Semi-comprehensive list of newsrooms doing news applications

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News App Teams

  • Associated Press: Jonathan Stray, John Balestrieri, Bob Weston, Sean McDade, Feilding Cage, Troy Thibodeaux, Julian Burgess

  • Chicago Tribune: The News Applications Team (Christopher Groskopf, Brian Boyer, Ryan Mark, Joe Germuska)

  • Cincinnati Enquirer

  • CQ-Roll Call Group

  • Dallas Morning News

  • LA Times: The Data Desk

  • New York Times (Aron Pilhofer, Brian Hamman, Ben Koski, Derek Willis, Jacob Harris, Jacqui Maher, Alan McLean, David Nolen, Tyson Evans, Andrei Scheinkman)

  • ProPublica

  • St. Petersburg Times

  • The Texas Tribune: Data Library

  • Washington Post

  • MSNBC.com

Several Journalist-Developers, Not Formally in a Team

  • Arizona Republic

  • Des Moines Register

  • PBS NewsHour

  • The (Eugene, Ore.) Register-Guard

  • Seattle Times

  • Spokane Spokesman-Review

  • USA Today

  • WSJ.com

Solo Journalist-Developers

  • Talking Points Memo (Al Shaw)

  • The Oregonian

  • Scripps Howard News Service

  • Palm Beach Post (Adam Playford)

  • Southern California Public Radio / KPCC (Jeffrey Long)

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune (Yuri Victor)

  • PBSNews.org (Michelle Minkoff)

Tags: asked April 20, 2010
  1. That’s the good kind of optimism. Of course, if it does it could always graduate to a spreadsheet.

  2. I think there are also people working at California Watch, The Washington Times, The Investigative Reporting Workshop and The Sunlight Foundation.

  3. I changed this Q to a community wiki so everyone can edit it and add to the list in one place

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10 Answers

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We've got a few editorial development teams here at msnbc.com - one that's focused on mid to long term editorial needs (we built the Stimulus Tracker app in Flash and Django http://stimulustracker.msnbc.com/ ) and a labs team tasked with more long range, alternate news products like http://breakingnews.com/

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WSJ.com doesn't have a "news applications" team per se but there is a graphics department that creates a lot of interactives and other material that would fall under that category.

This page here is an (up to date I think) list of projects. http://online.wsj.com/public/page/0_0_WP_2003.html

  1. I think USA Today is similar: not sure if there are app developers there, but they certainly have some Flash talent in the building.

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Would it benefit the community to piece together a database of apps teams in the same way Charles Lewis' group put together a report on investigative nonprofits?

http://investigativereportingworkshop.org/ilab/story/ecosystem/

  1. I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d love to see a database that had both journo/dev teams and also links to some of their projects. I went looking for one particular person’s work a while ago (I’d heard good things) and couldn’t find most of it. I know our (PBPost’s) stuff isn’t easy to track down either.

    I’m sure it’d be a pretty quick project, and I’d be happy to help anyone interested in doing that.

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I think this is a great idea. We should also include links to team pages/blogs wherever appropriate. I will edit the OP to add the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

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I like it. It's kind of like the list I accidentally started on a Drupal discussion group of newspapers using the CMS. http://groups.drupal.org/node/5100 (Some places, you ask a simple question, and they want you to make a wiki page. Sheesh.)

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Adam Playford is still a one-man journalist-developer in The Palm Beach Post's newsroom, but otherwise this function at Cox properties has been centralized in a corporate division in Atlanta.

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Hm, I just switched us (Spokane) into the "several" category. Does two devs count as several? And we consider ourselves a team, but work from within the newsroom.

  1. Gina Boysun, who affectionately refers to herself as “Legacy Girl,” because she’s been part of the web team here since the 90s.

    twitter.com/gboysun

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I made some edits to this and am hoping to revive it as a topic so it can get updated.

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I'd have to say that the expressiveness of javascript allows for an astounding number of programming styles. There's everything from classical oop (mootools) to crazy functional cps style programming (fab.js or, at times jQuery). At propublica our vendor library currently includes:

  • glass.js: an internal framework we plan on open sourcing soon
  • jquery
  • underscore.js: all the iterators you'll ever need.
  • jQuery Tools: Really great slim common ui behaviors.

Really though, I'm going to interpret the question not as what libraries I should use, but as "How does javascript really work?" JavaScript as a language is an amazing achievement which marries prototype-based object oriented programming and functional programming at a base level. In order to really dive into js, I'd recommend learning about the mutability of 'this', functional scope, and the new operator in javascript. Start with the mozilla docs and work from there. Best of luck on a fascinating journey.

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The Plain Dealer in Cleveland has quietly been building Caspio databases and from-scratch searches since 2007 and recently began doing more interactive graphics.

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