And the nominees are… Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune - the old and new ward maps, side by side

The Chicago Tribune made the Data Journalism Awards Shortlist in the category datavisualisation and storytelling local/regional with their ‘The old and new ward maps, side-by-side‘. When asked to describe this production Chicago Tribune journalist Hal Dardick says: ‘It’s a cool interactive way to see how the politicians redrew the city’s political boundaries, based on race, ethnicity and self preservation.’

Chicago Tribune - the old and new ward maps, side by side

How long have you been into data journalism?
About 26 years.

What inspired you to make your nominated production?
Every 10 years political boundaries are redrawn, literally shaping the political map for a decade. This was a way to bring the implications home to our audience.

Did you work by yourself or in a team? Why? (Who were your coworkers?)
On a team, with Kristen, John, Brian and Joe. Kristen, John and I did the bulk of the reporting, obtained much of the raw data and wrote the story; Brian Boyer and Joe Germuska are the apps experts who did the heavy lifting on this.

How did you get a hold on the data you needed?
Requested it from the politicians and map makers who were involved, combined it with U.S. Census data and city maps.

Which tools were used making the production?
You’ll have to ask Brian and Joe.

How long did it took to finish the production?
It was done very quickly, on a tight deadline — matter of days, if I recall correctly.

Were there any bumps in the road while making the nominated production? What was the hardest part of the process?
On our end, the hardest part was getting the city politicians to turn over the data on a timely basis.

Do you have a useful tip for starting data journalists?
I have a useful tip for all journalists: If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.

‘And the nominees are…’ is a serie of interviews with the journalists behind the entries at the Data Journalism Awards Shortlist. The Data Journalism Awards (DJA) competition is the first international contest recognising outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide. The Data Journalism Awards were organised by the Global Editors Network, in collaboration with the European Journalism Centre and supported by Google. (All interviews in this serie were conducted through e-mail.)