I’ve been working with the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project since October, and we are thrilled to announce next week’s launch of OpenNews Learning. We’ve created a place for awesome civic-minded developers to learn more about how journalists and journalism work, and to get acquainted with the hardest problems journalist-developers get to hack on. It’s the place to find out about the landmines they encounter behind the scenes in the process of making amazing maps, visualizations and data-enabled stories.
OpenNews Learning works by example, through case studies written by a stellar set of journalist-developers, designers and hackers about projects they’ve worked on, describing the hairiest coding problems and hidden ethical issues they’ve come up against. You’ll find out how they solved them, and more importantly where they didn’t. You’ll see where there are opportunities to kick ass and take names to keep information free and make democracy more democratic.
First up are cases by Jacob Harris of the New York Times, on how much you can and can’t learn from Federal data sets on food safety; developer Adrian Holovaty on data parsing problems in the journalistic context; Miranda Mulligan, executive director of Northwestern University Knight Lab, on the significance of color decisions in mapping and visualization; Jacqui Maher of the New York Times on making lightning fast sense of the deluge of data in the 2012 Olympics; and journalism professor Matt Waite of the University of Nebraska on the unexpected ethical snarls of making an app from police records.
Join the community, learn the ropes, hack the news.