Posted on September 13, 2009
Flash and data, made for each other
Toxic Waters is a large investigative journalism package from The New York Times. Some folks say there is no place for this kind of series in journalism nowadays, with all the Sturm und Drang in the news business. But here we see journalism providing one of its more vital functions in society — bringing into the light some risks to public safety.
I want to call attention to one part of the overall package — the way the government data about clean water violations have been presented for the public to examine. Users can look up their local area by state, city, or Zip code and view a map showing each facility at the local level.
Producing this kind of data graphic requires three personnel assets:
- Expert reporters
- Data integration expertise
- Flash graphic expertise
The New York Times might be the last newspaper in North America that has all three.