5 easy ways to better produce an online story

It’s a rare TV newsroom that does not require its journalists to write a Web version of their stories.  Lynn Walsh, who produces multimedia for the Scripps National Digital Desk has done more than her fair share. She offers some excellent tips for making sure those stories are viewed and enjoyed by more audience.  We’ve …

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Infographic and timeline tools made easy

It’s one thing to know your story could use an infographic or a timeline, and it’s quite another thing to build one yourself!  So, here’s a look at two, free online sites that make building either a breeze. The good folks at Northwestern University’s Knight Lab have created an open-source tool called TimelineJS that allows …

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Simple, interactive graphic on gun control

ProPublica has put up a new graphic that shows at a glance where members of Congress stand on gun rights and gun control. Using the now-standard red and blue tints to indicate party affiliation, Republican or Democrat, the graphic shows the NRA’s ratings for both Senate and House members, NRA contributions to each member, and …

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Information is beautiful

It can take a huge amount of time and effort to build an interactive graphic that’s both visually engaging and informative. That’s why many news organizations only make the effort for projects that will have a long shelf life. CNN made the investment for a long-term project called Home and Away that chronicles casualties from the …

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Getting results from a public records request

Public records are not only a treasure trove of story ideas, but also they offer reporters a way to make a routine story stand out.  Records can provide the context and perspective the audience needs to fully understand the importance or impact of a story. Michael Morisy works for MuckRock.com, a web service that helps …

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Why journalists should learn to love data

Journalists are notorious for hating anything to do with math. If we’d been any good with numbers, I often joke, we might have chosen a different career. But it’s essential for today’s journalists to get comfortable working with data, and the good news is that more and more of them are. What’s changed? For one …

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News with numbers

A friend of mine calls her journalism students “do-gooders who hate math.” But journalists need math skills to make sense of numbers the way they need language skills to make sense of words. The truth is, math is not rocket science and you don’t need to be a nerd to improve your reporting of news …

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Doing data online

If your goal is to produce a sticky Web site, data is one way to get there. Providing lots of information that people can explore on their own will entice some of them, at least, to spend time on the site. That’s part of the thinking behind the Data Bay at tbo.com, the Web site …

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Posting government data

We live in a time when the personal is no longer private, and that doesn’t just apply to Facebook and Twitter feeds. Government databases that journalists use in their stories include a ton of personal information, too. But just because you can get your hands on it doesn’t mean you should post it online, says …

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Visualizing survey results

Surveys often lead to fascinating stories, but the data behind them can be hard to convey in an interesting way. The recent Pew Forum report on religion in American life is a classic example. The survey found that more than half of Americans say religion is very important in their daily lives, attend religious services …

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