John C. Osborn, aka Bayreporta, is an Oakland-based data journalist, web developer and data visualization instructor. He graduated from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism in 2013, and he got his initial reporting chops in Humboldt County working with the North Coast Journal, the Humboldt State Lumberjack and the now-defunct Eureka Reporter.
Where I Spend 40-hours Each Week
I spend most of my time working at EdSource, an Oakland-based non-profit organization that covers important California education issues and policy. As the Digital Communications Manager there, I build data-driven web applications and visualizations, makes sure the website is running at peak efficiency, finds and implements technological solutions to augment the work of reporters, and assists in the execution of an overall digital strategy. It’s seriously fun work!
Teaching People About Data
Since October 2013, I have worked with the U.C. Berkeley Knight Digital Media Center to teach journalists and other professionals how to communicate complex data visually. Topic matter at these workshops have included data visualization theory, mapping and how to use basic tools, like Google Charts and DataWrapper. I’ve taught five workshops to-date with two awesome experts in the field: Tasneem Raja and Cole Nussbaumer.
Open Source Ethos
If it weren’t for open source tools like JQuery and Tabletop.js, my transition into the world of coding would have been much more difficult. And I feel it’s my obligation to give back to a community that has given me so much. For that reason, I’ve tried to templatize projects I’ve worked on so it can be easily open sourced, especially when others might be interested in using those tools themselves.
Marrying Gaming and Journalism
I’ve always been an advocate of finding ways to using gaming mechanics to tell reported stories. As people get more aquatinted with interactive data-driven web apps and casual gaming, I believe that gaming will become more and more a medium to tell stories in journalism. Although there are only a few of us out there right now who are actively exploring ways to make this possible, there have been many attempts at experimentation, which you can find here in this nifty directory of games.