Data stories that drive audiences: Lessons from LMA's Crosstown Data Pilot


Every number tells a story, if you can find the numbers. That’s one of several lessons from two newsrooms that partnered with Crosstown LA to integrate more data-driven storytelling into their local journalism.

The project, enabled with funding from Facebook Journalism Project and supported by Local Media Association, has equipped newsrooms at WRAL-TV and Times-Picayune/The Advocate with a data storytelling reporter and also technology developed at the University of Southern California in a collaboration between the Annenberg School of Journalism and the Viterbi School of Engineering.

The two newsrooms combined have now reported more than 40 stories grounded in local, publicly available datasets. Four takeaways have emerged from the metrics of top-performing articles, and those takeaways offer lessons for any newsroom interested in growing audiences by serving specific communities with neighborhood-level information.

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