journalism content reflects structural racism. 360 words = 1 person shot in white hood = 370 words. 23 words = 4 people shot in black hood.
This is what structural racism looks like.
Chicago, we have to do better.
Media criticism done on a napkin.
Not only did the Chicago Tribune respond but they posted it to their Tumblr:
This image of an article from Monday’s (March 4) edition of RedEye has been passed around by many on social media. It highlights a condensed article about overnight violence in Chicago, including a shooting in West Rogers Park and shootings in the Back of the Yards, Englewood, Gage Park and New City neighborhoods.
We hear you.
The online conversation that’s developing around this story is an important one. Thank you for the comments and feedback. This is incredibly important to us, especially as we set out to shine a light on Chicago violence this year. Conversations like these will continue to inform and improve our coverage. We hope you’ll continue to join us in addressing these issues.
The article in question is from the Chicago Tribune and can be found in full here.
It was all the way back last summer when I first made mention of the OpenNews Learning project. The idea was to assemble some of the best minds in the journalism-code world to help create case studies around the journalistic problemsets that developers come across in the newsroom. The trick of assembling great people is that they’re in demand, and when you’re talking about journalism coders, trying to get a project going in a timeframe that included both the Olympics and the US Presidential Election, well… you’re going to want to find a new timeframe.
Which is why today, I’m absolutely ecstatic to announce that that timeframe has been found and it’s next week.
That’s right: starting next week, we’ll be launching OpenNews Learning as a new section on Source. It will be a regularly updated section of case studies that dig deep into the thinking, design, ethics and execution of code in journalism, written by the very people that know this world best.
OpenNews Learning works by example, through case studies written by a stellar set of journalist-developers, designers and hackers about projects they’ve worked on, describing the hairiest coding problems and hidden ethical issues they’ve come up against. You’ll find out how they solved them, and more importantly where they didn’t. You’ll see where there are opportunities to kick ass and take names to keep information free and make democracy more democratic.
Follow @source on Twitter for the final announcement of when we’re live, and get ready to learn some amazing things.
There Are Giant Camera Resolution Test Charts Scattered Across the US
When people test cameras and lenses for resolution, they commonly use special resolution test charts that are filled with black bars of varying lengths and thicknesses. They’re kind of like eye charts, except for cameras instead of eyeballs, and with lines instead of letters.
Well, did you know that in dozens of locations around the United States, there are gigantic resolution test charts on the ground?
The Center for Land Use Interpretation writes that the strange “land-based two-dimensional optical artifacts” are used for the development of aerial photography — cameras built into airplanes and drones.
The resolution charts were mostly used during the 50s and 60s, but some of them may still be used nowadays to calibrate “flying cameras.” They have dimensions of around 50-80 feet and are coated in heavy black and white paint.
Camera-equipped aerial vehicles can fly over the giant charts and use them to test, calibrate, and focus their cameras while traveling at various altitudes and speeds. Even satellites can utilize the charts.
This robot is called the Shoes-O-Matic. It can crush the ice or not make you slip. In this picture it is doing both because it has the spikes on the bottom and it has the electricity sucking into the ball. You wear them so you don’t slip!
Colorful, digital confetti
See more. [Images: Flickr]
Chicago May, Queen of Crooks, Her Story, 1928, Chicago.
The autobiography of the infamous Chicago ganstress, May Churchill Sharpe (1871-1929), expert at the badger game. Pictured here at age 58.
The heydey of her crime reign in Chicago was during the time of the Columbian Exposition, 1893-1894.
Read more about the Queen of Crooks here: http://historicalheroines.wikispaces.com/BIOGRAPHY
Back in 2008, I wrote a blog post welcoming the local civic info site Everyblock to the world. Today, just over five years later, Everyblock has announced that their parent company, NBC News, has shuttered the site. Twitter has been awash with people digesting the news and I suspect that this blog post, written while battling a nasty winter cold, isn’t the first nor will it be the last. That’s what happens when you create something with the impact that Everyblock had: People care when it’s gone.
And people should care: The impact of Everyblock goes far beyond the traffic to the site itself. Everyblock is one of those ideas that bent the world in a new way when it came around. One of those ideas that felt both so obvious and so ingenious simultaneously, that it looked *easy* when it was anything but. Back when it launched in 2008, the idea of arcane civic data being of use to regular citizens didn’t really exist. The idea of geolocation-based information gathering didn’t really exist. The idea of (shudder) “hyperlocal” information at the street-level didn’t really exist. And yet today, five years later, these ideas are commonplace thanks in large part to Everyblock proving that they were possible and vital.
That Everyblock the site never achieved the glory that many expected of it (it was a recipient of over a million dollars in the first year of the Knight News Challenge) is more a reflection of the too-high expectations of the X Will Save Journalism crowd than of the reality of what Everyblock achieved. Everyblock was never going to be the Apple of local civic data (I was always surprised that a Google acquisition never happened, actually)—the business model for what they did was always the great unknown. But it was absolutely the Xerox PARC of civic data, of geolocation, of information aggregators and civic screen scraping, of developers sitting in the big-J Journalism chair. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of tech companies that have filled the space that Everyblock defined, there are thousands of coders that hack on open government data because Everyblock showed it was possible, and there are millions of people that reap the benefits of the ideas that Everyblock defined.
That’s as much as anyone who builds something can ask for.
As I wrote on Twitter earlier today: “RIP Everyblock. Long live the huge legacy and hundreds of sites built in the space its founders singlehandedly created.”
We’re all living in Everyblock’s world now. Even if Everyblock itself isn’t.
(Full disclosure: I am lucky enough to count many of the original founders of Everyblock as friends. Even if they were enemies, I’d be writing the same post.)
This is What the Bottom of an Antarctic Lake Looks Like
For the first time ever, scientists have managed to take a glimpse at the bottom of the subglacial lake Lake Whillans in Antarctica, and what’s even more, they’ve found living organisms in the sample.
Team 2013 on the streets of Cambridge
I’m still reeling from the amazingness that was the 2013 Knight-Mozilla Fellowship Onramping we held at the MIT Media Lab two weeks ago. Our fellowships are different than many because our fellows spend most of their time apart—they’re embedded in their host news organizations, working alongside reporters and newsroom developers—so we wanted to make sure that before they got swept up in the hustle of the newsroom, that they first learned more about each other and start to etch pathways of collaboration that will deepen over the course of the year.
We decided on the Media Lab because it’s a place that’s filled with the exact spirit of experimentation that we wanted to kick the year off with, and thankfully our friends at the Center for Civic Media were able to give us a great spot off the central atrium to set up camp.
Getting heads-down at the MIT media lab
In planning the week, we knew we wanted to hit a good balance gaining shared experience and knowledge and giving everyone the freedom to hack together. We had stuff we needed them to know (how to file an expense report, for instance), stuff we wanted them to learn (how to feel comfortable really diving into need finding in the newsroom), and stuff we hoped would happen (they’d realize just how valuable each one of them is to each other). And we had four days to do it.
The first two days were heavy on talking. It was “Fellowship 101” on day one, where we also had Dan Schultz and Laurian Gridinoc from our 2012 class and representatives from some of the newsrooms that hosting fellows this year on hand to be able to answer questions about the fellowships from many angles. Day two we decamped to the Boston Globe, where friends from the design firm IDEO lead sessions on the fundamentals of human-centered design. In order to start our fellows’ year off with a good grounding in how to observe need inside the newsroom, they then took what they learned and performed need-finding interviews with Globe staffers. The insights they gained through those conversations continued to resonate throughout the rest of our time together.
Annabel Church shows what she’s been up to on Saturday night
Friday and Saturday we moved from talking to making. Since a major part of the Knight-Mozilla Fellowships is for the fellows to feel free to experiment, create, and try new things, we wanted to give ample space and time for exactly that. We only had one rule for the hack weekend: No solo endeavors—the fellows had to work together on stuff. And they did, in small pairs, in larger groups, and in whole-room ideation, it was amazing to watch a group of near-strangers coalesce into a community of peers, of friends, and of collaborators.
The week ended with piles of Indian food and lots of new friends at a meet-the-Fellows get-together on the Media Lab’s fifth floor. We invite folks from the Lab, as well as from around Boston’s robust media innovation community. The fellows got to show off things they’ve been working on, and we all got to play a few robust rounds of Werewolf before heading back to our hotel rooms to collapse.
We focus a lot on community here at OpenNews—the big, sprawling, amazing community that creates the code that’s transforming journalism every day. Those four days in January at MIT was an opportunity focus on a much smaller community: the community of fellows who, over the course of the next year, will not only help journalism on the web make exciting new leaps, but will also become forever a part of each other’s lives. It was a moment to focus on the things we can build together, the ways we can change the world, and the ways we’ll change each other as well. The next year together is going to be amazing.