On the shortlist are three projects from ProPublica:
- Maps that retell the “Great Migration” that took place in the mid-20th century, which saw African Americans migrate from the rural south to northern cities only to find themselves facing housing segregation in their new hometowns. The project, by Jeff Larson and Nikole Hannah-Jones, accompanied Hannah-Jones’s investigative project about the historical failure of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to take steps to end housing segregation.
- Message Machine, a project to reverse engineer political messaging in the 2012 campaign. News app developer Jeff Larson developed a system that processed, in real-time, political emails sent in by readers, and tried to uncover the factors behind the sometimes subtle differences between the “micro-targeted” messages. With the help of more than 600 readers, we were able to uncover the versions of each email, and the demographic factors the campaigns used to tailor their messages while the campaign was still going on. To our knowledge this was the first time these techniques were used in a news application.
- The ProPublica Nerd Blog, where we publish all of the methodologies, recipes and the secrets behind our news application development. It’s always been an important component of ProPublica’s mission to share our work. Our journalism is available to republish under a Creative Commons license, and has been so since we launched in 2008. The News Apps desk at ProPublica makes lots of our code available via GitHub. We also, after each big project launches, explain our techniques in nerdy detail via long technical posts. You can find all of this in the nerd blog.
Also on the shortlist is an interactive project in the Washington Post by Sisi Wei, who now works at ProPublica, called “Exit Polls 2012: How the Vote Has Shifted.”
We’re very pleased to be nominated alongside the amazing work of so many of our colleagues around the world. We especially wanted to point out two projects done by Residents from our P5 program who were also nominated: La Nación (Argentina) is nominated for their remarkable work on Senate expenses, and Berliner Morgenpost is nominated for their “Flugrouten-Radar” project, which got its start as Julius Troeger’s P5 project while he sat in the ProPublica nerd cube here in New York.