The Marathon, the Manhunt and the Media

Folks, I’ve been collecting the best writing I can find on the media and the Boston Marathon bombing. I rolled up everything on a Readlist, which you can download as a single ebook.

This is a work-in-progress, so please let me know what I’ve missed. If you have a bunch of links to add, let me know and I’ll give you a link to edit.

Posted in All

Homicide Watch DC and Reporting from Analytics

Folks, here’s more on how Homicide Watch DC used search analytics as a reporting tool:

Online Investigative journalism: more on reporting through analytics: what we did, including the search terms that led us to identify a homicide victim.

Why Reporting from Analytics Works:

Reporting from analytics works because it brings crime reporting back to its investigative roots. It’s shoe leather reporting, happening online. But it works because it’s even more than that.

As the scope of crime reporting has diminished, so too, has the scope of voices included in the reporting. Which is why it’s worth remembering that reporting from analytics is really nothing more than listening to how people are talking about the beat. When I look at my analytics I learn the words people are using to discuss homicides. I learn what information they have, and what information they’re looking for. I learn what the gaps are between what I know, what the police know, and what my audience knows.

Posted in All

Partisanship in Congress and Time on Bench

DW-Nominate is a way to measure partisan behavior in Congress. I was interested in whether the current state of polarization is different from past eras, so I built two scatterplots showing the history of both houses of Congress:

Partisanship in the Senate.

Partisanship in the House.

Also, I was curious if Supreme Court justices are being appointed younger or serving longer than in the past, so I visualized that, too.

All of this was made with D3.

Fact Checking: “inextricably intertwined” software and data

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last week that a county engineer was within his rights under the state’s public records law to charge $2,000 for a copy of public real estate database, according to Court News Ohio.

In a 6-1 per curiam opinion, the court held that Opperman met the requirements of the Ohio Public Records Act by offering to provide Gambill with a copy of the county’s electronic database containing deed information and aerial photos of all property in the county if Gambill paid the estimated $2,000 cost of separating that data from proprietary mapmaking software protected by U.S. patent laws that is “inextricably intertwined” with the data on the engineer’s computer.

Continue reading