2014 MU Homecoming parade route

I use Adobe Illustrator frequently to draw diagrams and maps, including the following, which showed the route for the 2014 MU Homecoming parade.

a map created by Danielle showing the Homecoming route

Missouri drug and alcohol crashes

I created this graphic using the JavaScript library D3. It shows the percentage change in drug and alcohol related car crashes in relation to the percentage change of fatalities caused by these crashes.

View the interactive version here.

Ebola: Putting the threat in perspective

This graphic was the print version of a larger project I did when the Ebola outbreak was at its worst. I created this using Adobe Illustrator and using statistics from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Access the web versions here and here.

Audience Engagement

Analytics as a path to creating web strategies

As part of the Community Outreach Team at the Columbia Missourian one of the major skill-sets I have developed is the use of analytics to understand which stories performed well (or didn’t) and what we as a newsroom can learn from each success or failure. Below I have included one example of an analytics report I created as follow up to our candidate profiles leading up to a municipal election. I was able to quickly and efficiently pull out the basic numbers of each story and then pull out key points the newsroom should take away based on the numbers.

Access the analytics report here.

Storify of reactions to the death of Missouri Auditor Schweich

I am well acquainted with working on a deadline. I created this Storify in about an hour and a half and published it immediately. This is just one way in which I was able to use community-generated content to connect with our readers in a timely manner about breaking news.

Storify here.

Going back to High School…willingly?

Part of working for a Community Outreach Team is actually reaching out to the community. Sometimes there is really no substitute for speaking to people face-to-face, in March I participated in the Harrisburg High School Career Fair with a colleague of mine. Together we gave 7 presentations to students ranging from the 6th to 12th grades and spoke about what it means to be a journalist. Among other things we had the students participate in mock interviews in which they had to get to the bottom of the story by interviewing “Fireman Dan” (that was me) about a fake scenario. Not only was this a fun, unique way to spend a work day, but it also presented our newsroom in a less traditional, more approachable way. We were able to really connect with a younger audience as well as the staff and faculty of the school, all of which contributed to forming lasting relationships with the community we serve.

an illustration self portrait of Danielle


Finding the story on the spot

During my time as a General Assignment Reporter for KBIA, I attended many local meetings in search of stories and ideas. In this particular Human Services Commission meeting I arrived with only an agenda and a Marantz. As I sat taking notes and listening to group after group petitioning for grants I found a pattern in their requests and the line of questioning held in response. I was able to create an insightful piece of journalism in a quick turn around and without prior planning.

Important issues don't always sound exciting

One of the most valuable insights I gained from my time at KBIA was a better understanding of my community's values and interests, and how to report with the intent of filling those needs. When I was assigned a story about Columbia Public Schools switching the bus company they used, I wasn't overly excited about it. Trying to set up interviews with school officials can be difficult. Getting an interview with a business that has been dropped because of their ineptitude is downright unlikely. But by reporting this story, and others like it, I was able to learn more about issues that directly affected our audience and help them to understand what these changes would mean for them. I found that inherent usefulness to be incredibly gratifying.