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Hype is a weaponized form of optimism
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Jan. 28, 2014, 11:10 p.m.

The Los Angeles Times started Homicide Report in 2007. Recently, according to FastCo.Design, “management doubled-down” on their original investment, expanding the blog’s staff and putting more resources on the table.

The result includes an interactive map that combines statistical analysis with, as the tagline reads, “A Story for Every Victim.”

Expanding the map breaks down homicides by the victims’ race and how they died. The trends are brutal. Despite the fact that only 8% of L.A.’s population is black, 33% of the deaths since 2007 come from the African American community. Gun violence accounted for 74% of homicides, and 85% of victims were male.

Whereas other news organizations have published annual homicide maps as simple choropleths, Schwencke says the team used the bubbles and photos of the victims “to remind readers that this is about people. The navigation is built around that theory.”

The project shares some similarities with the more frequently noted Homicide Watch (“Mark every death. Remember every victim, Follow every case”).

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