How The New York Times is Visualizing the Smartphone Tracking Industry

The New York Times’ Privacy Project highlighted the alarmingly unregulated activity of location data companies collecting data from millions of smartphone users. As the coronavirus pandemic sheds further light on the uses and misuses of location tracking, here’s a deeper look at the project that visualized phones being tracked around the US, from the Pentagon and the White House to the streets of San Francisco.

Getting Started in Online, Open-Source Investigations

At First Draft, we frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open-source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.

Using Twitter to Find People at the Scene of a Breaking Story

As news stories break, journalists find themselves wanting to speak to members of the public. They could have witnessed an incident or may have been affected by an event. Their views count and they enhance our reports with a human angle. There are many ways to locate ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, but we don’t always know how our approaches will be received, or indeed if our messages to them will be read at all. This is where Twitter comes into its own.