How journalists use technology to tell stories
After the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., cities erupted in chaos. Philip Meyer, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press during the 1968 Detroit riots, published the Riot Commission Report, using data and social sciences to “count and sort and analyze the thoughts of that many people” to analyze race relations throughout the city. Scholars haven’t pinpointed the exact origin of data journalism. But Jennifer LaFleur, former director of computer-assisted reporting at ProPublica and current data editor at the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, said one of the earliest successes of using data and computers to tell stories was Meyer’s work for the Free Press.