Work Samples Annotated

The cases below are examples of how I aimed to utilize various media formats in journalism to communicate the key issues more effectively. In most cases, the main emphasis was on communicating the complex and nuanced factors in the story.

Madison Commons

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A community journalism project run by the School of Journalism at UW-Madison, focusing on local public issues with contributions by students, local issue advocates, and individual citizens. I was in charge of all technical applications from site design to back-end management on my own server, as well as partaking in newsroom operations between 2007-2015 (the above link is the legacy version from that era). This project also experimented with multimedia features and data-driven journalism, including:

Example 1. Community Garden Showcase
: This project aimed to put together neighborhood-level local experiences through community gardens. Each garden was drawn onto a map, and could be clicked for individual stories (unfortunately, the current revamped site lost many link addresses). It was one of the early attempts to integrate custom Google Map embeds to evoke a mosaic-like understanding of the larger community. I developed the project, with individual articles written by student reporters.

Example 2. Local lake pollution investigation
: This article series used public data over a time series to analyze how road salt over the winter season caused serious pollution to the local lakes. I participated in the data visualization process via Google Chart and integrating them into the story.

Example 3. Re-integration of former inmates into the community
: This series examined a local initiatives aiming at re-integration of former inmates, by interviewing personal stories of individuals. Each article was accompanied by a B&W audio slideshow to have their voices communicate the emotions while avoiding the talking-head style of sensationalism. I advised on the format choice and deployed it into the site.

Slownews Korea

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A solutions journalism news service in Korean language. I worked at this project as a founding member from 2012, and currently serve as an at-large editor on a remote work basis. Recent specials include a special series on school bullying (example: ) and on revitalizing rural areas (example: ) in South Korea. To find the most engaging ways to present complex problems, I experimented with diverse explanation methods, including:

Example 4. Population Extinction Explained in Data
: Presenting trends in population by age groups, death rates, working ages, urban-rural localities, and other factors. Using Hans Rosling’s Gapminder approach, each data was visualized with Flourish as a dynamic progression of graphs. I took part in the interface design process.

Example 5. Sinking Ferry: Four timelines of the first 9 Hours
: In 2014, a ferry carrying hundreds of students on a trip sank, and the whole process was televised live. Viewers were traumatized how such a tragedy could happen without any major natural disaster. I wrote the above article with a minute-by-minute timeline, but with multiple layers: the actual sinking, the rescue efforts, the communication between those involved, and the live journalism, with reference links for factchecking. The aim was to show the disconnect of actions, and the amplification of misinformedness.

Capital Times: Student Newspaper

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I advised the team of Capital Times, the student newspaper of Penn State Harrisburg in 2016-17, experimenting the transition to an online-only news site. In addition to regular advising on articles, I held workshops on choosing engaging community topics, designing an effective online news outlet, social media strategies, among others.