What Brian Boyer does has many names.
Some people call it computer assisted reporting. Some call it data journalism.
“When I got into this game the name that was being thrown around was programmer journalist,” he said.
On his website, Boyer calls himself a hacker journalist.
“The word hack, hacking, is not a negative term in the programming world,” he said. “It’s a term of endearment. So calling yourself a cool guy, or something.”
He considers himself an exception to the rule — software developer first, journalist second — but a storyteller nonetheless.
“We program in the interest of journalism,” he said. “Just like a photojournalist takes photographs. We don’t write written pieces. We ask, ‘Who’s our audience? What are their needs?’ And then we think about what to build. Everyone wants the big engineering project, the most beautiful design or the most compelling story. We tell stories, but we’re always trying to address the needs of our users first before we decide what story to tell.”
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