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.
Since the beginning of President Donald Trump’s involvement in politics, race has been a centerfold issue. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said in a 2015 speech announcing his bid for the presidency. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
President Trump just made it easier for insurers to deny women access to contraceptives.
When disaster strikes, the primary goal is providing safety for the most vulnerable. In southern Texas, highways, airports and schools were overwhelmed by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. People fled homes and apartments to seek shelter at sports arenas and churches resistant to the storm. Many students were also severely impacted by the storm.