Examples of interactive journalism – Week 16

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (This is your last chance to post an example.)

This week’s example is not journalism, but it’s a neat case of crowdsourcing in the public interest. Also, the design of the site is excellent — you should check it out just to see how inviting and appealing it is.

The New York Public Library presents: Building Inspector

Okay, it’s an odd title — here’s what the site is for: By donating a little bit of time, regular people like you help check a computer’s “guess” at building shapes and addresses. The data comes from old maps of New York City that have been digitized. To make a scanned map searchable (and thereby usable), we need more than just the image of the map.

We’re training computers to do the heavy lifting, and then distributing the remaining quality control tasks to smart, motivated citizens. The goal? To produce a comprehensive directory of old New York (or, as we like to think of it, a time machine).

NYPL Building Inspector

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Final extra credit opportunity

Deadline: Monday, April 28, by 11:59 p.m.

You can try for extra points by posting new work online and posting the URL AS A REPLY TO THIS POST.

Do not send files. They will not be opened.

You can use GitHub or any other online site to post your work. Details are on the Required Work page under the heading “Extra credit.”

Note: The deadline is firm.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 15

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have one more chance to post, in Week 16.)

This week’s example — Time 100: The Most Influential People in the World in 2014 — was designed by students in a Communication and Multimedia Design course at a university in the Netherlands. Spend some time clicking on people and then returning to the grid. Do you have ideas for how this might be improved?

Time 100

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Everyone is bad at this when they get started. Everyone.

I sent a link to this article via email last week or two weeks ago, but I thought I should link it here too, in case you did not read it yet.

Getting a job in journalism code: Two recent grads want to calm your job search fears

It’s such an outstanding article because it’s not all about how the two authors — a young woman who now works at ProPublica and a young man who now works at The New York Times — loved data and code and produced great interactives from the start. NOT.

Instead, it’s about how bad their early work was. How they (and others) look back at their early efforts now and think, wow, that was so poor! They have linked examples. You can look for yourself. And I think you will agree. Really? You got a job with that?

But not long ago, these two successful journo-coders were just like you.

Q: Am I a real programmer? I spend most of my time Googling error messages.
A: Yes. That’s what most of us do.

And I was the same way, once upon a time:

Q: Whenever I see someone write code, it’s like they’ve got everything memorized. Do I have to memorize everything?
A: You do not need to memorize everything. Programmers know what to write next (like exact phrasing of CSS or JavaScript functions) because of repetition, familiarity, and having looked it up time and time again.

You are good enough to do this. You ARE.

Q: I feel like there’s way too much to learn and no way I could learn it all. What do I do?
A: Here’s a secret, everyone feels this way.

There’s lots of advice in the article, so I’ll share just one more and then leave you to read it for yourself:

Q: Do I need to have a website?
A: Holy moly yes. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to exist. Heck, Sisi’s website redirects to an about.me site. But the website’s secret goal is to funnel people to your portfolio, which should also be online. … your portfolio is going to be your best champion in getting hired. It’s much more important than your resume (though don’t skimp there, do things like list your skills) …

Be inspired.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 14

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have two more chances to post, Weeks 15 and 16.)

A total of 18 animated and interactive charts make up this graphic from Bloomberg News: How Americans Die (published April 17). Sure, it’s not exactly a cheerful topic — but there’s good news in there. Our life expectancy has steadily improved since 1970.

How Americans Die chart 2 How Americans Die chart 1

What technologies were used? JavaScript! Specifically, a library called D3.js:

How Americans Die 3

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 13

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have three more chances to post, Weeks 14–16.)

The charts in Fewer Helmets, More Deaths (from The New York Times) react to your scrolling. New data comes into the charts and they change. But what’s super innovative about this story is the way it responds on a phone. See the second image below. Be sure to open this on your own phone and observe the differences!

Desktop: Fewer Helmets, More Deaths

Mobile: Fewer Helmets, More Deaths

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Examples of interactive journalism – Week 12

As always, add your own example for extra credit by providing a link in a reply to this post. (You still have four chances to post, Weeks 13–16.)

Here’s a cool interactive data graphic from The Washington PostWhere Congress stands on Syria. I know that might not sound sexy to you, but check out what you can do with a giant dataset and some jQuery magic.

Here, I sorted on all members of Congress who are “For” military action:

Washington Post graphic

Here, I searched for a Florida representative (Alcee Hastings) using the search box at upper right:

Washington Post graphic

Click the image below to see full-size links to all JavaScript and jQuery files used in the graphic:

Washington Post JavaScript

Your Reply

Leave a comment on this post to submit your example for this week. Rules are on the Required Work page.

Make sure your link is correct and functional.

Include the title or headline of the example you are linking to.

Write one sentence about why we should appreciate it.

Dates for your project work

To be clear, these are the weeks in which your individual meetings are about your three weeks of project work:

  1. Week 14 | April 7 (meetings April 8, 9, 10)
  2. Week 15 | April 14 (meetings April 15, 16, 17)
  3. Week 16 | April 21 (meetings April 22, 23, 24)

So that week’s work needs to be complete when you come to meet with me.

The last day of classes is April 23. So I messed up here — I’m not allowed to make you meet with me on April 24, which is an official Reading Day. Therefore, the four students who meet me on Thursdays will need to schedule with me for earlier in that week. Of course, if you want to meet on Thursday, that’s up to you.

On April 28, I’m getting on a plane. I’ll be out of the country for about 10 weeks. So if you’re interested in the extra credit (due Monday, April 28, before 6 p.m.), discuss it with me.

Week 13 assignments: Practice with jQuery, JavaScript

For Monday, March 31, you will complete four (4) jQuery or JavaScript tutorials and produce your own version of the project(s) from each tutorial. So you will have at least four different Web pages (on your hard drive) to show me. Files from the Lynda.com downloads will not suffice. Make your own files.

Your files need not be as complex as the exercise files downloaded from Lynda.com! You can make a simple file with a very plain design to test and experiment with what the tutorial taught. That’s what I want to see.

This will definitely take seven hours, so please be sure to start early and work daily on these assignments.

Choose from ONLY these tutorials at Lynda.com (log in here for free access):

See the benchmark (Week 13). Do not substitute any other tutorials. Choose four from the list above only.

I recommend that you code along with the videos. Arrange the video window beside your TextWrangler and type everything that is typed in the video. Of course, you can pause the video as needed.

NOTE: When you show your work, I will need to be convinced that you did MORE than simply COPY the exercise files downloaded from Lynda.com. Make your own variations. Play with the code. 

How to find answers to your code problems

I know I’ve told this to some of you in individual meetings, but here is the pattern:

programming language name + verb + specific keywords

Use that pattern when typing for a Google search.

Example: javascript replace text button

A coding beginner like you wrote this helpful advice: Googling for code solutions can be tricky — here’s how to get started

(Note: You can write about your experiences as new coders!)

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