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Data Driven Journalism - Telling Stories Online


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Published in: Design

Data Driven Journalism - Telling Stories Online

  1. Telling Stories With Data “The Data is Dead! Long live the Data!”
  2. #ddj #ejc
  3. Alan McLean • @alanmclean • Art/Design/Development background • Worked at 2005-2007 • Working at the NYTimes in 2007-Present • Afghanistan War Logs • 2008 Election • 2008 Olympics • 2010 Olympics • Guantanamo Docket • Document Viewer • Run-Well • more... Dom Data:
  4. Interactive News Technology @
  5. Interactive News Technology @ Eric -
  6. The old newsroom/developer relationship Developer Journalist
  7. The new newsroom/developer relationship Developer/Journalist
  8. Use the web to tell a story, not just as a delivery medium.
  9. Newsroom Tools Developing at close to newsroom pace is now possible
  10. Journalism Saved!
  11. It’s almost too easy... • Lots of tools, often free or very affordable. • Progressive Enhancement. • An unlimited supply of “pages”. <3m
  12. Data Dumps Large collections of source material that aim to inform, but ultimately over-saturate.
  13. Data Dumps “ Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.” Dr. Ian Malcolm Jurassic Park (1993) via @kevinq, Graphic Editor at the NYT
  14. Data Dumps “ If you won't find narratives in the data, you might as well be posting the phone book.” @harrisj via Twitter
  15. Why are data dumps a problem? • Fail to inform clearly. • It’s very easy to get lost. • They take up precious time. • They are usually low impact. • Often bland.
  16. It’s far too easy to distract or confuse an already compromised online attention span.
  17. Editing is crucial online • Should we be doing this? • What is the point? • Will any of our readers/users care? • Is this going to be a core component of the story, or merely supplemental?
  18. Design Decisions Are Editorial Statements
  19. The Afghanistan War Logs <5m
  20. The Afghanistan War Logs • Three publications with access to the data under a release agreement. • 90,000+ incident reports. • Spans several years of the conflict in Afghanistan. • A lot of metadata...
  21. The Afghanistan War Logs What can we do with this data? • Data Dives! • Maps! • Timelines! • Charts! • and so so much more...
  22. The Afghanistan War Logs What should we do with this data? • Aggregate representations of the reports were out. • Maps needed to be “Locator Maps”. • Timelines? Yes. • Incident Charts? • Story integration? Yes! Context was needed. • Could not publish them all... redactions were necessary.
  23. The Afghanistan War Logs The Package • 3 articles. • 1 note to the readers from the Editor. • 1 background article on the data. • An incident report interactive. • A page tying it all together.
  24. The Afghanistan War Logs Locator Maps The Article Timeline • Lead with a Map • Removed the ads • Flopped the columns • Forced a single page view • Relevant maps and photos Photos/Maps were loaded alongside text • Stylized report text within article Incident Report Text
  25. The Afghanistan War Logs The Maps
  26. The Afghanistan War Logs Context
  27. The Afghanistan War Logs Context
  28. The Afghanistan War Logs / The Interactive
  29. Real Titles Stylized NYT Redactions The Jargonizer Real Summaries The Afghanistan War Logs / The Interactive
  30. The Afghanistan War Logs / The Series Page