Nieman Report’s Professor’s Corner: Hacker Chronicles

Writing with Kent State University professor Jacqueline Marino, I explore the teaching of collaborative journalism and computer sciences courses for Harvard’s Nieman Report: Professor’s Corner:

It used to be that calling a journalist a “hack” was considered an insult. Now, tack on “-er” and more than likely the reporter will be flattered. Today tech-savvy journalists are mapping stories, figuring out new ways to share mobile-based news, and changing how investigative reporters gather and analyze their information. This expanding digital landscape for news, especially the significance of data and the promise of mobile, means that computer programming is becoming yet another skill to be taught in journalism classes.

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NYT: The Back Story

The relationship between the possessions we value and the narratives behind them is unmistakable. Current technologies of connection, and enterprises that take advantage of them, surface this idea in new ways — but they also suggest the many different kinds of stories, information and data that objects can, or will, tell us.

Journalistic storytelling progressed from the object third party narrator describing an event (ie. the inverted pyramid), to stories told through data (ie. a searchable database) to self-reported stories (ie. social networking sites) but I had not considered that everyday objects might be able to tell their own stories. I always thought an Eames Lounge Chair or vintage sports car would have intriguing back stories, I just never considered that a Pepsi can might also have something to tell.