Thomas Wilburn is the Senior Data Editor for Chalkbeat, a nonprofit newsroom focused on education. Previously, he was a senior developer for the NPR News Apps team, and a founding member of the Seattle Times Interactives team.
Thomas’s work on Source
Articles by Thomas
It’s time to rethink how we report election results
From early counts and early calls to maps that reinforce bias, our traditions are contributing to a democratic crisisPosted on
We need to fundamentally rethink the ways we report election results. Many of our maps and practices—from early calls to “trends” in vote share on election night—are confusing if not outright deceptive. The question isn’t “how do we optimize for speed, accuracy, and volume?”, it’s “how do we make sure our practices improve democracy instead of just observing it.”
An Accessibility Starter Kit is Already at Your Fingertips
Test your interactives right now with the built-in screen reader on your phonePosted on
Your built-in screen reader is waiting for you, on your smartphone.
Designing News Apps for Humanity
What we’ve learned about planning for stress cases, trainwrecks, and emotional harmPosted on
Reader trust is fragile and easily betrayed, and competition is fierce. Newsrooms can’t afford to ignore the way our work affects our readers when their contexts conflict with our expectations.
What AMP (Maybe) Means for News Developers
A Source roundtable on the implications of Google’s Accelerated Mobile PagesPosted on
When Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP, naturally) arrived late last week, the journalism internet produced a rainbow of responses. We invited a few news developers to comment at greater length, and they dug into the issues with gusto and rigor.
Seven Projects from the OpenNews + Write the Docs Code Convening
New code and documentation for news organizationsPosted on
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.
Tag Soup: Using Custom Elements to Cover Elections and Beyond
What We Learned Testing Custom Elements in a News AppPosted on
How the Seattle Times’ election page served as a testbed for custom elements in a news app, and what it means for other news apps teams.