Tag Archives: Iowa

News Mixer API spawns Iowa Content experiment

News Mixer, the final year project of programming-journalism students at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University aimed at breathing new life into commenting systems on news sites, was always intended to be developed and adapted further by third parties.

“We got a lot of the hard work out of the way and the code is out there for anyone to play with (…) it’s free. Use it,” Brian Boyer, one of the developers behind it, insisted in an interview last year.

The open source nature of the project has allowed three developers from e-Me Ventures to create Iowa Content – a WordPress-based widget that aggregates localised news content from a range of sources and is connected to Facebook Connect.

Iowa Content is based on News Mixer’s quip function – short-form responses to news items, ideally suited to Twitter or Facebook status updates.

Being linked with the social network will encourage readers to discuss and comment on the news – as well as share links via their profiles.

It’s in the experimental stage right now, but as the intro video below says, it’s about ‘grassroots creation of meaningful content’:

Spanish websites claim top prizes at ONA awards

ELPAIS.com and Soitu.es claimed the first general excellence awards for non-English language sites at the Online News Association (ONA) 2008 awards on Saturday.

Speaking of ElPais.com, the judges said the site was ‘a shining example of how traditional media can blossom in the digital arena.’

“On a bedrock of first-class journalism it has built a brilliant suite of infographics that are rich in information, yet easy to consume,” they added in a press statement.

‘Bearing Witness‘, Reuters multimedia coverage of fallout from the invasion of Iraq in 2003, took the best multimedia feature award in the large sites category, while Adrian Holovaty’s EveryBlock was awarded the prize for outstanding use of digital technology by a small site.

A full list of the winners across the 23 awards and comments from the judges is available through the ONA awards website, but are listed in brief below:

Knight award for public service – WashingtonPost.com, Fixing D.C. Schools

General excellence (small site)– ArmyTimes.com

General excellence (medium site) – LasVegasSun.com

General excellence (large site) – CNN.com

General excellence, non-English (small site) – Soitu.es

General excellence, non-English (large site) – ELPAIS.com

Breaking news (medium site) – STLtoday.com, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kirkwood shootings

Breaking news (large site) – NYTimes.com, Eliot Spitzer’s resignation

Investigative journalism (small site) – RecordOnline.com, The Times Herald Record (Middletown, N.Y.) “I Didn’t Do That Murder”: Lebrew Jones and the death of Micki Hall

Investigative journalism, (large site) – DallasNews.com, The Dallas Morning News, Unequal Justice, and The Globe and Mail, Talking to the Taliban

Multimedia feature (small site) – GEO.fr, Hidden World

Multimedia feature (medium sites) – STLtoday.com, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Reporting for Duty

Multimedia feature (large site) – Reuters.com, Bearing Witness

Online commentary (small site) – Mark Fiore, MarkFiore.com, animated political cartoons

Online commentary (medium site) – The Bottom Line, DallasNews.com, The Dallas Morning News

Online commentary (large site) – God-O-Meter, Beliefnet.com

Online video presentation – OregonLive.com, The Oregonian, Living to the End

Outstanding use of digital technology (small site) – Everyblock.com

Outstanding use of digital technology (large site) – DesMoinesRegister.com, Iowa Caucuses

Specialty site journalism – WebMD

Student journalism – University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill & Universidad de los Andes, South of Here, and Taylor Hayden, Western Kentucky University, Closer to Home: A Daughter Becomes Caregiver

Topical reporting (small sites) – Azstarnet.com, Arizona Daily Star, Immigration in the Spotlight

Topical reporting (large sites) – USAToday.com, Today in the Sky

Interactive maps of tornado damage

Now this is a good interactive map.

DesMoiesRegister has put together a map charting the damage done by the tornado that wiped out the southern third of Parkersburg, Iowa, earlier this year.

Aside from being able to zoom and pan round the town, clicking on a property to see the before and after photos of the buildings the map makes use of a series of filters and overlays that allows users to specify the amount of information they want in view at any one time.

Filters include a colour-coded display of damage to buildings, locations of fatalities, aerial photo markers, the location of stories and videos captured on the ground and a filter that lets you overlay satellite photographs taken days after the event.