House Democrats pass historical health-care legislation

This great sortable database makes it easy to figure out who in the House managed to take the most money from the health industry while voting against healthcare reform. As a bonus, there’s a column noting the percentage of uninsured in their district. The most obvious story I see in this data: Pete Sessions sold […]

At IdeaLab: Paul Bradshaw on crowdsourcing investigative journalism

Over at IdeaLab, I’ve been way past deadline for a post, after (again) making all sorts of promises about helping out more over there.  Until now. After playing the modern equivalent of phone tag (Twitter DMs and e-mail across two operating systems and one ocean) for a week or so, Paul Bradshaw and I landed […]

Technology is easy; labor is hard

Aron Pilhofer of nytimes.com on the hardware, software, and costs associated with building the best interactive data projects in the news business: Everything we use is free and open-source. Our platform is Ruby on Rails backed by Mysql databases running on Ubuntu servers. The cost here isn’t software, or even hardware, which is relatively cheap […]

Sunday morning links: Data, DocumentCloud, and the Obama Bounce for news

A few things I haven’t had time yet to dig deeper on, but maybe you will: Eric Ulken offers of 10 pieces of advice at OJR, based on his experience building the data desk at the LA Times: “4. Go off the reservation: No matter how good your IT department is, their priorities are unlikely […]

The stenography ends here

A few takeaways from this morning’s presentations at the Knight Foundation meeting today in Chicago: The stenography ends here. The days of chasing cops and government down for raw data (crime blotter, etc.) to parse into 8 inch stories is coming to an end.  Everyblock and the Sunlight Foundation are a good start.  More projects […]

Inventing journalism

I’ve been reading Guns, Germs & Steel for months now. (I take these bound paper items you people call ‘books’ slowly sometimes.) There’s a number of striking stories about technology, innovation, and invention in the chapter I’m in the middle of right now. One of those stories is about the QWERTY keyboard layout, which was […]

If you can’t beat ’em, or buy ’em, use the API

Newspapers should produce amazing local databases with great maps, ratings and reviews. A newspaper company should buy Yelp. Yelp now has an open API. Newspapers should stop trying to develop something better, and use the API to provide users with Yelp’s functionality on their own sites, applied to their local businesses. Apply that logic everywhere […]

Why wouldn’t a journalist leave his job at the newspaper for the online newspaper?

Derek Willis, who blogs at The Scoop about investigative and computer-assisted reporting, announces his move from The Washington Post to… …washingtonpost.com. The online operation of the paper happens across the river from the newsroom, with a different set of employees and editors, and Derek has taken the step of packing up his skills and crossing […]