WNYC

Ice Cream Bot_Credit Jenny Ye, WNYC

WNYC’s Data News Team wants to build things that are playful and useful (like an ice cream finder)

WNYC's ice cream bot. (Photo by Jenny Ye/WNYC)

WNYC’s ice cream bot. (Photo by Jenny Ye/WNYC)

At 3:15 each afternoon, WNYC’s Data News Team knows if it’s ice cream weather or not. They built a bot for that. On Tuesday, the team shared their love of ice cream with New Yorkers with the debut of an ice cream finder. The project is one in a new series that comes out every two weeks.

So far, the team has created projects including a Live Subway Agony Index with emoji to indicate wait times between trains and A Field Guide to NYC Subway Cars, which helps riders identify what kind of train they’re riding on. That helps them figure out if they’re on the type of car that’s known for losing AC.

John Keefe, senior editor for data news, said the team’s data project roots started with hurricane evacuation maps created for Hurricane Irene and then Hurricane Sandy. Read more

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WNYC built an ice cream finder

WNYC

Screen shot, WNYC

Screen shot, WNYC

WNYC’s Data News Team used its powers for cool, delicious good by creating an ice cream finder.

With a click of that button, we’ll detect your location, scan the vicinity and find your nearest scoop. (Sorry, our data is for New York City only.)

New Yorkers without a smartphone (we know you’re out there) can text 9292-COOL-ME with your NYC address or location to get a reply with the nearest cold treat.

In March, our columnist Melody Kramer wrote about an app journalism student Alex Duner created to help people find the nearest pizza joints in Chicago.

What other delicious apps have journalists/newsrooms created that we’re missing? Let me know and I’ll share them here.

h/t Katie Hawkins-Gaar Read more

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At WNYC, counting New York City’s traffic deaths took a grim toll

When a stray bullet kills a child, we want to know that bullet’s story. Who fired it, who were they trying to kill, what set did they claim in the city’s neighborhoods, and how could they be so careless as to put a child in harm’s way? But when a car kills a child, we treat it like the weather. These things happen.

In late 2013, Andrea Bernstein, the director of WNYC’s transportation bureau Transportation Nation, decided that had to change. Every year, hundreds of people died from car accidents on the streets of New York City, but their deaths weren’t given the same media attention as the more dramatic, more narratively coherent deaths that resulted from gun violence. Still, their deaths were just as tragic, and if the public knew more about them, it could be aroused to demand that New York City’s government pay as much attention to them as it does to its murders. Read more

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Melody Kramer: WNYC is helping people learn to be bored again

Illustration by John Hersey, courtesy of WNYC

Illustration by John Hersey, courtesy of WNYC

I fiddle with my phone everywhere: waiting for the subway, on the subway, on the street, on the escalator and in bed. I need help, and I’m the first to admit it.

So I was pretty pleased to find WNYC’s new Bored and Brilliant campaign. The premise is pretty simple: We’re all addicted to our phones. We can’t stop looking at our phones, particularly when we’re bored. And constantly looking at our phones when we’re bored could be incredibly bad for our potential creative output, according to recent research.

In January, WNYC’s technology podcast New Tech City launched Bored and Brilliant, a new online and podcast campaign that’s asking people to both monitor their smartphone habits and consciously try to change them over the course of a week through a series of emailed challenges designed to spark creativity and inspire spacing out. Read more

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Waves crash over the bow of a tug boat as it passes near the Statue of Liberty in New York Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 as rough water as the result of Hurricane Sandy churned the waters of New York Harbor. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

How New York media outlets adapted after Hurricane Sandy

When hurricane season comes around, journalists at The Miami Herald start planning.

Reporters are told to keep extra fuel at their homes in case gas stations close. If a storm is imminent, the paper develops alternate distribution routes depending on wind speed and flooding. And editors ensure that their reporters aren’t all using the same cellphone network — that way, if a storm cuts service to a wireless provider, a large proportion of the newsroom will still be able to communicate.

“When you sit down here on the end of the peninsula, all you have to do is sit and look at historical maps of storm tracks, and you have to be prepared,” said Dave Wilson, a senior editor at the Miami Herald.

Compare that preparation with the chaos many news organizations endured two years ago, when Hurricane Sandy hammered the Northeast. Read more

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SND names ‘World’s Best’ news sites and apps, criticizes design stagnation

Society for News Design

The Society for News Design has recognized websites from The New York Times and Nautilus and iPhone apps from WNYC and Al Jazeera America as 2013 World’s Best-Designed winners.

The judges seemed to prefer experiences that were carefully tailored to specific devices: “Native apps, iOS, Android and others that rose to the level of excellence for us were purposefully appropriate in their medium.”

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Brian Lehrer broadcasts through disaster, ‘providing comfort to people’

As Brian Lehrer hosted WNYC‘s coverage of Hurricane Sandy Monday night in New York City, what stood out, he says by phone, were “the eye-popping, outsized numbers that were coming in that I could hardly believe and had to do a double take before putting them on the air.” Such as the 100 mile-per-hour gusts closing the Triborough Bridge — “that’s not a figure you hear with respect to wind in New York City,” Lehrer says.

Lehrer, 60, has hosted a show on WNYC since 1989. Since Sunday he’s been camping out in Lower Manhattan near the station’s studio. His usual two-hour morning show was extended to three hours Monday, and he co-anchored the station’s special coverage during the storm Monday night. Tuesday morning he was back on for three hours; he’s looking forward to getting back to his house at Manhattan’s northern tip this afternoon. Read more

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Radiolab apologizes for treating source rudely but defends podcast

Hyphen | Radiolab | Minnesota Public Radio | Current.org
A cohost of the public-radio show Radiolab says he “pushed too hard” in an interview, but the station that produces the show has pushed back against accusations that a segment it released as a podcast was unfair.

Kao Kalia Yang wrote a long piece, published Monday, about her treatment by Radiolab and its producers. Cohost Robert Krulwich interviewed Yang’s uncle, Eng Yang, a Hmong man who survived attacks by the Viet Cong that many people believe involved chemical weapons. She translated for her uncle during the interview. Read more

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Jim Schachter leaves New York Times to be WNYC’s VP of news

WNYC has announced that it has hired Jim Schachter, associate managing editor at The New York Times, to fill a new role of vice president for news. “He will work closely with WNYC’s news and digital teams on the further integration of WNYC’s broadcast and digital content,” WNYC says in a news release.

One of Schachter’s responsibilities at the Times was overseeing its content partnerships with a few local nonprofit news organizations around the country. WNYC’s Dean Cappello, senior VP for programming and chief content officer, said in the news release:

Jim is the ideal candidate for this newly created role … He has worked at nearly every editorial job, from reporter to editor to creator of collaborations. He has been a prominent part of The New York Times as it’s made a remarkable transition into the world of online journalism.

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