I think the Midterm Election is a big topic, so I focus on a small slice—the gubernatorial election in Massachusetts. I interviewed two persons in Boston Common. One is name Mary Dougherty, who teaches in Harvard and works for Cambridge Climate Associate. She is a supporter of Charlie Baker. The other interviewee is Mike Jay. He is a cook and painter and supports Jay Gonzalez. I hope the two different views can show diversity to some degree.
I believe “The Last Generation” is one of the best reporting I have ever read. There are three reasons.
First, it is good at telling story. Using children’s perspective make the whole story very touching and beautiful. And using the three children’s experience to separately describe the country’s past, present and future, make the story comprehensive, clear and juicy. I believe people in the Marshall Islands must have a universe of complaints about climate change, but the reporters of Frontline chose to tell the story in a gentle way. That’s why the story is such touching. In a word, even if the story was not present by interactive film, but by print, I think it would still be an impressive work, because it tells a good story in a wise way.
The usage of interactive film also left me a deep impression. In my opinion, interactive film is a combination of documentary, printing journalism and data visualization. It inherits the advantages of documentary, for example, the background music help create atmosphere. Besides, it is more user-friendly than documentary. There are progress bars on the right side of each page, and audience can control their own pace, which means they can skip what seems boring to them and pay more attention on what they are interested in. Also, when video, text and graph, or two of the three, are in the same page, only one can be the majority form. I think that’s very important, otherwise it would be easy to make audience confused. For example, when the background is a graph, the explanatory text had better be no more than two lines.
Another thing makes the story successful is the reporters’ commitment. They not only recorded the facts that the Marshall Island is suffering sea level rising, but also put the phenomenon in historical context and offered related scientific explanation. I really admire such a commitment.
Because the story moved me a lot, I have shared it on my Facebook and Twitter.
311 is a phone number that connects citizens and City of Boston’s Constituent Service Center. Representatives of 311 are ready to help with requests for non-emergency City services and information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Every day, 311 receives thousand pieces of message from 23 neighborhoods.
“Neighborhoods in the Eye of 311” tries to identify the biggest problem of each neighborhood to help the government better serve different neighborhoods. The data ranges from July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018, and is gathered from ANALYZE BOSTON- 311 SERVICE REQUESTS. https://data.boston.gov/dataset/311-service-requests
For data processing, please see：
(Sorry I didn’t analyze all the neighborhoods, because the data is extremely big. I think the picture above is enough to present my data visualization idea.)
The project is highly based on several academic studies, which I believe, it’s an unusual but impressive way to cover some complicated social problems.
The first advantage is the dynamic charts, which vividly show the different changes happened on white and black boys over time.
Color is another advantage. Light blue and yellow are main colors of the charts, making the page clean and fresh. On the contrary, the main colors of the charts in those related studies are dark red, green and purple, which is not very good-looking. I think journalists should make their works look smart. Good designs promote content while bad designs devalue content.
Also, some important points on the charts are highlighted to help readers understand the meaning of the charts, such as “same average income” and “same incarceration rate.”
What’s more, the charts and the text help each other properly in the coverage. The charts show facts; the text explain and introduce the purpose of the survey.
However, I think the problem of the coverage is it is too long, and some readers don’t have patience to finish it. If the journalists put several subheadlines cutting the long passage into short ones, I believe, it would be better.
What are the digital strengths of this project?
I think the strengths of this project is that it vividly visualized numbers. For example, readers would have no idea about what a huge difference it is, if they read sentences like this, “The Boston Public School system’s 2015 budget was $975 million while the 2015 revenue from manufacturing guns and ammunition was $15 billion.”
However, readers would realize how serious the gun control problem is when they see two circles with different size symbolizing “$975 million” and “$15 billion”.
In most time, our rational analysis is not as strong as our perceptual analysis. Visualized data can give readers sensory stimuli, and help them to understand the meaning behind the data.
What digital aspects would you approach differently? Why?
I would put a video under the profile of six senators. The video is collection of their speeches about gun control in public places. This can make the main idea of this project more supported.
What connections can you draw between this project’s composition and the themes we’ve read about/discussed so far?
It reminds me of two opinions of a reading material, which is “data journalism is a way to see things you might not otherwise see, and can provide independent interpretation of official information.” Data is not cold evidence, but becomes thought provoking messages.
Actually, I don’t think Seven Days of Heroin is brilliant in digital aspects, but it is a great and thought-provoking investigative journalism work. A lot of digital media coverage presented by New York Time and the Guardian are much better than it. However, the use of timeline, graphic and video in this work makes the coverage vivid and easy to digest.
I think the use of interactive design, short cartoon film and various of graphics in news coverage are very impressive, because they make things easy to understand, fresh to audience, and can help the news reading process more time-effectively. However, to media company, doing these requires a lot of resources.
The project reminds me of the change of media industry and the tendency of digitalization. Whatever the topic or stylistic is, news producers are trying to use digital tools to improve their works.
In this class, I hope to know some successful and unsuccessful cases of using digital media, latest tendency of digital media, and some basic skills of reporting by digital media.
I think I can try to cover campus news and community news in Boston. That’s practical. However, different from what I did during my undergraduate study, I want to cover something in-depth and present it in more lively ways.
Three things I have learned in Codecademy:
1.Codecademy is really suitable for beginners and it makes me feel HTML coding is not so difficult.
2.Every element is in a HTML hierarchy. Child elements can inherit behavior and styling from their parent element. I think we should pay attention to this trait, because when we make certain modification, it would influence more than one element.
3.There are some tags can make the website more user-friendly, such as “target” (which helps users came back to our site after reading a linked website) and “anchor” (which makes it easier for a user to jump to different portions of our page).
I want to learn more about how to make a website more user-friendly, because by doing this, we can make users spend more time on our websites and like our website.
While I’m a student with limited budget, I can still enjoy every trip, because some tips can help me save money, and I’d like to share them with you.
- Collect information before leaving
The more information you know, the less likely you would throw money away. With travel apps, like travel advisor, Airbnb, Skyscanner, etc, you can have a rough ideal about the price. When some people or agency offer much higher or much lower price, you need to be alert.
- Talk to the locals
Sometimes the information on the website is not precise enough, because things are changing all the time. If you find the real situation is quite different from the information you collected before and don’t know how to make decisions, then talk to the locals. Whether a passenger or a shop owner, they are more familiar with the area than us, so their advice works.
- Use your age
That’s really useful for students. Remember your student card is one of the most important things you need to bring. Usually attractions offer student ticket.