Recently, following an episode of NPR’s This American Life on the Senator Jeff Flake’s attempt to pass a bill through Congress, I have decided to follow the man on Twitter.
The man is a United State’s Senator and provides a window into a congressman’s view on the world and day to day life.
Flake’s tweets mostly pertain to US politics, but also offer a personal insight into what he does for fun as well.
Recently the Senator made a speech to Congress condemning the President’s actions in perpetuating the “fake news” attack on journalism. In it he compares Trump’s assault on the media to Stalin’s, and blames him for third world Dictators adopting the technique. Coming from a Republican, the statements are hard hitting and poignant.
Over the course of the last few months we have seen a widespread protest, perhaps the largest since the change following the protest for freedoms from our LGBTQ community. In the United States, students and some educators are now chanting through America’s streets, “March for our Lives.” This revolutionary phrase comes after media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN highlights a supposed flux in school shootings. However, not all students participate solely in “walking out,” some students have done group prayers.
A Catholic school in Denver CO whose students decided rather than walk-out, they would instead pray to honor the 17 students from Florida Parkland shooting. The difference? A national walkout for 17 minutes reached a large number of high-schools and colleges throughout the nation. This school’s approach is similar to what is being suggested by right-wing politics. Where as a nation, America should incorporate God back into the foundation of this country. Thus, these students did a prayer to intercede on behalf of the “souls” that were lost during this unfortunate event in U.S history.
There are three sides to these walk-outs. According to a post published by the Washington Post, there were tens of thousands of students that walked out during this socially accepted protest. Students are protesting for stricter gun laws. However, looking on the internet you will see students holding signs such as, “NRA WE WILL OUT LIVE YOU,” “No More Silence End Gun Violence.” The young marchers has said they are not protesting a particular party, rather they are wanting both Republicans and Democrats to create and enforce laws on an issue they believe has been over-looked. A video of the rally
Not all students participated or believe this is a major issue that should be a focus in America. A North Carolina student was one of 700 students that walked out. The school says according to a person who handles their public relations, “We teach our students to be independent thinkers,” Janet Conner-Knox, who handles public relations for Wilson Preparatory Academy, told CNN. “[Blackman] is an independent thinker.” With this statement it’s plausible that this student opinion is less than a percent of the overall political standing in the school.
A school district in New Jersey decided to give out suspensions to students who participated in the rally. This was done in protection for the students according to a quote from a school’s superintendent. He states, “…Therefore, we believe that allowing and/or supporting them to walk out of our schools on a specific date and at a specific time is not safe and will cause a major disruption to the education of those students, as well as those who wish to remain in class learning” in a snippet taken from Breibart news.
Gathering data off of the internet and arranging it into easily digestible information is an important tool for journalism online. This week we took a look at the Secretary of State’s voter turnout rate for the 2016 election, and turned it into an interactive map using Google Fusion Tables.
The first step was to take the data set from the SOS website and format it leaving only the information we needed.
Then uploading it to Google Fusion Tables we get a map of our data that looks like this.
The map is interactive and will allow the user to click on each individual county to find out the voter turnout for that area.
I choose to blog on the recent presidential poll survey which I found to be very interesting concerning Donald Trump’s overall popularity amongst Americans.
Donald Trumps recent popularity poll count has dropped tremendously according to this recency report, and he is now in fact disapproved by more than fifty three percent of the American people.
This is not shocking news for most of the American people who disapprove of the many tacky tactics that Donal Trump exemplified when handling and or representing the oveall American people anyways.
I like that there’s many useful ways on the internet to stay in the loop of whats buzzing around when it comes to census and surveys on governmental officials. This data survey was humorous in a way because it also compares other presidential approval rates against each other; check it out for yourself, I’m sure you’ll get a laugh too, as I did.
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.
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.
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.
In addition to the touching videos, interactive data sets visualize information in a clean and easily understood fashion.
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.
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.
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.