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Chance the Rapper, Chance the Philanthropist, and now Chance the Publisher
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May 27, 2015, 10:06 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: twitter.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   May 27, 2015

When Jacob Harris left The New York Times last month to work for the federal government at 18F — a sort of in-house digital consultancy to up the digital smarts of government — one could imagine the benefits of having a skilled data journalist now working on the inside. Someone who’d spent lots of time dealing with government data now might have a hand (however small — this is the federal government we’re talking about, after all) in improving the quality of that data. So it wasn’t too surprising to see him tweet this last night:

Data.gov is, of course, the feds’ open data portal: “Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.”

data-govHarris later clarified that he was asking for his “personal curiosity, not any work assignment.” But he nonetheless got an interesting range of responses — a sort of communal wish list from a group of (mostly) journalists about how government data could better serve their needs and the demands of transparency. Here are a few of the responses that stood out to me.

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Chance the Rapper, Chance the Philanthropist, and now Chance the Publisher
He marked his purchase of Chicagoist — formerly part of the media empire of Joe Ricketts, whose family owns the Cubs — by beefing with Crain’s Chicago Business.
The hit podcast In the Dark is bringing “meaningful interactions” — and money — to the investigation
The podcast has found opportunity with a donors-only Facebook group. Its second-season subject Curtis Flowers is still in prison, on death row — so “giving somebody a mug for donating doesn’t feel right.”
The universe of people trying to deceive journalists keeps expanding, and newsrooms aren’t ready
“It’s going to be a while before we really have an understanding of how we work to combat it beyond the traditional methods that we have used for a few years now.”