The job of keeping track of government and preserving the role of investigative reporting in our democracy doesn’t just fall within the walls of traditional newsrooms or to people employed as full-time journalists. Developers and the open government community can play a critical role in empowering journalists and citizens to hold their governments accountable.
We want to inspire you to join our open-source community and contribute to projects that we’ll share with the world.
For some challenges, we’ll launch contests and offer bounties to solve particular problems. We hope to sponsor unconferences and hack-a-thons to jump-start other projects. And sometimes a project is so important and so big that we’ll look for the right developer to come to to Duke for a month or two or three to work as a fellow in our lab alongside our staff and directly with interested reporters.
We’ve got some specific ideas that would immediately reduce the difficulty of accountability journalism by using existing technology repurposed for those needs. We’re always looking for more.
The best way to keep up with our projects is to join our public forum. In the meantime, here are some ideas that might help spark your imagination.
- A better RSS reader
- The next step for the investigative timeline tool, TimeFlow
- Web scraping for non-programmers (more on the existing problem here)
We’ve got a lot more ideas where these came from, and we’re sure you do too.
Contact Tyler Dukes, managing editor of the Reporters’ Lab, if you’d like to collaborate on these or other projects.