Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

How Computer-Assisted Reporters Evolved into Programmer/Journalists

Researched and interviewed journalists regarding computer-assisted reporting and the evolution of the programmer/journalist. Part of a series on the “programmer/journalist” trend.

I see a very clear progression from CAR to the programmer/journalist trend via the web. CAR is meant to be invisible. You analyze a database as part of the reporting process, but you don’t want to clog up a story with too many numbers. The ability to add details online has changed this process. Data has become a part of the story. And that’s the key connection between CAR and programming in journalism: data.

Matthew Waite, the developer behind PolitiFact, told me his evolution from computer-assisted reporter to programmer/journalist was “the natural evolution of someone who just keeps going with CAR skills.”

Published: August 7, 2009

Publication: PBS MediaShift, a blog that tracks how new media — from weblogs to podcasts to citizen journalism — are changing society and culture.

Skills: Writing, Reporting