The winners of the latest Knight News Challenge announced today include a collaboration between developers at The New York Times and The Washington Post to create a free, comprehensive database of past U.S. election results.
New York Times interactive news developer Derek Willis and Washington Post news apps developer Serdar Tumgoren are working together on the project, named Open Elections. Their employers are not officially involved, but are supportive of the idea.
How could journalists use this data once it’s available?
In an interview, Willis suggested merging the elections data with demographic data to examine how changing population patterns have affected voting trends. A journalist could show one candidate’s base of support shifting across multiple elections. The data could even provide simple context for a daily news story, such as quickly looking up the last time a Republican won a certain office.
“Serdar and I both work on elections in our day jobs, and year after year, election after election, we would have to put together previous election results. Read more