Megan Taylor

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

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PositivelyIsrael.org

Positively Israel campaign micro-site built for Jewish National Fund.

Skills: Convio, jQuery, CSS, HTML, Google Fusion Tables (map)

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Speakers Bureau

Complete overhaul of Jewish National Fund’s Speaker Bureau, including speaker content types, browse by name and browse by topic.

Skills: Convio, CSS, HTML

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FlickrMap

githubJust a very simple JSON to Google Maps example, using the Flickr API. Finds and plots photos based on search term within specific geographic area (Bronx, NY). Try “zoo”, “NYPD”, or “Yankees”. Default search term is “baseball”.

Skills: jQuery, JavaScript, JSON, API, CSS, HTML

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FireTracker

githubThis is a fork of Andy Boyle’s Django tutorial. Just some models, views and templates for setting up a basic Django app to track fires. I added maps with django-easy-maps integration.

Skills: Python, Django, PostgreSQL

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Jay Rosen’s Explainthis.org Would Have Journalists Answer Users’ Questions

Interviewed NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen about ExplainThis.org, an open system for asking and answering questions that journalists can use for story ideas.

If you listen to Rebooting the News, a podcast done by Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, and Dave Winer, often described as the father of blogging and RSS, you’ve heard their ongoing discussion about the importance of context and explanation in a new system for news.

Building on those ideas and several existing projects, Rosen has developed an idea that could make journalism better by allowing more people to participate in the process: ExplainThis.

Published: January 8, 2010

Publication: Poynter E-Media Tidbits, a Poynter Institute blog about the intersection of news & technology.

Skills: Reporting, Writing

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How Programmer/Journalists Craft Their Own Study Programs

Interviewed six college students who are teaching themselves a combination of journalism and programming as part of a series on the “programmer/journalist” trend.

Remember the sidewalk scene from “Reservoir Dogs” that showed a group of tough guys walking down the street? They’re all out to do the same thing, but none of them are what you’d expect. The same seems true for aspiring programmer/journalists.

I spoke to six college students who are combining self-taught programming with elements of journalism education. Most work at their student papers, but only two are journalism majors. These students are putting what they know and love together in ways their formal education — and in some ways the industry as a whole — hasn’t caught up with yet.

Published: December 2, 2009

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

Skills: Reporting, Writing

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Harris Field Contaminated

I broke this story about a local park where renovations were delayed due to the discovery of heavy metals contamination.

Heavy metals have been discovered at Harris Field in Bedford Park during the park’s reconstruction, the Norwood News has learned.

The Parks Department declined to answer specific questions about what heavy metals were found, the levels of contamination, or the steps taken to make the site safe. Although the agency claims proper procedures were followed, further questions were referred to its legal department and the Norwood News has filed a Freedom of Information Law request to obtain the information.

Published: October 22, 2009

Publication: Norwood News, a bi-weekly community newspaper serving the northwest Bronx communities of Norwood, Bedford Park, North Fordham and University Heights.

Skills: Reporting, Writing

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Can Programmers, Journalists Get Along in One Newsroom?

How do you merge the culture of the programming environment with the culture of the newsroom? Part of a series on the “programmer/journalist” trend.

“You need to go do what you’re being asked to build,” he [Matt Waite] said. “Spend a night on the sports copy desk taking high school football scores and you’ll get an idea of what a football score taking app should do, no matter what the editor is telling you.”

Similarly, journalists would do well to sit with a programmer and watch their ideas get turned into an app.

Published: October 19, 2009

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

Skills: Reporting, Writing

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In Search of the Perfect Skillset for a Programmer/Journalist

Spoke with several programmer/journalists to determine what the ideal skillset might be for an aspiring student. Part of a series on the “programmer/journalist” trend.

Web development is probably the biggest distinction between CAR skills and programmer/journalist skills, though there aren’t any hard-and-fast distinctions. To try and further define the skillset of the programmer/journalist, I posted this question on Twitter: “What skills does a programmer/journalist need?”

Brian Boyer, a graduate of Medill’s journalism for programmers master’s track and now News Applications Editor at the Chicago Tribune, responded with this list:

“XHTML / CSS / JavaScript / jQuery / Python / Django / xml / regex / Postgres / PostGIS / QGIS”

Holy alphabet soup!

Published: September 8, 2009

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

Skills: Reporting, Writing