Census.gov provides demographic data for all to use

Census.gov  is a great resource for providing demographic based data for a variety of stories.

For example, one chart provides data for the poverty rate over time. Screenshot (18).png

This information could be included in an article that attempts to discuss Donald Trump’s claims about the economy, perhaps indicating that the decreasing poverty rate is attributable to more than his claim of making the economy great. As it can be indicated that the poverty rate in recent years has been in decline.

There are a number of ways that this information could be used, but this may be the most relevant given Trump’s recent State of the Union address.

Census.gov also provides a far wider variety of data including information about health, economy, and education.


Examining our future of walls

In an increasingly divided world, The Washington Post’s, A New Age of Walls offers an extensive insight into the lives and perspectives of those most affected by the changing global political climate.

The interactive series is effective dually, both in its biting critique and in its presentation.

Each of the three episode in the series are filled with haunting black and white clips both of personal perspectives and topical news clips, accompanied by a soundtrack that in its sum is somewhat reminiscent of Schindler’s List.

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In addition to the touching videos, interactive data sets visualize information in a clean and easily understood fashion.Screenshot (16)

In total the project cleanly provides information, but more importantly gives the information feeling. It makes the news relatable and personal, in a way that can connect with the audience unlike a standard news story.

CNN makes content easy to absorb on YouTube

In a world where visual information is beating out written, CNN is publishing primary sources of news directly to YouTube.

On top of posting clips taken directly from the station’s many shows, CNN often posts videos of original news sources, (clips of actual events without a reporter digesting the information for the audience), to YouTube.

One example is the recent Larry Nassar trial, where a distraught father attempted to attack Nassar in the courtroom. The incident was caught on video, and uploaded to YouTube by a variety of news outlets, including CNN.

The video uploaded by CNN went viral, reaching YouTube’s trending video’s page.

Many internet viewers do not want the hassle of watching a 30 minute long television program in order to get their news. Information in its most digestible format is the preferred method of the internet.

And what is more digestible than a direct link to the source.

Keeping America honest: NPR fact checks State of the Union Address

Fact checking is an important mechanism for holding accountable those in authority, especially so in an era built on “fake news.” NPR took at look at Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address and found the data to back up, or disprove claims made at the speech.

One of the first disputed claims came as Trump offered his sympathies to those affected by the season’s hurricanes. While the words are sweet, FEMA the executive branch organization that takes care of disaster relief, recently announced it would be halting direct aid to the affected regions, but would still provide help to nonprofit groups in the area. An update came the next day that the decision by FEMA had been reversed.

Claims of a 2.4 million increase in jobs “since the election” made by trump were corroborated by NPR. However, while the 2.4 million jobs added show a continuing uptrend in the economy, it is a smaller increase than the previous years 2.7 million under Obama.

Tax cuts would provide “tremendous relief for the middle class” according to Trump. However data has shown that the majority of the tax benefits will be reaped by the top 20 and top 1% seeing 65% of the savings and 20% respectively.

Now more than ever is keeping an eye on what is true and what is false an importance to Democracy. Luckily there are still a few devoted to the cause of keeping authority honest.

Aggregating News around the World

Ushahidi  crowd sourced news map of the world gives perspective and immediacy to the news through live updating maps that show exactly where the news is in relation to you.

The website takes news from the citizens of the world, through tweets, data and posts made by members, who then verify its legitimacy, and update a live map of the world. The news appears on the map where its happening, locally or internationally.

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Ushahidi was also widely used during the Obama 2012 election. Users could live update the goings on of election day. Whether it be polling to see who is winning in a location or updating the public on issues arising at polling places.

Future prospects of this sort of crowd sourcing information on the fly brings a different take to news that makes it more immediate, more intimate.