Thursday, October 02, 2008

When 'database' becomes 'storytelling'

Poynter Institute's Chip Scanlan discusses database reporting on last month's commuter train disaster.
The newspaper's Web team used a rapidly developed online database to let readers learn about casualties as they were identified. Says Chip:
"I was struck by how quickly the crash victims database appeared and impressed by the interactive demographics that let me learn information about each victim by the field of my choice. It turns out, as I learned from e-mail interviews with Times staffers involved in the project, there's an interesting tale of best practices behind this deadline database."

Scanlan interviewed Megan Garvey, the site's morning Metro assignment editor, and others at the paper to describe reporters and programmers working together.

Some of the job titles reflect the new world of online journalism -- "interactive technology editor" and "database producer."

Here's the story itself:

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