Every day I was at the three-day Games For Change conference this week, I learned about new and innovative games built to suit the needs of education and social change. I could have written about almost all of them, but here are four that are especially noteworthy to those of us thinking about building games for news.
Cameras were not present to capture Tiger Woods pulling out of his driving and hitting a fire hydrant, then a tree in 2009, nor to see his wife smash a car window with a golf club and drag Woods out of the vehicle. So to simulate the events of the story, a Taiwanese news service called Next Media Animation created an animated video of the ordeal, complete with shattering glass.
Since then, the company has produced similar videos based on celebrity news and even breaking news. At the time, I thought that these videos might actually catch on, and simulated reality would fill in the gaps when we couldn’t get real video footage. But they didn’t, at least not in the United States.
Yesterday at the Games For Change Festival’s day-two demo session, I saw a game in progress that took animated scenarios to a new level, and it really opened up some ideas for journalism.
If you think about it, positive social impact is a goal that’s similar to ours as journalists. Naturally, as I listened to the diversity of presentations today dedicated to social reach, education, impact and even fighting censorship, I found many lessons that apply to what we’re doing in newsrooms.
FEMA’s released new, preliminary flood insurance maps for New York City, which specify how likely areas are to flood. The new maps, which replace maps that used data from 1983, double the number of structures in flood zones.
The evolution of the National Security Agency’s dragnet under Presidents Bush and Obama.
The sixth ProPublica P5 Resident is Joanna Kao.
While the tools and techniques to present large datasets in graphics and news apps may differ from project to project, the basic design principles stay pretty much the same. Many might pretty familiar – even if you’ve never studied design formally, you probably know some of them instinctively. Let’s name them, explain why they work and see how other designers use them. Once you recognize the concepts, you’ll become more conscious of when and how to use them in your own projects.
We’re looking for the next great News Applications Fellow to work with ProPublica’s world-class news applications desk.
It's a great fellowship for, among others, a coder who's civic-minded and interested in working with journalistic problems and data sets, or a j-school grad who wants to tell stories with code, or a digital humanities student looking to try their skills in journalism. You’ll work side-by-side with the best newsroom developers on the planet, on some of the biggest and most innovative projects in investigative and data journalism. You will leave here a better journalist, a better designer and a better developer.
As part of our ongoing investigation into patient safety, ProPublica reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce produced this interactive story in collaboration with PBS Frontline and Ocupop during a May 11-16 hackathon.
Medicare’s popular prescription-drug program now serves more than 35 million people, but the names of prescribers and the drugs they choose have never previously been public. Use this tool to find and compare doctors and other top prescribers in 2010.
Use our database to find almost 616,000 tax-exempt organizations and see details like their executive compensation, revenue and expenses, as well as download their tax filings going back as far as 2001.
In addition to our Nonprofit Explorer interactive database, here are some resources for researching charities and other tax-exempt organizations.
This week, Justin Elliott wrote about new House Financial Services Committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) attending a weekend getaway with banking industry officials.
One of the ways he found out who was at the getaway was by using the Instagram photo sharing service, which turned up a snowy snapshot taken by Len Wolfson, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (which had contributed to Hensarling's PAC). Wolfson has since set his account to private.
The Instagram site has no search function, so finding shots like this can take a lot of digging. However, Instagram has an API with a "Media Search" endpoint that returns data both by timeframe and distance from a certain latitude and longitude -- a perfect way to see who's at a certain place at a certain time.
Our P5 Resident this month is Alan Palazzolo from MinnPost. He’s the fifth P5 Resident.
The Global Editors Network announced finalists for its 2013 Data Journalism Awards.
On the shortlist are three projects, including maps that retell the "Great Migration," from ProPublica and two projects from former residents in our P5 Program.
This past weekend, a team from ProPublica competed in the GEN Editors’ Lab New York hack day, with the theme “Newsgaming.” We learned how to use game mechanics to create an interactive experience that went beyond badges and reputation systems to explore a complex accountability story in fun and engaging way. Seriously, our game is really fun.
Here’s what we learned (and produced!) in two days.
HeartSaver is an experiment in news game design, built in two days for the April 2013 GEN Editors’ Lab Hackathon. How many lives can you save?
The Senate defeated several amendments to the proposed gun control bill, with only two amendments reaching the 60 votes necessary to pass. We break down how senators voted.
Four months after the Newtown tragedy, the Senate resoundingly defeats gun control legislation. We break down how Senators voted on the bill.
ProPublica hosts newsroom developers -- or developers who want to see what it's like to work in news -- for 3-5 day job shadowing residencies called the ProPublica Pair Programming Project, or P5.
Use ProPublica's data -- cleaned, categorized and often created from multiple sources -- in your reporting and research.