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Ten hot ethical challenges facing political reporting in 2012

September 28, 2012 in Blog, Craft

Gregory Korte

USA Today reporter Gregory Korte tells the crowd at the 2012 Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop why he sometimes agrees to quote approval. Credit: Kent State University

Journalism Accelerator

“The values of journalism are under pressure.” With that remark, Kelly McBride of The Poynter Institute set the stage for “Dirty Politics,” the 2012 ethics workshop at Kent State University.

Here are ten hot ethical challenges in political coverage that emerged from the workshop. Join in the series of online conversations exploring ways to handle them. Bring your questions! Bring your experience! Help uncover ethical issues in political coverage that require clarity to provide the accurate reporting people deserve to inform their vote. Read the rest of this entry →

Data Journalism Handbook

June 1, 2012 in Craft, Education, Resources, Technology

The Data Journalism Handbook is a free, open source reference book for anyone interested in the emerging field of data journalism.

It was born at a 48 hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London. It subsequently spilled over into an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners – including from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.” Source: Data Journalism Handbook

This book is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who thinks that they might be interested in becoming a data journalist, or dabbling in data journalism.

Lots of people have contributed to writing it, and through our editorial we have tried to let their different voices and views shine through. We hope that it reads like a rich and informative conversation about what data journalism is, why it is important, and how to do it.

Lamentably the act of reading this book will not supply you with a comprehensive repertoire of all if the knowledge and skills you need to become a data journalist. This would require a vast library manned by hundreds of experts able to help answer questions on hundreds of topics. Luckily this library exists and it is called the internet. Instead, we hope this book will give you a sense of how to get started and where to look if you want to go further. Examples and tutorials serve to be illustrative rather than exhaustive.

We count ourselves very lucky to have had so much time, energy, and patience from all of our contributors and have tried our best to use this wisely. We hope that – in addition to being a useful reference source – the book does something to document the passion and enthusiasm, the vision and energy of a nascent movement. The book attempts to give a sense of what happens behind the scenes, the stories behind the stories.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a work in progress. If you think there is anything which needs to be amended or is conspicuously absent, then please flag it for inclusion in the next version. It is also freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and we strongly encourage you to share it with anyone that you think might be interested in reading it.” Source: Data Journalism Handbook

Interactive Dynamics for Visual Analysis: A taxonomy of tools that support the fluent and flexible use of visualizations

May 3, 2012 in Craft, Resources, Technology

The ACM’s Queue magazine has a new, comprehensive taxonomy of visualization techniques drawing from the theories of Edward Tufte and citing examples from academia, government, and the excellent NYT visualization team. This list contains 12 steps for turning data into a compelling visualization: Visualize, Filter, Sort, Derive, Select, Navigate, Coordinate, Organize, Record, Annotate, Share, & Guide….The citations alone make this an article worth bookmarking.” Source: Slashdot

The increasing scale and availability of digital data provides an extraordinary resource for informing public policy, scientific discovery, business strategy, and even our personal lives. To get the most out of such data, however, users must be able to make sense of it: to pursue questions, uncover patterns of interest, and identify (and potentially correct) errors. In concert with data-management systems and statistical algorithms, analysis requires contextualized human judgments regarding the domain-specific significance of the clusters, trends, and outliers discovered in data….

The goal of this article is to assist designers, researchers, professional analysts, procurement officers, educators, and students in evaluating and creating visual analysis tools.” Source: ACM Queue


April 19, 2012 in Community, Resources, Technology

Data can be a powerful tool for change. Tracking the right metrics in the right context can help us gain a deeper understanding of the communities we serve, so we can make a lasting impact.

Sparkwise is designed to put data to good use. By collecting and comparing all kinds of metrics in all kinds of ways–and combining those raw numbers with video, audio, text feeds and PDFs–your data becomes a moving story. One you can use to promote your purpose and ignite your audience.

Sparkwise was created by a team of world-class technologists, data visualization experts and social impact strategists. It is free, open source and available to anybody with a story to tell.” Source: Sparkwise


January 27, 2012 in Community, Craft, Resources, Technology

Ordinary people have a voice, and interesting things happen when you aggregate those voices and visualize the results. Surprising information and insights can be found.

Crowdmap is a tool that allows you to crowdsource information and see it on a map and timeline. It is the Ushahidi platform, built by the team who created Ushahidi as a way for anyone to run their own crowdsourcing site without having to know the intricacies of running their own server. It’s free and it’s yours to use.” Source: Crowdmap


“Digging Out DC (With Help From Kenya)

Ushahidi (Swahili for “testimony”) proved to be the Zelig of 2010 disasters. A social-media application built in Kenya to let citizens alert each other to election unrest, Ushahidi also played a crucial role in mapping the oil spill and the Haiti quake. Ushahidi even helped Washington DC dig itself out from its Snowpocalypse of 2010. The capital, lying more than 50 miles below the Mason Dixon line, didn’t quite know what to do when several feet of snow blanketed the city. But Ushahidi, which is open-source and free to use, was adapted to let Washingtonians record the locations of downed trees, clogged streets, and shoveling squads. Crowdsourced data may be imperfect, but in a crisis—or in a snow-smothered Southern city—it can provide a lot of useful information, fast.” Source: The Atlantic

National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership

December 5, 2011 in Distribution, Experiments, Resources, Technology

In recent years all NNIP partners have built advanced information systems with integrated and recurrently updated information on neighborhood conditions in their cities. Creation of this capacity, which did not exist in any U.S. city two decades ago, represents an important technical and institutional breakthrough …

Their indicators cover topics such as births, deaths, crime, health status, educational performance, public assistance, and property conditions. Perhaps more important is the way they have used their data. NNIP partners operate very differently from traditional planners and researchers. Their theme is democratizing information. They concentrate on facilitating the direct practical use of data by city and community leaders, rather than preparing independent research reports on their own.” Source: National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership

“The National Neighborhoods Indicators Partnership is coordinated by the Urban Institute of Washington, D.C. and government by representatives that make up the NNIP Executive Committee.

As the secretariat, fiscal agent, and overall coordinator, the Urban Institute takes the lead in preparing proposals for funding, receives grants to support the partnership, and is ultimately accountable to funders for overall performance.” SourceNational Neighborhood Indicators Partnership