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As the Christchurch massacre trial begins, New Zealand news orgs vow to keep white supremacist ideology out of their coverage
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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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As the Christchurch massacre trial begins, New Zealand news orgs vow to keep white supremacist ideology out of their coverage
“We’re going to do our job — we won’t chill our coverage in any way — but we’re not going to spread hate or misinformation.”
Populists prefer television to online news — but are sticking to Facebook as others leave
“In the U.S., though there are some outlets with populist audiences — such as Fox and HuffPost — it is clear that the majority of outlets have audiences that are predominately non-populist left, such as The New York Times.”
Investigative Network aims to bring more documentary video to local TV (but it’ll need funding first)
“What I’ve seen with most nonprofits is they’re driven by former print people who have transitioned to digital. I can’t tell you how many times I see a digital story and think it would have been a good 10-minute, 15-minute, hour-long documentary piece.”