Projects

Learn more about the on-going projects StoryBench is tackling.


2020 Election Tracker

  • 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
  • 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 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
  • Reopen schools narrative spreads across shadowy local news sites
    Americans are divided about reopening schools this fall and polls show that this disagreement falls along party lines with Republicans more in favor of children returning to schools. Which is why it wasn’t surprising when we found a pro-school reopening narrative popping up this summer on a large network of local and business news websites

Reinventing TV

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Climate Journalism Lab

  • 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
  • How Felippe Rodrigues at New Zealand’s Stuff brought to life a chart of Earth’s changing temperature
    In conversations about climate change, climate skeptics frequently raise the point that the temperature has always fluctuated and has been on the rise for millennia. In fact, this is true. But the average temperature of the Earth has never risen so drastically or as quickly as it has during the last 100 years. Felippe Rodrigues,
  • Scrollytelling innovation: New York Times journalists on climate change, visualization, and intense teamwork
    As visual storytelling libraries clutter newsroom servers, multimedia projects involving data visualizations, photos, videos, and even augmented reality components are becoming more and more popular. But it is unclear to today’s up-and-coming journalists whether those interested in reporting are also expected to master these complex technologies. “The Coming California Megastorm,” a New York Times story
  • How the Allen Coral Atlas is mapping and monitoring coral reefs worldwide
    Although coral reefs occupy less than one percent of the ocean floor, their importance extends well beyond their size. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that 500 million people survive on coral reefs for income, and their economic value in the U.S. is estimated at $3.4 billion each year. More importantly, healthy coral reefs

Data Journalsim in R

  • 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
  • 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 —
  • 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 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