Data = Stories

Integrating journalism into augmented reality

A few thoughts on The Atlantic’s article on Google, augmented reality and possibilities for journalism.

Writing tips by Ken Armstrong

Writing tips by Seattle Times reporter Ken Armstrong.

Data journalism and punk?

Simon Rogers compares the advent of punk bands to data journalism — both a scary comparison and a good one. Bottom line — just as diy punk bands proliferated, so are diy data journalists doing the same now.

You can easily learn data journalism yourself — and should because it can help you find and understand the story. Tools are cheaper (often free) and tutorials abound. You can grab data, analyze it, viz it and publish in a day or in minutes.

But the scary part? Some data sets are complex — they need to be scrubbed, they need to be vetted. If you are doing statistical analysis, your work needs to be scrubbed. It’s worth having an expert check that work — before you publish it. An error can live forever online. A caveat in any tutorial should be check the integrity of your data and your work with links to other tutorials on how to do just that.

But, sometimes obscure data can be plotted on a fever chart, or mapped and it will show a trend no one had even paid attention to before, all thanks to some innovative soul.

And bottom line, thanks to open-source and increasingly open access of data, all of our users and readers are increasingly there to help us vet our analyses, vizes and findings. And it’s easier than ever to have folks check our work as well. That will keep all of us accountable.

Source: http

Atavist NYT article

Interesting article about the future of Atavist and multimedia journalism. Interested to see a free version when/if that happens. Worth watching at the least.


Geofeedia is out of beta today. Interesting post on Poynter about the possibilities in breaking news.

Thanks to @palewire

for this great site that archives news home pages. Much needed! @poynter

Social readers too social for solitary exercise

Go to Romenesko this morning and you’ll find several links about Facebook Social Readers and why they don’t work. Bottom line from commenters: they want the choice to decide when and where to share what they’ve read. Not every article is meant to be touted. Whoo-hoo, I just read this brief about Prince Harry. Not likely. reading at first is a solitary exercise — then afterward, it becomes social as we share our insights gained from that exercise. Asking us to share first — indiscriminately — just doesn’t work.

Join the river of news

Little readership and few ads. Stay away from walled gardens. That’s the case from Jason Pontin as to why self-contained news apps don’t work.

Logic and computational thinking

Good point by Reg Chua, citing an article by NYT, about the importance of understanding the building blocks on computational analysis. My take: If we don’t think using information (data) is a priority, then we risk losing the understanding of how that information can be logically constructed, used, understood and reinvented. In particular, don’t forget we as journalists figured out how to run a press because we needed to in order to tell the story. We should also understand how to use computing for the same purpose.

Data viz share

Tableau Software launched a new feature with its Tableau Public. Readers/users can now share a viz on Facebook or Twitter and comment at the same time. I’ll be interested to see how much the sharing feature is used. Here is a link to our visualization of Seattle bicycle accidents with the share feature.