I’ve done a lot of different types of journalism over the years: print, radio, television, online-only. This is an attempt at pointing out the different things I’ve done. I’ll start with my favorite pieces from each medium and then give you a broader taste of my work.
Favorite online-only project: Remembering the Storm – A news application built in 25 hours to track the names of those who died during the Alabama storms of 2011. This project and others I worked on was part of the coverage that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. It also won the Associated Press Managing Editors Association award for online convergence and an honorable mention for public service. I wrote three blog posts about developing the project, too.
Favorite print story: “Felons hunting with guns slip past state law,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 10, 2008. Spent all summer working on this and it ended up pushing me toward web development. Who knew?
Favorite radio story: “Deficient Bridges,” KRNU, Spring 2009. Took a computer-assisted reporting standard and localized it.
Favorite video story: “Zombie’s Attack O Street,” Daily Nebraskan, Sept. 8, 2007. Haven’t really done much shooting/editing of video in the last, oh goodness, five years.
The Boston Globe/boston.com
Interactive Spelling Bee — I provided the voice. This was just a cool project and I’m always excited when I get to do voiceover work at the Boston Globe.
The New York Times Regional Media Group
Gatorsports.com Recruits — A news application to track high school athletes as they decided on colleges for football, focusing mostly on the University of Florida. Built in Django by me. I also set up the servers (Ubuntu 10.04 on Amazon Web Services) using PostgreSQL for the database and Varnish for the caching.
Electronic Edition Landing Page — I built an admin and a basic template for different NYTRMG newspapers’ eEdition products. This was all built in PHP and MySQL on an existing server.
St. Petersburg Times/tampabay.com
MyLawmaker — A tool to find your state lawmakers in the House and Senate. You type in your address and it shows who represents you and what their districts look like. Built in Django on a 9-day deadline, six of which being actual work days. I did the programming, my coworkers made it look pretty and helped enter in the data.
HomeTeam — The St. Petersburg Times preps sports site. I added baseball and softball — on a short deadline — to the main Django application. Did most of the views, models and templates with assistance from my colleagues.
Florida FCAT results — Wrote the basic models for this project, which was done in the Django framework. (This link no longer works. Not sure why they killed the project, but they did. So think of this link as my brain wanting to remember this existed.)
tampabay.com Golf Tour — Wrote the basic views for the individual golf page, which was done in the Django framework. (This link no longer points to the proper app, which I can’t find anywhere. So sad as it was a cool project that apparently drove revenue.)
Almost a dozen high school sports websites — With a few other folks, we built a sophisticated Django application for multiple newsrooms in The New York Times Regional Media Group (now Halifax Media Group). It lets their newsrooms track high school sports stats, from player to team to school over more than a dozen sports. It also has a blog system, schedules and other fun. It runs on a handful of servers, takes beaucoup traffic without breaking a sweat and has adaptive design, so it looks good on almost any device.
St. Petersburg Times
“Felons hunting with guns slip past state law,” August 10, 2008
“LR parkers advised to bring coins,” June 23, 2008
“Race for Regent spot shows heavy campaign spending” October 17, 2008
“Governor’s office puts restrictions on DN,” April 4, 2008 — It’s not every day the governor’s office threatens to arrest you if you show up to a press conference
St. Petersburg Times
“Crossing the digital divide to Grandma’s house,” Nov. 21, 2009
“Loyal doberman led police to body of former Pinellas woman in Panama,” Aug. 21, 2010. NOTE: This story is about an alleged serial killer, which seems to be a rite of passage for most Florida cops reporters.
“Record 873 inmates pass GED test,” May 26, 2008
“ATV safety rides on operator responsibility,” June 24, 2007
“‘Old’ Beer, New Tricks: Blue-collar brew’s makeover has some drinkers foaming,” March 30, 2009 (Note: Because of the Omaha.com’s redesign, this story is no longer hosted on their Web site. I will have it hosted on andymboyle.com in the near future.)
“Deficient Bridges,” Spring 2009
Important Blog Posts
Here are a few of the blog posts I’ve written that explain aspects of web development that may be helpful to understanding my mindset.
Step One of my Teaching You Django series — The first blog post (of many) in how to build a basic Django app. This project is still uncompleted, but it has enough steps so far to launch a project. Just don’t expect the thing to scale very well just yet.
Learning to make the internets — a journalist’s guide – This was called “the best written guide to learning about how the Internet works that I’ve ever read” by someone who is much too kind.
Hey journalists — here’s why you should learn to make the internets – In this piece, I give you the economic reasons behind becoming a programmer-journalist instead of a traditional journalist.
Thoughts on Remembering the Storm’s design and implementation — The first of three posts detailing how I built this project in almost a day, the technological decisions behind it and how we were able to implement it.