Organisation: Various (United States)
Publication Date: 03/09/2017
Size of team/newsroom:large
DescriptionThis project chronicles the experience of Doris Truong, a Washington Post editor, who found herself at the heart of a political controversy and was consequently trolled by thousands of users. For the story, I analyzed and visualized 24,731 of the tweets directed at her to show you what a Twitter attack feels like. Data reporting is really the backbone of most, if not all of my stories. In the past year, I've not just visualized data findings in interactive graphics (http://graphics.wsj.com/gender-pay-gap/) or news apps (http://www.vox.com/2016/8/18/12404688/census-race-history-intersectionality) but have also told stories using the written word and even told one data story on stage (http://quantifiedselfie.us/yourfan/ performed at http://tapefest.org/). Like many other reporters, I have dug for data on web sites of official institutions like the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the United Nations but I also am always looking to find new ways of finding data. Whether it's wrangling with German officials for granular population data that is not published or digging deep into the archives of Twitter, Spotify and even Live Journal — when I see something that intrigues me, I go after it. I also believe in sharing my methodologies and processes with the public in an effort to enable them to replicate my work. I have shared them on various blogs (Source, Nieman), during workshops (NICAR and in the newsroom) and on my github account (https://github.com/lamthuyvo/social-media-data-scripts).
What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?Data visualizations are a wonderful way to understand larger statistical contexts and to intellectually process complicated issues. But as someone who has spent four years of her early career telling stories with videos—linear narratives that unfold over time and that are centered around human experiences—I have always been fascinated by the idea of making use of data in ways that leverage the immersive qualities of the moving image, by telling data stories that also highlight the individual. I've tried to bring the individual to the statistical point of view with this project and many other projects I've done because I believe that connecting the two has the largest impact on creating both empathy and an intellectual understanding of a story.
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