Daily News & Apps
A good deal of what I do is daily coverage — sometimes overseeing and helping with breaking and developing news, sometimes considering how we can simplify the process. Often, the way we could disentangle the elements of stories we deal with regularly in Southern California — wildfires, earthquakes, shootings, etc, — from the actual reporting. The goal in each of these projects was to remove the scrape-able, data-driven components of a story, and make them available as a tool to both our audience and our web producers, in real time, as a story develops. That, in turn, let them focus on aggregating and making calls to advance these stories. Have a look at a few examples below.
Project Management, Reporting, Editing
First thing to note: I'm not a rock star news app developer like KPCC's inimitable Chris Keller, nor a designer like KPCC's stellar John White — both of whom deserve the bulk of the credit for KPCC's Fire Tracker and Earthquake Tracker apps. My role in both projects was in getting the project off the ground, considering how we could use the data available, and how that data would fit in to the regular responsibilities of our web producers and reporters. I also acted as project manager for the app. There are two views for the tracker: One is a standalone site for an audience interested in ongoing in getting up to the minute information (including fire size, location and containment numbers, air quality information and evacuation orders). There is also an embeddable view that can be used by KPCC (or any other outlet) web producers to add to stories. That gets them out of the business of refreshing multiple government websites and making regular calls to fire department flack, and enables us instead to focus on getting response from witnesses on social media and elsewhere. The Earthquake Tracker works on a similar premise.
Here are a few examples of daily news fare I've worked on in the past — sometimes as a reporter/producer, sometimes an editor (noted in the captions.) These are all combinations of aggregation, design and reporting that web producers do, sometimes alone — sometimes collaboratively — on a daily basis and on a dime to keep our audience updated. You can see a much larger list on my profile page at KPCC.
Fire run leaves 8 firefighters seriously injured, prompts evacuations
Wildfires are a regular occurrence in SoCal. As a nonprofit news organization, we want to keep our audience informed, without fanning the flames of sensationalism. Using the fire Tracker to keep track of the numbers and making calls via phone and social media for updates and witness reports has helped us become a pre-eminent destination for news on this front.
Napa Earthquake: Injury tally climbs to 120; 6 critically injured after 6.0 quake
Earthquakes, too, are pretty common in California. The latest large quake hit on a Sunday morning that I happened to be web producing. We used our tracker tool to pinpoint the location and updated the story throughout the day with eyewitness accounts from reporters and from social media (contacting those we could).
Immigration protesters face off at Murrieta City Hall, Border Patrol station
Ongoing protests over the fate of undocumented immigrant children who entered the U.S. alone grew in some nearby communities in spring and summer of 2014. Here's an example of a quick paring of a KPCC photojournalist's reporting with a national news story.
SoCal storm: Lighter, longer rain patch coming to Los Angeles area
In mostly sunny and dry Southern California, any kind of inclement weather can be news, especially during a long drought. Whenever we can offer our audience information on what to expect on the roads and in the sky, we do — and we're usually rewarded for it.
Malibu volunteers to begin issuing parking tickets Thursday
Sometimes I get to go out into the field on assignment. This story about a controversial plan for Malibu residents to begin issuing tickets in the area drew debate. Adding a poll can help stimulate discussion on the site and social media. (That's me in the audio as well!)
Weekend of dangerous chases for LA officers, civilians
Working for a nonprofit news outlet, we don't cover every breaking news story out there. Instead, we try to cover the news items that complement coverage we've done in the past. This is particularly true for crime stories. When we can offer useful information and pair it with stories that can provide more background , we do.