York Times Graphics desk.

  91. Strongbox Reactions, Part II

    Jacob Harris, Jonathan Stray, and Mike Tigas weigh in

    Posted on

    We asked for your thoughts on Strongbox, the New Yorker’s new implementation of DeadDrop. Our first wave of responses includes the New York Times’ Jacob Harris, the Overview Project’s Jonathan Stray, and Mike Tigas, OpenNews Fellow at ProPublica.

  92. Under the Surface of the NYT Mobile Redesign

    A new semi-responsive design, Node.js, and more

    Posted on

    We spoke with three members of team behind the new New York Times mobile site to learn what’s going on under the hood and how they made the design decisions underlying the new view.

  93. Apps + Code + Viz Roundup, April 24

    New code, interactive features, and related analysis

    Posted on

    The last month has brought us a spate of fresh news apps, updated and brand-new tools for journalist-developers, thoughtful analytical write-ups, and coverage of events.

  94. Visually Explaining a Bombing and Its Aftermath

    Interactive multimedia features from five newsrooms

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    After the bombings during last week’s Boston Marathon, newsrooms in the US and UK produced interactive maps and features to help their readers understand the locations and chronologies of the bombings themselves, the ensuing medical treatment of victims, and the hunt for the bombers—and in the days that followed, to collect and communicate the stories of the victims.

  95. The Lobbyist Registration Meter

    Sunlight Labs Director Tom Lee talks lobbyist data and Raspberry Pi

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    We spotted Tom Lee’s Lobbyist Registration Meter video on YouTube this morning and it made our day. Lee, director of the Sunlight Foundation’s Sunlight Labs, used an old voltmeter, a Raspberry Pi, and Sunlight Foundation data to create a meter that physically displays the number of new lobbyist registrations in Washington, DC. Lee very kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his setup and the data behind it.

  96. Apps + Code + Viz Roundup, March 21

    New features, tools & writeups from all over

    Posted on

    It’s been a fruitful couple of weeks for news apps and people writing about them: this roundup brings a sturdy batch of new features and tools and about twice as many write-ups as usual.

  97. Under the Hood of the Open Gender Tracker

    Irene Ros and Nathan Matias break it down

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    Open Gender Tracker is an open source deployable content analysis service funded by a Knight Foundation Prototype grant. We spoke with its creators about the project’s origins, technical specifications, and possible future in and near newsrooms.

  98. Welcome to OpenNews Learning on Source

    In-depth case studies and how-tos from amazing news devs

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    Today, we launched OpenNews Learning, a brand-new kind of awesomeness hosted here on Source. We’re opening with three crunchy case studies from three heavy hitters.

  99. Meet Mariano Blejman

    All about his work as a 2013 Knight International Journalism Fellow

    Posted on

    In the third of our Knight International Journalism Fellow profiles, Mariano Blejman talks about his upcoming projects.

  100. Meet Gustavo Faleiros

    Profiles of Knight International Journalism Fellows

    Posted on

    The second in a series of interviews with Knight International Journalism Fellows.

  101. Meet Mariana Santos

    Profiles of Knight International Journalism Fellows

    Posted on

    The first in a series of interviews with Knight International Journalism Fellows.

  102. For Journalism: How it Started, Where it’s Going

    A Q&A with Dave Stanton

    Posted on

    The For Journalism project aims to create nine brand-new courses for journalists who want to learn how to design and build news applications, and to offer them to individuals and institutions in the fall of 2013.

  103. Why EveryBlock Mattered to Us

    The space it made and the paths it opened

    Posted on

    Yesterday morning, EveryBlock announced its sudden closure by its parent company, NBC. The news developer and civic code worlds reacted with intense sadness and a recognition of the advances made possible by EveryBlock and its founders.

  104. Code in Journalism Roundup, February 7th

    New Apps and Features, Write-ups, and Community Projects

    Posted on

    In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen new apps, new map releases, and plenty of community projects and conversations. In the US, the NICAR convention is around the corner (see Chrys Wu’s preparatory write-up). Also, just about everyone got hacked.

  105. Chris Amico on the View Source Podcast

    On the making of Your Warming World

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    On the most recent episode of Dave Stanton’s View Source podcast, Chris Amico walks through the process of making Your Warming World.

  106. Chase Davis on fec-standardizer

    Machine learning + campaign finance standardization

    Posted on

    Chase Davis breaks down his fec-standardizer project and explains where it’s going next.

  107. How We Made “Your Warming World”

    A Q&A on the New Scientist App

    Posted on

    New Scientist’s Peter Aldhous and NPR’s Chris Amico break down the data, mapping, and interface details of their collaboration on Your Warming World.

  108. Code in Journalism Roundup, January 17th

    Interactive features, data projects, and commentary

    Posted on

    Interactive features, new code, and blog posts dealing with the problems of working with data and code in and around newsrooms.

  109. How We Made Snow Fall

    A Q&A with the New York Times team

    Posted on

    Reporters, designers, developers, and editors who worked on the NYT’s Snow Fall explain how they pulled it off.

  110. Code in Journalism Roundup

    New and Updated Interactive Features

    Posted on

    Interactive features, new code, and blog posts dealing with the problems of working with data and code in and around newsrooms.

  111. The Making of ProPublica’s Pipeline Safety Feature

    Lena Groeger explains how she investigated and mapped pipeline incidents

    Posted on

    Last week, ProPublica released an explainer on fires, chemical spills, explosions, and other incidents related to US oil and gas pipelines, along with an interactive map and a series of charts and tables. Reporter-designer-developer Lena Groeger explains how the project came about, what challenges she encountered, and how she assembled the final presentation.

  112. News Development Roundup, Nov 16

    The first of four collections from two weeks of journalism code

    Posted on

    A weekend-friendly rundown of the many projects from the last two weeks that have absolutely nothing to do with elections.

  113. Election Hacking at MozFest

    After the 2012 US elections, what’s next?

    Posted on

    At MozFest today in London, OpenNews led a 70-person session on election-related news apps and tools.

  114. Superstorm Sandy: Code and Interactives

    Web apps, maps & data from the storm

    Posted on

    As superstorm Sandy approached the East Coast of the US, newsdev teams ranging from large to tiny created maps, charts, trackers, and tables about the storm’s path, expected effects, and civic responses.

  115. The Week In News Dev, Oct 25

    Projects, code releases, and announcements

    Posted on

    The week in journalism code: new projects, updates, releases, APIs, and more.

  116. The Week In News Dev, Oct 17

    Projects, code releases, and announcements

    Posted on

    The week in journalism code: new projects, updates, releases, APIs, and more.

  117. Free the Files API + Q&A with Al Shaw

    ProPublica’s interactive data-analysis project gets an API and Al Shaw answers our development questions

    Posted on

    ProPublica’s interactive data-analysis project gets an API, and Al Shaw answers our development questions about the making of Free the Files.

  118. Jessica Lord on sheetsee.js

    A Code for America fellow breaks down her data visualization mashup

    Posted on

    Jessica Lord breaks down the context and process behind sheetsee.js, a JavaScript mashup developed during her Code for America fellowship.

  119. Source launches Oct. 16

    A date, and plan, and you

    Posted on

    As ONA12 gets going in San Francisco, we’re hitting the last stretch with Source, the OpenNews community and index for news development. We even have a launch date, and it’s…really soon.

  120. Newsdev Roundup, August 29

    This week in news development

    Posted on

    Events, newly released projects, blog posts, and other announcements.

  121. Stop & Frisk: Guns

    Mapping police stop-and-frisks and gun discoveries

    Posted on

    A mapping project from WNYC that displays NYPD stop-and-frisks by block and locations where the police discovered guns during such stops.

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