Sensor Journalism in San Diego
May 12th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

 An impressive and innovative class this spring at San Diego State University. Sensor Journalism 101. Check it out at

IRE, Esri partner to offer fellowships for mapping training
May 12th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

IRE and Esri have partnered to offer fellowships to attend mapping training at the 2015 Esri Conference from July 18-22 in San Diego or the IRE Mapping Boot Camp from August 7-9 at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Mo.

The Esri Conference fellowships cover airfare and four nights lodging, and the Boot Camp fellowships cover airfare and three nights lodging. The Esri Conference schedule includes attendance at the following events: Esri Business Summit (July 18-19) to learn about how international businesses are using advanced mapping technology: Conference Plenary Session (July 20); and hands-on training for journalists. The application deadline is May 14. Apply now!

A History of Choking off Transparency at Cal State Fullerton | Voice of OC
May 9th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Complaints from student journalists about the university’s communications department, and its chief spokesman Christopher Bugbee, are echoed by members of the professional media.

Source: A History of Choking off Transparency at Cal State Fullerton | Voice of OC

Important conference on Quantifying Journalism at Columbia J-School
May 30th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

The first Tow Research conference, Quantifying Journalism: Metrics, Data and Computation, on May 30, 2014 reflected on a big year in data journalism. Quantifying Journalism: Data, Metrics, and Computation brought together academics, practitioners and technologists to explore three critical questions at the heart of the data journalism conversation.

The Need for Openness in Data Journalism
Apr 10th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

An excellent, thoughtful essay by Brian Keegan on the need for openness — and better application of [social] scientific methods — by journalists.

The Need for Openness in Data Journalism

Do films that pass the Bechdel Test make more money for their producers? I’ve replicated Walt Hickey’s recent article in FiveThirtyEight to find out. My results confirm his own in part, but also find notable differences that point the need for clarification at a minimum. While I am far from the first to make this argument, this case is illustrative of a larger need for journalism and other data-driven enterprises to borrow from hard-won scientific practices of sharing data and code as well as supporting the review and revision of findings. This admittedly lengthy post is a critique of not only this particular case but also an attempt to work through what open data journalism could look like.  [Read more]

NPR: “So You Think You’re Smarter Than A CIA Agent “
Apr 2nd, 2014 by Tom Johnson

Good NPR piece on the wisdom of crowd-based analysis at the Good Judgment Project

“The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.

It wasn’t the only question she was considering; there were others:

Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?

Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich’s answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn’t feel much pressure because this wasn’t her full-time gig.

“I’m just a pharmacist,” she said. “Nobody cares about me, nobody knows my name, I don’t have a professional reputation at stake. And it’s this anonymity which actually gives me freedom to make true forecasts.”

Rich does make true forecasts; she is curiously good at predicting future world events.”[more]

Esri Lauches ArcGIS Open Data Site
Mar 10th, 2014 by Tom Johnson

From Directions Magazine, whose reviewer writes:

Sunday, March 09, 2014
Esri Lauches ArcGIS Open Data Site

“Esri has launched ArcGIS Open Data, a website with the tag line “Explore open data from all over the world.” Those who visit are invited to: Collaborate, Discover New Data and Visualize and Analyze. Sunday afternoon (March 9, 2014) the website had 81,301 datasets.

“I did a search on EPA since I know the EPA was a participant in the first discussions of ArcGIS Online Open Data Program (Directions Magazine coverage). What I found were many EPA datasets (286) with creation dates in the past few years. There was no informatoin about when the dataset was added to this portal. Alongside a paragraph of description I found these data associated with ctdphonline: EPA Faciliites:”

IAJ lectures in South America
Mar 10th, 2013 by Tom Johnson

I’ve posted my 2012 lectures and workshop Powerpoints from Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Some are in Spanish, some in English.


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