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Caroline O'Donovan    August 19, 2013

Twitter announced a new feature today aimed at surfacing “the stories behind a tweet.” If a tweet has been embedded into a news story, those headlines (and seemingly, other relevant headlines as well) will be displayed below the tweet. For example: This year when NBA center Jason Collins became the first NBA player to publicly…

Caroline O'Donovan    May 23, 2013

The Pew Research Center launched a new blog earlier this week that’s supposed to provide Pew-quality data and information at a real-time pace. It’s called Fact Tank, and it will be a home for what Pew calls it’s “unique brand of data journalism.” Since Tuesday, they’ve written up data snapshots on topics like Secretary of…

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Chris Amico    April 24, 2013

To understand how politics works in China, you have to understand guanxi: the web of interpersonal relationships, alliances, and influence underlying the one-party system. The best way to see how this works is Connected China. Built over 18 months by a team of reporters and researchers in Hong Kong and Fathom Design in Boston, the…

Knight Prototype Fund winner Hollaback helps women who have been sexually harassed in public report their experience to city officials
Caroline O'Donovan    March 7, 2013

The Knight Prototype Fund has announced eight new grant winners, ranging from a data platform to monitor street harassment to a tool to better assemble video of breaking news events. Debuting last summer, the prototype fund’s aim is to provide small, targeted bursts of funding — limited to $50,000 — in order for ideas with…

Joshua Benton    January 22, 2013

Josh Sternberg at Digiday on the new wave of mobile-first news apps (Circa, NowThis News, Summly): The rise of mobile-only, if not mobile-first, publications could be a boon to the digital media landscape. And while the business models of mobile outlets may be based on the traditional, if outdated, ones of CPMs, the times are…

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Justin Ellis    August 3, 2012

The Times’ “quick links” allow writers to better illustrate parts of a story through pop-up multimedia within an article.

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Andrew Phelps    July 24, 2012

The website finally centralizes a loose but vibrant community of news coders.

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Justin Ellis    January 23, 2012

Thinking about the sheer volume of information — stories, images, videos, data — available from The New York Times can evoke a simultaneous glee and terror. For readers, it’s a tip-of-the-iceberg thing: Yes, on a day-to-day basis you have access to the news and a decades-spanning archive, but you’re not seeing anything close to all of it. Beta620, the Times experimental projects group, is trying to find a better way to make the newspaper’s information more readily available — both to readers and to the Times itself. Their latest stab at the problem is something they’re calling Deep Dive, a project that aims to give readers a richer, more nuanced understanding of stories.

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Joshua Benton    November 9, 2011

I noted yesterday that Wired was releasing its future staff-shot photos under a Creative Commons license. They’re choosing a “noncommercial” license, but they specifically state that editorial use (by bloggers, websites, or even print publishers) doesn’t count as commercial use in their eyes. What exactly constitutes commercial use is a controversial topic in Creative Commons circles — but I forgot to mention one small controversy from a few months ago that I think sheds some light on the debate.

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Joshua Benton    September 7, 2011

The big newspaper news this morning is that two of the nation’s largest remaining newspaper chains, Journal Register Co. and MediaNews Group, are executing something like a merger-without-merging. Journal Register is creating a new company, Digital First Media, which will “manage” both chains. The two companies will maintain separate boards, but JRC CEO John Paton will take over as boss of both. Throughout 2011, we’ve been telling you about the dance between MediaNews, Journal Register, and a key third party not mentioned in the press release: Alden Global Capital, the hedge fund that is perhaps the most important little-known player in the publicly traded newspaper sector.

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Mark Coddington    July 18, 2011

Every Friday, Mark Coddington sums up the week’s top stories about the future of news. This week: seemingly endless controversy at News Corp.; a debate over the ethics of aggregation; rethinking Google+’s impact a few days in; and this week’s required reading.

Megan Garber    June 28, 2011

Here’s a paradox that would make Lippmann smirk: While government spending forms and informs the most basic infrastructure of democracies, reading about it also tends to put most members of those democracies to sleep. Even in the U.K., where government spending data is relatively robust and admirably available to the public, the most common reaction to fiscal info’s presentation tends to land somewhere on the scale between “meh” and “zzz.” The Open Knowledge Foundation wants to change that. The U.K.-based nonprofit — which promotes, as its name suggests, knowledge that people can use, remix, and redistribute free from legal, technological, or social restrictions — has just won $250,000 from the Knight Foundation to develop Spending Stories, a project that aims “to help the public better understand government finances by connecting readers with the context behind the numbers.”

Megan Garber    June 24, 2011

One of the biggest challenges news organizations face is the real-time aspect of newsgathering: the massive problem that is making sense of the torrent of information that floods in when breaking-news events take place. How do you process, and then verify, and then organize, hundreds and often thousands and sometimes millions of discrete data points, even before those points transform into something that resembles useful information?

Swift River, a project of the crowdmapping platform Ushahidi, just won a $250,000 Knight News Challenge grant to help figure that out.

Lois Beckett    February 23, 2011

“There’s are a lot of people in the news industry who are very skeptical of anything that isn’t news,” says The New York Times’ John O’Neil. As the editor of the Times’ Topic Pages, which he calls a “current events encyclopedia,” O’Neil oversees 25,000 topic pages, half of which — about 12,000 or so — include some human curation.

While the rest of the newsroom is caught up in the 24-hour news cycle, constantly churning out articles, O’Neil and his team are on a parallel cycle, “harvesting the reference material every day out of what the news cycle produces.” This means updating existing topic pages, and creating new ones, based on each morning’s news. The most pressing criterion for what gets updated first, O’Neil said, is whether “we would feel stupid not having it there.”