Short and sweet, Lightning Talks have become a highlight of the CAR conference. In Louisville this year they played to an overflow crowd at the biggest NICAR yet. And this year, attendee Fernando Diaz of Hoy Chicago captured them on video. Hear Ben rant. Be Nate Silver. Make games for news. Learn a new language.
CAR Conference Blog
Last week at the 2013 CAR Conference, DocumentCloud's Lead Developer Ted Han joined a panel discussing how to get the widest impact out of a software project.
Reporter's Lab has a thorough write-up of the panel, addressing the questions how much code is really re-used, and how to measure the success of a software project.
Success for an open-source project is different from a commercial one. As Han said during the panel, the big difference between commercial and open source start-up projects is “less a question of how you operate and more a question of your values.”
The ...Read more ...
Need a vacation but can’t imagine the outer darkness that is you without your work? Why not take it with you to exotic northern Europe.
In “Data Journalism Around the Globe” panelists trotted out some of the best data projects coming from our cousins on the continent in the German, Danish and Scandinavian press.
Many of the notables included crowdsourced projects like a Finnish mapping of places where people felt unsafe. Sebastian Mondial demoed Frag den Staat, a Teutonic forebear to FOIA Machine, which helps journalists and citizens query government agencies and track results of information requests. Another project ...Read more ...
As expected, there was no shortage of swag at “Make the robots work for you,” a panel on implementing PANDA, data store of the gods, brought down the mountain to a newsroom near you. (In the interest of full disclosure, the integrity of your reviewer was compromised by a free T-shirt.)
For those of you out-the-know, PANDA is a data library that stores your data and makes it easily accessible and searchable across your organization. But maybe the best feature is the ability to turn any search into a subscription, which will provide you with instant notification when new data ...Read more ...
Allow me to introduce you to your newest friend, Corrado Gini, an early 20th century Italian statistician. He created the “Gini coefficient,” the best yardstick to measure income inequality in your area and around the world.
Writing about income inequality isn’t about the poor ...Read more ...
IRE executive director Mark Horvit and training director Megan Luther presented the Year in Car yesterday, highlighting data-driven journalism from across the country in 2012 and what can be learne from them. Here's their list:
- FINDINGS: Exposed flaws in the way a special state police force handles crimes against the developmentally disabled.
- Abuse cases rose 43 percent while patient population decreased 12 percent.
- DATA: Inspection, salary
- RESULTS: Triggered new laws, a criminal investigation and staff retraining
- Findings: Zoos’ efforts to preserve elephants have failed with ...
Unions and pensions may sound like daunting subjects to cover, but Tom McGinty of The Wall Street Journal and MaryJo Webster of the St. Paul Pioneer Press lay out compelling reasons to get past that impression, and helpful tools to get you there.
McGinty (who stresses he is not a labor reporter, but learned a lot from working on a union project) went beyond typical campaign finance reporting to find much more telling and robust datasets. “Unions don’t so much deliver money to candidates. They deliver votes.”
The Department of Labor’s LM-2 form must be filed by all ...Read more ...
Fun does not equal fluff. Spice up data viz and you can “take a wonky topic and personalize it,” said Tasneem Raja of Mother Jones in the “Making interactives fun” session.
Also, fun interactives build your credibility for the hard-nosed investigations down the line. When readers see how you deftly handle dog license data they think, “We can trust these guys when it comes to data journalism,” Raja said.
Some examples of varying degrees of difficulty:
Mother Jones made a “choose your own adventure” app on how non-US citizens can get a green card, and a quiz on various ...
What if you could predict a hospital’s quality of care the same way baseball statisticians can predict a pitcher’s season or a team’s record?
The sports world has long been using statistics in creative ways -- and Ryan Pitts, Jeremy Bowers and Matt Waite say journalists can and should tap into that.
It starts with a single goal: to simplify complex comparisons.
Take basketball for example. Who is better between a player averaging 20 points per game and 3 rebounds per game and a player averaging 15 points per game and 8 rebounds per ...
Think of a data dashboard as a bird’s-eye view of data that gets automatically updated in real-time. It’s like a news app meant only for internal use, and the ultimate goal is to make repeat reporting processes more efficient. Aaron Bycoffe of The Huffington Post and Derek Williams and Jacob Harris of The New York Times explained this on Saturday.
Dashboards work best when reporters and developers collaborate to determine the information that would be most useful to display. And they’re flexible: If things change, you can always go back and add new fields or take others ...