Storybench was founded in 2014 out of Northeastern University’s Media Innovation graduate program in the School of Journalism as a “cookbook for digital storytelling.” It was conceived as an answer to the gaping need to demystify the tools, methods and technology of digital storytelling, both inside and outside of journalism. It also features long-form explorations of trends and case studies in digital storytelling as well as interviews with top data journalists, engagement editors, designers and developers around the world to shed light on their thinking and open-source their process and code.
What makes this project innovative?
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Storybench has a captive audience of 50,000 users per month, most of whom are repeat visitors. We recently hit our 1 millionth page view, all of which is to say that we believe Storybench is a successful model for an academic blog connecting industry with the classroom to teach not only our students but anyone with an Internet connection. It also features a newsletter with 2,000+ subscribers and a Twitter account with 6,500 followers. Storybench has been shortlisted for an Information is Beautiful award, its stories have been reposted to sites like MediaShift and the Global Investigative Journalism Network, and its coverage has been featured in Nieman Lab, American Press Institute, Hacker News, the Knight Foundation blog, Harvard’s Journalist’s Resource, Visualising Data, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, R bloggers and more. Storybench was recently cited as the motivating inspiration for the Turkish data journalism site News Lab Turkey.
Source and methodology
All Storybench content is produced or sourced by Northeastern University School of Journalism faculty, students and partners.
Storybench is built on Wordpress with occassional embeds including Github Gists, iframes of D3, Datawrapper and Carto maps and R code.
Aleszu Bajak, Dina Kraft, Jeff Howe, John Wihbey, Martin Frigaard