Articles

  • Here are Nathan Griffiths’ takeaways from his career journey experimenting with different mediums.
    Nathan Griffiths is a jack-of-all-trades in multimedia journalism. In Griffiths’ career thus far, he has worked in various prominent newsrooms from The New York Times to AP to South China Morning Post. With expertise in information technology, he always approached journalism through an innovative lens, which encouraged him to experiment with new formats for storytelling.
  • “Useful, beautiful and innovative.” How the Washington Post’s Harry Stevens reaches high engagement on climate and environment reporting
    There’s a difference between reading about climate change and vividly seeing it in action. Last year, the Washington Post launched Climate Lab with Harry Stevens as the climate change, data analysis and graphics columnist. To make journalism more accessible and transparent, the column provides a visual and data-driven column about climate, environment and extreme weather.
  • Breaking a New Dawn: Investigative Journalist Chai Jing’s New Chapter
    It was late at night, and my reporting partner and I were sitting at our desk, eagerly and anxiously waiting for a call from Spain.  A few minutes later, we were speaking with Chai Jing, one of the most prominent figures in Chinese investigative journalism now living in Spain after her blockbuster documentary “Under the
  • Learning from TikTok: Lessons for TV News in How #BookTok Broke Big on Social Media
    Growing up, Kayla Agnoli’s head was always buried in a book. She spent hours immersed in different worlds, captivated by different storylines. While her time was spent transporting herself through literature, her classmates couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t just watch TV.  Joining TikTok gave her a community of over 6,000 followers and 627.4k likes, where
  • New Strategies for Using Artificial Intelligence in Journalism
    Here’s the fifth in our series of round-ups on the latest in artificial intelligence and journalism (find previous editions here). This time around it feels like the rubber has really hit the road, with lots of work on strategies and examples being shared around the web. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University
  • The Marshall Project’s Innovative Look At Death Penalty Mitigation Specialists
    In 2014, Maurice Chammah, a journalist from The Marshall Project, met with death penalty mitigation specialist Sarah Baldwin while reporting on executions. Mitigation specialists gather and present information about clients’ life experiences, in hopes of swaying a jury toward a more merciful outcome. Intrigued by Baldwin’s work, Chammah asked if he could shadow her during
  • How one photojournalist is documenting sexual assault in the U.S. military
    Mary Calvert is showcasing the true power of photojournalism, documenting injustices ranging from uranium contamination in the Navajo Nation to obstetric fistula — a debilitating medical condition which happens when women are injured during childbirth without timely access to medical care — in sub-Saharan Africa. For the past decade, Calvert has focused her attention on
  • How Vox uses animation to make complicated topics digestible for everyone
    With almost 12 million subscribers on YouTube, Vox has established itself as one of the most prominent video media outlets. Explainer videos such as “Why we all need subtitles now” and “Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world” have garnered millions of views with thousands of comments.  It is no surprise that
  • 35+ data visualization tools that The Washington Post uses
    The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, or NICAR, conference — an annual event run by Investigative Reporters & Editors —  is famous for its useful, helpful and diverse workshops to help journalists learn hands-on data journalism tools. At this year’s conference in Baltimore last month, The Washington Post shared over 35 tools they have been using
  • How Hidden Brain Media shares short-form serendipitous stories
    When asked about the inspiration behind “My Unsung Hero” –– a two- to five-minute podcast detailing stories of everyday heroes  –– Tara Boyle, executive producer and head of content, was quick to call it “delightful serendipity.” What began in 2016 as a way to show gratitude to colleagues who supported the Hidden Brain podcast turned
  • I Used ChatGPT as a Reporting Assistant. It Didn’t Go Well
    I Used ChatGPT as a Reporting Assistant. It Didn’t Go Well The AI tool ignored basic instructions about sourcing and citations. But it’s a pretty good newsroom coding partner. By Jon Keegan, The Markup When it comes to developments in artificial intelligence, things are moving fast. It’s been less than two years since the public
  • How The Pudding analyzed the “diva-ness” of national anthem performances
    Performing the national anthem at any large-scale event is a high honor. However, upon accepting this assignment, singers often feel compelled to infuse the standard rendition with their artistic flair. Demi Lovato ranged far and wide to give “proof through the night” while Taylor Swift kept it simple. How many famous artists actually prioritize their
  • Using R and Media Cloud to do sentiment analysis
    Sentiment analysis is a method of analyzing text data to determine the emotional tone of a message. With the ever-growing volume of text being generated, sentiment analysis provides an opportunity to gain insights into attitudes behind writing on any given topic. I investigated the disconnect between the benefit of nuclear power as an energy source
  • How The New York Times uncovered and visualized the dangers faced by child influencers
    Content warning: This story includes descriptions of child sexual abuse. More than half of Gen Z in the United States say they would like to be an influencer if given the chance. And many don’t wait until adulthood to pursue these aspirations.  Brand deals on social media have created a lucrative market, where young children’s
  • How can AI help us study the news? Here are my experiments with LLM-based query generation.
    To understand politics, economics, events and health communication in the news, researchers study large sets of articles from online news sources. Media Cloud, a project that I co-lead, holds a historical archive of over 1.5 billion stories from over 100,000 sources and has been used to study police violence, influence of pre-print academic papers, political
  • ProPublica remembers children lost to stillbirth through interactive memorial
    Every year in the United States, there are more than 20,000 stillbirths, when expected children die at 20 weeks of pregnancy or more. For many parents, their losses can feel invisible, as they worry that their children and their names will be forgotten. In an ongoing series called “Stillbirths,” ProPublica examines the institutional failures that
  • Take a look inside Reuters’ investigative report on death of colleague Issam Abdallah during Israel-Hamas war
    On Oct. 13, 2023, as the fighting in Gaza spread to other parts of the region, Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah was killed by a shell from an Israeli tank firing into Lebanon. Abdallah, 37, and journalists from multiple news agencies were filming a cross-border firing between Israel and Lebanon in a non-active combat zone when
  • Spring updates on artificial intelligence and journalism
    Here’s the fourth in our series of round-ups on the latest in artificial intelligence and journalism. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University data storytelling professor Rahul Bhargava. Budding uses of AI in newsrooms The Online News Association launched a new AI in Journalism Initiative to support journalist’s explorations of how AI technologies
  • Meet the founder: The B-Side’s Andrew Grillo on knowing your audience
    Emojis. Neon purple. Phrases like “LOL” and “out of my tax bracket.” These are some of the details that have contributed to The B-Side’s popularity among Gen Z and other young adults.  Launched by Boston Globe Media and known mainly for its newsletter, The B-Side is a digital news outlet founded by Andrew Grillo that
  • The Shore Line Project turns the tide on environmental discourse
    Shorelines are where half the world’s population lives, bursting with attractive greenery and many natural resources. But they are facing inherent risk due to rising seas and violent storms. A compelling interactive documentary, “The Shore Line” utilizes powerful visualization techniques to unravel the intricate web of challenges and connections between communities and their shorelines in
  • Kontinentalist shows the legal battle for women’s divorce rights in the Philippines with visual and data storytelling
    In the Philippines, divorce is still illegal for all citizens, except for the country’s 6% Muslim population. Due to obstacles set in legislation, along with deep roots of Catholicism in the country, many Filipino women have to accept that they’re unable to file for divorce. Kontinentalist, a data-driven digital publication based in Singapore, published a
  • Northeastern University’s Reinventing Local TV News Project kicks off a year of experimentation
    Northeastern University’s Reinventing Local TV News Project (RLTVN), supported by the Stanton Foundation, is embarking on an exciting new phase in 2024 with the hiring of four fellows who are working in new roles for television stations around the country. Building on its foundational work since 2017, the project continues its journey to revolutionize local
  • How the Urban Institute democratizes access to education data
    Debates about education have taken center stage everywhere from local school board meetings to debates between presidential hopefuls. Yet, beyond the rhetoric, getting the hard data to answer questions like, “How have student demographics at the school down the street changed over time?” and “How have student outcomes changed over the course of the pandemic?”
  • Reuters: Journalism and technology trends and predictions
    News organizations are covering huge stories, like wars in Ukraine and the Middle East and climate change, all the while facing economic challenges and the rapid development of artificial intelligence. What are the potential new hurdles in the industry? How will newsrooms grapple with them? Nic Newman, senior research associate at Reuters Institution, explored these
  • Here’s a look inside the data team at the Associated Press
    Founded in 1846, the Associated Press is perhaps best known for its quick and accurate breaking news reports, widely republished worldwide. But, just like in other newsrooms, AP journalists are actively working to incorporate more data storytelling into their coverage. With data reporters embedded on local desks across the country, the AP is committed to
  • Getting started with stringr for textual analysis in R
    Manipulating characters – a.k.a. non-numerical data – is an essential skill for anyone looking to visualize or analyze text data. This tutorial will go over a few of the base R functions for manipulating strings in R, and introduce the stringr package from the tidyverse. The datasets being used are being analyzed as part of
  • Step by step: Exploring the sneaker lifecycle through data physicalization
    Laces. Sole. Heeltab. Toebox.  An exploded axonometric model of a single blue Nike Air Jordan sat at the entrance of “The Secret Life of Sneakers,” revealing individual components of the shoe’s structure. Walking past it, viewers entered a data physicalization exhibit aimed at raising awareness for more sustainable practices in the sneaker life cycle. The
  • Chris Perry explores the impact of AI on future media
    What has changed since digital media was invented? How will the future media change as we enter the age of artificial intelligence?  These are two questions Chris Perry, chairman of marketing firm Weber Shandwick Futures, brought up in his presentation on AI&Future of Media/Comms Work on Jan 26, to Northeastern students and scholars at Northeastern’s
  • How OpenAI is changing the way we process information
    “Is AI another Gutenberg moment for journalism?” Jill Abramson asked.  The Gutenberg printing press was a significant turning point in the history of journalism. Before Gutenberg, only wealthy people could afford to read due to the complicated and costly printing process. The new and affordable printing technique marked increased accessibility to reading and knowledge for
  • How Brian Romer approaches data visualizations
    With the endless information in the media every day, creativity almost seems like a necessity. That includes crafting data visualizations to tell stories that are easy-to-read and impactful. Brian Romer, who previously worked on data and design projects at Reuters, is accustomed to producing meaningful insights from complex data sets. Now as a freelancer, some
  • Your start of the year updates on artificial intelligence in journalism are here
    This is third in our series of round-ups on the latest in artificial intelligence and journalism. Here are some recent links you might want to read. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University data professor Rahul Bhargava. Public understanding of AI and news There is growing public concern about the impacts of AI
  • How ProPublica’s Craig Silverman uncovers Big Tech deceptions
    The rise of Big Tech and social media has led to a wildfire spread of misinformation. As fact-checking tools across platforms like X, Facebook and Instagram continue to be misused and ill-prepared, concerns surrounding the power of these platforms linger. Craig Silverman is a journalist for ProPublica, formerly the media editor of BuzzFeed. He works
  • Island17: How a college student made a gamified metaverse to explore diversity, equity and inclusion
    Island17 is a gamified metaverse that bridges youth to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals through skilled gameplay. 18-year-old changemaker and Northeastern University student Bonisha Maitra makes a commitment to social entrepreneurship, purpose-driven technologies and youth-centered innovation through her unique project. In 2022, Maitra and two other high school students won a Social Innovation
  • How this former public school teacher helped uncover education inequities for The Boston Globe
    Mandy McLaren, a reporter for The Boston Globe, witnessed how low-quality education can impact students during her former career as a public school teacher in New Orleans. Taking it to heart, McLaren is now a member of The Great Divide, a team at the Globe that investigates imbalances within education systems. Storybench sat down with
  • What Works: How Dan Kennedy and Ellen Clegg offer solutions to the local news crisis
    As local journalism continues to struggle for survival, Dan Kennedy, a veteran journalist and professor at Northeastern University, is spreading the word that there are solutions out there. Kennedy and co-author Ellen Clegg’s WhatWorks site and podcast are full of information about the local news crisis and potential solutions, as well as updates from projects
  • These tools will take your data to a new level — or decibel
    As data visualizations become more prevalent in news coverage, more and more people are looking to data sonification as a new frontier. Sonification is a process that translates data, such as numbers on a chart, into musical notes and sound. Organizations like the Financial Times, BBC, The New York Times and the Tactical Technology Collective
  • Unraveling beer’s evolution with The Washington Post
    In the effervescent tapestry of human history, few threads weave a tale as enduring and universal as that of beer. From the murky origins of Stone Age sludge to the meticulously crafted brews of today’s artisanal breweries, this amber elixir has been a companion to civilizations, a cornerstone of culture and a testament to the
  • Why TV executives should listen to their interns
    Internships are more than just a learning experience and an occasional coffee run. NBC Chicago interns are part of the team making some pretty important decisions on behalf of the company. If someone had told me I was going to make a mark on NBC on the first day of my summer internship, I would’ve
  • How The Pudding visualized the evolution of “wonky” grooves
    Have you ever wondered how the beat of a song can emote? Or how the transcendent nature of loose grooves can make your body want to move? The Pudding’s “Wonky” explores exactly how rhythm and grooves broke out of their traditional boxes. Journalist and musician Michelle McGhee used her background in computer science to create
  • How an intern’s “Dadaist” economic skits took over NPR’s TikTok
    Legacy news outlets like NPR are historically concerned with maintaining a consistent brand. But when Jack Corbett, a former intern at NPR’s Tiny Desk, started making explanatory skits for the outlet’s TikTok account in 2020, they were happy to “hand off the reigns,” Corbett said. “It felt like the stakes were lower,” Corbett said. “Because,
  • From radio to TikTok: How Matt Shearer has transformed WBZ’s coverage
    If the new frontier of reporting is on TikTok, Matt Shearer of Boston’s WBZ Radio is a pioneer. His short-form videos highlight the best Massachusetts has to offer, from the Water Country Jingle to the impassioned followers of Market Basket.  An Emmy-nominated reporter, Shearer was awarded the National Murrow Award for Excellence in Media Innovation.
  • How CNN’s guide visualized real-world impacts of a government shutdown
    The latest near shutdown of the government confused a lot of people across the United States. Many don’t know or understand what exactly happens during a shutdown and which federal agencies shut down with it. Amy O’Kruk, a CNN data and graphics editor on their Digital Visual News team wrote, created and led a guide
  • ‘Reeling’ in your audience: Emily Schario discusses The B-Side’s social media strategy
    The B-Side, Boston Globe Media’s witty daily newsletter covering local news, has been reeling in readers with an engaging social media presence on Instagram and TikTok. The B-Side is led by Emily Schario, head of content and lead writer.  The “Daily Dose of News” newsletter launched in Oct. 2022 and has since gained quite a
  • Unearthing the devastating earthquake strikes in Morocco
    The Reuters article “Buried under the bricks” effectively communicates the impact of an earthquake that devastated Morocco in early Sept. 2023 showing the fundamental weaknesses of mud-brick constructions in the High Atlas mountain areas. The piece emphasizes the risks associated with old construction techniques, which are vulnerable to seismic natural disasters such as earthquakes. By
  • How The Washington Post visualized the Republican primary debates
    From the very first moments of the Aug. 23 Republican primary debate, Hannah Dormido was furiously scribbling in her notebook. Each time Trump’s name was mentioned, check. Hunter Biden, check. Ukraine, check. Her process is a cluttered scramble, but the finished product is a clean, easily-digestible series of visuals explaining the debate’s key themes and
  • How The New York Times visualized the decline of clinics offering abortions after Dobbs
    When Amy Schoenfeld Walker of The New York Times began reporting on abortion clinics after Roe v. Wade was overturned, she and her colleagues were shocked by how drastically the abortion landscape had changed, mere months after the decision. It began with “the Pink House,” the abortion clinic featured in the Dobbs v. Jackson case.
  • How podcasting helped these social media influencers expand their brand
    Influencer culture has become increasingly mainstream. From promoting products to sharing lifestyle tips, influencers have created significant online identities and brands to interact with tuned-in users across several platforms. Among them are Caroline and AnnCatherine Conneen, both also enrolled at Northeastern University. The twins share valuable insights into fitness, self-confidence and nutrition on their respective
  • The Boston Globe opinion section showed what it’s like to be a teenager today using essays, poems and art
    It’s no secret that being a teenager comes with many ups and downs. The Opinion team at The Boston Globe wanted to learn more about what these were, so a simple question was put in the paper: “What is it like to be a teenager today?” Kelly Horan, deputy editor of Globe Ideas, and Heather
  • The host of ‘Java with Jimmy’ on how a quarantine hobby became a community-based career
    In a slew of mainstream media, it can be difficult to find a voice that feels familiar and genuine, like a conversation with a next-door neighbor. For James “Jimmy” Hills, the host of “Java with Jimmy,” creating an impact while maintaining authenticity is crucial to his brand and ethos. When Hills went live on Instagram
  • How Qing Wang connects her podcast ‘The Weirdo’ to a young Chinese audience
    The rise of podcasts is transforming the way the public in China receives news. As it shrinks the information gaps between different parts of the world, podcasting is a powerful way to fill the demand for foreign affairs coverage among a young audience. Storybench spoke with Qing Wang, founder of the award-winning Chinese podcast, “The
  • How to use R to analyze racial profiling at police stops
    Working as a data journalist for Eye on Ohio, along with a team of reporters at the Cincinnati Enquirer, I developed a project on the role of racial profiling in police stops in Ohio’s largest cities. The work was part of Stanford University’s open policing project. Stanford developed the base R script for this —
  • What’s a college worth to you? These data sources go beyond the rankings.
    College rankings and university data don’t always paint the full picture. These institutions  typically show numbers that look good for them, and ranking sites may only focus on metrics like acceptance rates and graduation rates to determine the “best.” While there are plenty of sources out there — like QS World University Rankings and Times
  • The song remains the same: How The Pudding used data to uncover sexism in the music industry
    The Pudding, an online publication that focuses on data journalism, digs into the overlap of gender and songwriting in their article “Women are superstars on stage, but still rarely get to write songs.” Chris Dalla Riva, who writes a newsletter about music and data, discovered that very few songwriters behind hit tracks are women. Storybench
  • How to begin making your data visualizations more accessible to people with disabilities
    How can you make data visualizations accessible? What factors should be considered and prioritized? And how do you write alt text when you have a visual that has dozens (or hundreds) of data points? These are questions I’m regularly asked as a consultant and accessibility trainer. This tutorial will help you think about ways to
  • Mapbreaking: Why cartographic flaws can sometimes be a good thing
    I love this ugly map. I found it in a hospital in Baltimore and at first glance instinctually looked over the part where I live (New England) and found a dense saturation of pins. Each pin represents where one of the patients who came to Baltimore was from. The entire East Coast is densely represented,
  • How a local nonprofit news organization found its readers on TikTok
    You don’t often run across local news on TikTok, and it’s not because the idea hasn’t hit newsrooms yet. TikTok only recently became a vessel for news outlets to directly disseminate content. The trend started when The Washington Post launched a TikTok account in 2019, eventually becoming a trailblazer in the industry for how to
  • How to scrape a table from a website with Python
    Getting information is always the starting point for data journalism. Sometimes, the information we want lives on web pages we come across and Python is a great tool to get it so we can analyze and filter it. This tutorial, based on “Web scraping with Python” by Cody Winchester from the Investigative Reporters and Editors
  • 5 ways news organizations are visualizing election data
    Believe it or not, the first presidential primary is only three months away.  Let us take a look at five smart ways that news organizations are presenting election data, such as candidates’ profiles, voting demographics and districting, so you can make your data visualizations more powerful and better inform readers. Let users try out different scenarios
  • How animated data visualizations helped the Economic Innovation Group explain the impact of skilled immigration
    How do you measure the economic impact of skilled immigrant workers in the United States? The Economic Innovation Group (EIG), which describes itself as a bipartisan organization focused on public policy, recently published a multipart scrollytelling project titled “Immigration Policy Is Innovation Policy” that not only answers that question, but also presents the information in
  • How to analyze the screen times of presidential candidates
    Who and what is being discussed on cable television news can reveal a lot about our current media landscape or political state of affairs.  The Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer, built by Stanford University’s Computer Graphics Lab and John S. Knight Fellowship Program, provides the data for us to look at trends in cable news
  • How CNN’s foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward uses remote technology and local connections to report abroad
    When the words “breaking news” are displayed across television screens and news apps, people around the world stop to look, their eyes glued to the screen as they wait for the story to unfold. Clarissa Ward, CNN’s chief international correspondent, currently spearheads the news organization’s global reporting efforts, going wherever the story takes her. Recently,
  • How analytics are driving decisions at The Boston Globe
    In the age of shrinking newsrooms and content powered by artificial intelligence, readership is vital to the livelihood of news media. For The Boston Globe, analytics play a key role in both driving new readership and retaining lifelong readers. From immersive multimedia projects to curated content, the Globe uses a variety of tools to build
  • Technology companies and journalists must build public trust of AI together, experts say
    “Can we trust AI?” asked Rupal Patel, a Northeastern University professor who also founded synthetic voice company VocaliD. “Who should take responsibility for AI?” Northeastern hosted a celebratory event for the new AI Literacy Lab, Oct. 18. Even after two hours of questions with artificial intelligence scientists and journalists, there were no simple answers to
  • How The Washington Post turned a year-long investigation into a graphic novel
    In August, The Washington Post unveiled vivid findings from a year-long investigation into a disturbing secret at the Smithsonian Institution. To help the powerful story reach a new audience, they used a nontraditional storytelling method: the graphic novel. The Post has experimented with this format before, in stories such as “The Mueller Report Illustrated.” Since
  • Here are the updates you need on artificial intelligence in journalism
    We’re continuing our series of round-ups on artificial intelligence and journalism. Here are some recent links you might want to read. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University data professor Rahul Bhargava. Reuters/Oxford and Journalism AI reports on what’s happening in newsrooms The Reuters Institute and University of Oxford interviewed more than 40
  • How to build a map-based guessing game using React and MapBox
    Introduction This tutorial will explain how to build a version of the Boston public transit mbtaguessr.com app which I developed. In this game, users have to guess the location of an MBTA stop chosen at random on a map without streets or transit lines. The scoring and game structure is similar to GeoGuessr: each guess
  • How The Washington Post uncovered the sources that make AI chatbots sound so smart
    How did AI chatbots get so smart? We set out to show our readers at The Washington Post in “Inside the secret list of websites that make AI bots like ChatGPT sound so smart.” Our journey started with an attempt to understand the underlying websites that shape chatbot knowledge. Accessing the data To start, we
  • How do you use the Census API to pinpoint data?
    This article was originally published as an Observable notebook. Searching and parsing variables from the American Community Survey (and other datasets) The Census Data API is an incredible resource that makes a huge universe of data available programmatically. However, it can be hard to find the exact variables you need for your query. Also, commonly reported
  • Opioid pill flood: How The Washington Post presents the American drug crisis
    The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is no secret. But how high are the numbers? And where are opioid pills really coming from? The Washington Post’s new article, “How deeply did prescription opioid pills flood your county? See here” addresses those questions, and more, through engaging visualizations. Steven Rich, the database editor for
  • Myth: ARIA has perfect support
    This article was originally on The A11Y Project. Accessible Rich Internet Applications is an extension of HTML. It is a technology that adds roles, states and properties that are designed to help with the accessibility of websites and web apps. Background ARIA works by supplementing, adding, removing or overriding information the browser uses to communicate with
  • How Alex Lim visualized the colors of Singapore for The Straits Times
    How do you break a country down into a color palette? For Alex Lim, it took five months, thousands of photos and intricate coding and data visualization skills. Lim, a data visualization developer at Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times, created an innovative scrollytelling piece that describes and celebrates Singapore’s wide-ranging colors, from Lion Dance Red
  • How to get census data in 5 minutes using R and tidycensus
    This article was originally published on Medium. Do you get tired of grabbing data directly off of census.data.gov? Or has the Census API been throwing errors in your code? Maybe you are just like the rest of us, wanting to streamline your workflows as much as possible. Well, Dr. Kyle Walker had all of us census
  • How Nature visualized the impact of overturning Roe v. Wade
    The Supreme Court had just issued the Dobbs decision, striking down the right to abortion, when Nature editor Brendan Maher reached out to me in June 2022. Was I interested in putting together an infographic showing the impacts of the ruling, he asked? I didn’t hesitate — Dobbs showed that the Supreme Court was willing
  • How to use R to dig for story ideas
    Many people think of R as a way to visualize data, but it can also be a useful tool to explore datasets and seek possible story ideas. At the 2023 Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, Charles Minshew, the digital storytelling editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, walked through using basic R code to question datasets. Knowing
  • Here are the latest updates on artificial intelligence in journalism
    It seems like artificial intelligence is everywhere in the news, particularly in digital journalism circles. Here at Storybench, we’re keeping an eye on ongoing developments and will share an occasional round-up of links that might be relevant to you. These insights are brought to you by Northeastern University data professor Rahul Bhargava. Here’s what was
  • How Alvin Chang designs visualizations for everyone
    “How do I explain this to my mom?” That’s the question that data journalist Alvin Chang asks himself whenever he creates a piece. He considers how his mother, a first-generation immigrant from Korea who is not fluent in English, would best understand the projects he works on. “It’s very clear that so much of journalism
  • How to clean data with OpenRefine
    If you have ever been tripped up by mistyping or other errors in datasets, OpenRefine could be exactly what you need. As one of the better tools for exploring, cleaning and reshaping data, OpenRefine runs in a web browser, even if you’re offline. At the 2023 Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Orlando, data specialist
  • Smoke, fires, floods: How John Keefe and The New York Times use data to explain extreme weather events
    With Hurricanes Hilary and Idalia lashing California and the South, deadly wildfires in Maui displacing thousands and the smoke from Canadian wildfires blanketing huge areas of the United States, newsrooms across the country have increased their efforts to provide innovative coverage of weather and climate. Last year, The New York Times launched the Weather Data
  • The Reinventing Local TV News Project is hiring researchers
    The Reinventing Local TV News Project is back. The initiative, at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, is aimed at exploring the future of streaming video news content and reaching a younger audience. Now, the project is entering its third phase of research by partnering with three leading news stations across New York, Chicago and Boston..
  • How the New York Times visualized the mental struggles Olympians face against fear
    There’s a new generation of athletes on Olympic podiums — but they might not be the fearless daredevils we imagine them to be.  Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a team of six New York Times reporters set out to answer the question: does fear play a role in the minds of Olympians?
  • How Aaron Williams visualizes his own story to talk about economic mobility
    The idea of upward mobility in the United States is often defined in terms of money, but it can also be defined in terms of opportunities such as schools, or exposure to certain kinds of thinking or forms of education.  It was this thought, paired with a recent move from the East Coast back to
  • Why We Should Cheer, Not Fear, More Visual Storytelling in the News
    No one should be upset that text-based journalism is dying. While this may be hyperbolic, it is undoubtedly the case that the future of media consumption lies away from the written word. New forms of media are taking us away from the practice of deep reading, and it is no longer an essential part of the news business.  Visual storytelling is the revitalization the industry desperately needs for a
  • Northeastern Student gives us a sneak peek at micro-influencing
    Maria Jose Salazar is a college student turned sensational micro-influencer. She was born in Argentina and was raised her whole life on the island of Puerto Rico. She came to Boston to study business and communication with a concentration in marketing at Northeastern University, she is a dedicated student but began making content on the
  • How fitness creator Alyssa Pannozzi became a social media trailblazer
    Alyssa Pannozzi is an athlete and fitness instructor at the indoor spin studio Rev’d. Pannozzi has a large social media following, with 250,000 followers across her various platforms — most notably Instagram and TikTok. In addition to teaching 13-20 fitness classes a week and working on the business side of the spin studio, Pannozzi juggles family,
  • Unlocking heartfelt narratives: The power of vulnerability
    Journalists and writers differ. The world of journalism doesn’t always depend on emotional depth and creativity like traditional storytelling does. Journalistic writing is rooted in truth and clarity — that combination can lead to one-dimensional writing lacking deep themes to analyze or hidden gems to unlock. However, journalism doesn’t always have to be that way.
  • How FiveThirtyEight covered the daylight savings discussion
    If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you probably have an opinion on whether or not you like daylight savings time changes. When we set our clocks forward an hour in March every year, we are bound to hear grumbles about dark mornings. American’s strong opinions on the topic even led the U.S. Senate to
  • Adam Davidson talks Mastodon, @Journa.Host, and content moderation
    You may recognize Adam Davidson from NPR’s “Planet Money” podcast or his reporting in The New York Times, The New Yorker, or Harper’s — to name just a few of the outlets he’s been published in. Davidson is one of the most successful economics reporters of his generation and has made a name for himself
  • How Laura Morel is helping to uncover the truth behind anti-abortion pregnancy centers
    Women with unwanted pregnancies face one of the most challenging decisions of their lives — being able to explore their options in a non-judgmental, medical setting is therefore crucial in ensuring that women can make these decisions armed with as much knowledge and education as possible. Anti-abortion pregnancy centers are taking away this option from
  • Journalist Lindsey Metrus shares her journey with generalized anxiety disorder
    In the last few years, mental health has rapidly grown as a topic of interest, particularly on the internet. Once stigmatized and too taboo to discuss, sharing personal mental wellness stories is quickly becoming normalized — this helps individuals with feelings of loneliness feel not so alone and makes not being okay 100% of the
  • Beyond hashtags: A behind the scenes look at ByHolguin
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