Journalism, data and community

I apologize in advance — this post is really just some links that I came across that have to do with the media, the “data-fication” of journalism, and community. Maybe when I have more time I will try to find the connections that pull these things together, but until then I will just present them as they are, in part to help myself remember and think about them:

— The Los Angeles Times has a “data desk,” which includes links to all of their data-driven projects (link via, who found it via Ben Fry’s blog, who got it from Casey). Some interesting stuff in there, including a database of fatalities from a train crash in September, along with personal information about the deceased, and a list of L.A.’s dirtiest pools.

— Eric Ulken, who used to be involved in data/journalism projects at the L.A. Times, including the Homicide Map (inspired by Adrian Holovaty’s, and has taken some time off to travel the world and write about the evolution of journalism, wrote up some lessons from the Homicide Map project that are well worth reading. They include:

  • Find the believers
  • Get buy-in from above
  • Go off the reservation
  • Develop new skills
  • Integrate
  • Give back

— on the community side, BusinessWeek magazine has a feature I’m planning to steal pay homage to called “In Your Face,” in which they profile some of their most intelligent or newsworthy commenters on the site. The mag is now asking readers to vote on a T-shirt design that will be used for shirts featured commenters will get as gifts. This is all kinds of smart. (I found out about the feature via a Twitter message from BW’s online editor John Byrne)

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