Rich Gordon

Rich Gordon is a professor and director of digital innovation. At Medill, he launched the school’s graduate program in new media journalism. He has spent most of his career exploring the areas where journalism and technology intersect. Prof. Gordon was an early adopter of desktop analytical tools (spreadsheets and databases) to analyze data for journalistic purposes. At The Miami Herald, he was among the first generation of journalists to lead online publishing efforts at newspapers. At Medill, he has developed innovative courses through which students have explored digital content and communities and developed new forms of storytelling that take advantage of the unique capabilities of interactive media. In addition to teaching and writing about digital journalism, he is director of new communities for the Northwestern Media Management Center, where he is responsible for a research initiative focusing on the impact of online communities, including social networks, on journalism and publishing.

by Rich Gordon

In the community of media and journalism innovators, it is commonly accepted that releasing software with an open-source license is the best way to maximize the chance that others will use your code. Yet, by any measure, the vast majority of open-source software goes nowhere. That’s why we’ve spent some time at Knight Lab trying [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

When I started using software to analyze data as a reporter in the late 1980s, “data journalism” ended once my stories were published in the newspaper. Now the publication of the story is just the beginning. The same data can also be turned into compelling visualizations and into news applications that people can use long [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

Why did the Washington Post become the first media company to invest in a Northwestern University program to educate computer programmers in journalism? "It comes down to credibility," said Greg Franczyk, who helped arrange the partnership with Northwestern’s Medill School and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to offer scholarships to computer programmers [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

Here’s a recipe for innovation: Start with an interesting problem in journalism, media or publishing. Catch some journalism students. Mix in some computer science students. Mold into interdisciplinary teams. Stick in the oven for 11 weeks and see what happens. For three years now, Northwestern University has offered classes in which journalism and computer science [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

World leaders, diplomats and hundreds of journalists — as well as protesters with a wide range of grievances — are coming to Chicago this week because of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit. NATOinChicago.com, a new project from the Knight News Innovation Laboratory at Northwestern University, aims to help people make sense of what’s [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

A timeline is one of the most useful and versatile storytelling forms, suitable for everything from “tick tock” accounts that unfold over a short period of time to events that unfold over decades, centuries or millennia. But the tools available to journalists to create online, interactive timelines just haven’t been very good. Generally, storytellers have [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

CongressionalPrimaries.org, the first major initiative of the Knight News Innovation Laboratory, went live officially this week. The site demonstrates several technologies that enhance coverage of this year’s congressional primary elections in Illinois — while also providing components that publishers can incorporate into their own websites between now and the March 20 primary election. There are [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

When it comes to the mission of journalism, it’s hard to imagine any function more fundamental than providing people with the information they need to choose their elected representatives. That’s why the first major initiative of the Knight News Innovation Laboratory, announced this week, will focus on coverage of the March 20 congressional primary elections [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

Over the past few years, foundations and philanthropists concerned about newspapers’ declining fortunes have put up millions of dollars to launch non-profit online publications covering national affairs (ProPublica), statewide topics (Texas Tribune, Wisconsin Watch, MinnPost, California Watch) and metropolitan areas (the Bay Citizen, the Chicago News Cooperative, St. Louis Beacon). These new "watchdog" organizations have [...] more »

by Rich Gordon

Four and a half years ago, Northwestern University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a novel program: scholarships for people with computer programming experience to study journalism in the Medill School‘s master’s program. It was such a sufficiently unusual idea that it got the attention of BoingBoing, one of the most [...] more »