The Future of News: DIY visualisations

Next week, I’m headed to Princeton University to talk about the Future of News at the Center for Information Technology Policy. David Robinson has asked me to talk about data visualisation, which, along with a few projects at the day job, has given me an opportunity to think about and explore some areas of interest. During the conference, I’ll be blogging here and on the Guardian blogs, most likely a mix at Organ Grinder, our media blog, and also at our Technology blog.

I think one of the opportunities that we’re missing in journalism right now is that we’re not doing enough with freely available tools to experiment with editorial concepts. The plethora of free web tools allows us to see what works for journalists and just as importantly our audiences and communities. If we lower the cost of experimentation in terms of time and money as near as zero as possible, we can try something new almost every day. As I say, experiment. Learn. Apply lessons. Repeat.

Here’s something we can do today: Visualise the North Carolina and Indiana primary addresses of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It took me about 10 minutes to do both, and about 10 minutes to write this post. Innovation at the speed of news.

UPDATE: The embed code for this visualisation is pretty flakey or at least doesn’t play well with Strange Attractor’s CSS. It’s going to take a bit of work. Fail forward.

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