Bobby Jindal’s election track record? Not bad

I worked up this “political notebook” slideshow in Tableau for Click the image to get to the viz.

Jindal slideshow thumbnail

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Two National Murrows for WVUE investigations


From left, chief investigative reporter Lee Zurik, News Director Mike Schaefer, Assistant News Director Greg Phillips, investigative producer Tom Wright, and investigative photographer Jon Turnipseed.

From left, chief investigative reporter Lee Zurik, News Director Mike Schaefer, Assistant News Director Greg Phillips, investigative producer Tom Wright, and investigative photographer Jon Turnipseed.

Pleased to report that “Louisiana Purchased” won the investigative reporting award, while “Holding Officials Accountable” – a special report by Lee Zurik – won the award for news series. WVUE also won for the award for best newscast in a small market.

View the winners’ list here.

Read the report here.

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Tackling incentives with graphics

Easy Money: Louisiana's Incentives Giveaway

A complex series of reports with a lot of data to cover on Louisiana’s incentives system. The viz above comes from an overview of the state film tax credits.

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More fun with data journalism

Did this for Thursday night’s campaign finance update (Louisiana Purchased):


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Election night viz from Louisiana

We used these Tableau visualizations to map out live election data from the La. Secretary of State’s office. Click an image to open an interactive version, including votes by parish.




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Seed Lee Peabodys

Peabody 2014

Jon Turnipseed and Lee Zurik at the 2014 Peabody Awards, New York City, May 19, 2014.

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Copy-paste-review: a limited defense of “press release journalism”

We’ve read the warnings of journalism mentors and critics for many a year now: the thin line between journalism and public relations is getting thicker and blurrier all the time, especially in this digital age.  The video news release masquerades as the real deal and becomes all too commonplace as true and trained news gatherers dwindle in number.  Ads-as-news-stories cover wide spaces in newspapers and websites across the country, with or without the proper disclaimers.  The flack becomes an expert; the hack becomes redundant.

I appreciate and fully agree with the warnings and have voiced them myself over the years.  But the news release does have a place in reportage — it simply cannot dominate our craft. Continue reading

Posted in Professional

Jeff Dowd promotes La. International Film Festival

Interview: Jeff Dowd, LIFF Co-Artistic Director; music by Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human.

Via WVUE/  Jeff, by the way, is a wonderful guy who is the inspiration behind Jeff Bridges‘ character “The Dude” in the Coen Bros.‘ “The Big Lebowski“.

Posted in Culture

WVUE receives IRE recognition for “Playing With Fire” series

playing_with_fire_logo_for_pagePleased to learn that Investigative Reporters and Editors has named WVUE a finalist in the Multiplatform category of its 2012 IRE Awards.  We won this honor for Lee Zurik’s “Playing With Fire” investigative series:

“Playing with Fire” focuses on a public board well out of the public eye, but one that could cost New Orleans taxpayers millions of dollars every year. After a month of digging through thousands of pages of records at the New Orleans Firefighters Pension Fund, WVUE-TV and Lee Zurik revealed questionable salaries, spending, and management. Among the notable discoveries: a $70,000 raise and $90,000 lump sum payout for the board Secretary-Treasurer/CEO; tens of thousands of dollars in questionable credit card charges by the board; and tens of millions of dollars in questionable investments. This last element is perhaps the most egregious for the citizens of New Orleans who are left to foot the bill for any pension fund shortfalls. This multi part series launched an investigation by the city’s inspector general, forced the board to change polices and led to charges filed by the state ethics board against two of the principals in our series.

I was honored to work with Lee on the online elements for this series of reports and am very appreciative to him and the rest of the FOX 8 staff for the opportunity.

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News aggregation: the future of flipping

2013-04-09_2056News readers generally get little attention in press coverage of new media. They’ve long had their users, sure, mainly those who have at least a clue about what an RSS feed is and who are just patient enough to copy-paste a URL into an aggregation form.

Truth is, the news reader has largely been eclipsed in potency and reach by the main social media channels: your Twitter, your Facebook, your Google+ (its producers would have us believe it will one day belong in this league).  The venerable gray Google Reader, slated for retirement this summer, is simply a casualty of that company’s focus on and expansion of Google+ in the universal market for social media applications — there’s money to be made,  somehow, and especially with Google’s economy of scale.

But the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has provided the news reader new room for growth.  And I think there’s a factor that has long been native to print media that will foster that growth in the years to come. Continue reading

Posted in News Tech