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ProPublica’s Nerd Blog: What Does It Mean to You?

By on Thursday, September 9, 2010

The popular ProPublica website recently announced the start of the “Nerd Blog” to explore news applications being used in journalism. The authors write:

So what the heck is a “news application”? It’s an interactive web page that uses software instead of words and pictures to do journalism.

Our team of programmer-journalists makes interactive applications based on data both culled from public sources and collected by ProPublica’s investigative reporters. Some of our work is published alongside stories. Other projects are themselves the main product of an investigation.

What does this mean for nonprofit organizations and media relations? As more media outlets add customized news applications and graphics online to explain stories and allow readers to interact with data, this is an area of journalism we all need to be aware of. As public data is mined and shared, there will be more opportunities to explain important issues and causes to the public.

Some examples:
Unemployment Insurance Tracker (ProPublica)
Home and Away (CNN)
Data Desk (LA Times, listing dozens of projects)
US Newspapers Pick the President in the 2008 Election (10,000 Words)


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