Campaign funding: interactive graphics

As we approached the off-year primary election in the spring of 2014, the reporting staff at The World in Coos Bay, Oregon, began looking for interesting ways to cover the races. We had started experimenting with interactive graphics (I created a simple funding timeline to accompany a reporter’s story.) and we thought this tool would be useful to show our readers where campaign funds came from and where they went. I worked with a reporter to obtain the necessary data from the Oregon Secretary of State website and we used the publicly available Tableau Public software to make connections within the data. This tool allowed us to sort through more than 5,000 rows of financial data to present it in a condensed, easy-to-navigate format.

One candidate, who ended up losing the election after her opponent out-fundraised her 7-1, tweeted …

This is a three-part graphics series. Please use the page navigation below.

Livingston County DA contest

Livingston County, N.Y., had one of the most interesting primary contests in 2012 as two candidates vied for the GOP nomination into the general election. Coverage of this race started with my colleagues at a larger daily paper, but when this story broke wide open our news team opted to assign coverage to me; although I typically ran on a weekly news cycle, my office was geographically closer and given the speed at which this story progressed my proximity proved critical in staying with this story.

Eric Schiener responds to questions from reporters following Wednesday's hearing in Rochester, where 7th District Supreme Court Judge John Ark ruled that Schiener will remain tied with opponent Steve Sessler.
Eric Schiener responds to questions from reporters following Wednesday’s hearing in Rochester, where 7th District Supreme Court Judge John Ark ruled that Schiener will remain tied with opponent Steve Sessler.

This is a multipart series that ran over a period of several weeks. Please use the page navigation below.

High bidder at Steel Blossoms Auction

Our newspaper was one of several businesses that supported a charity auction for the local Red Cross chapter. This video is of the high bid during the event. I shot this with my mobile phone, which limited some capabilities, but it did the job.

By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express   |   June 4, 2012   |   Original source not available


Greg O’Connell was the high bidder at the Steel Blossoms auction Saturday night at the Moose Club in Dansville. The piece drawing the highest price at the auction was “Daisy” by AJ Smith (Dansville), Donald Ladue (Avon), Bradley Scism (Avon), Brett Diener (Livonia) and Justin Forkner (Avon).

Divergent views clash at Dansville fracking hearings

The small rural community of Dansville was selected as the kick-off site for a series of public hearings over New York’s plan to open the state for hydraulic fracturing.

Local pediatrician Dr. Gayle Mosher addresses the media during a press conference of the anti-hydro-fracking group Frack Free Genesee and environmental activists prior to the DEC hearings last week in Dansville.
Local pediatrician Dr. Gayle Mosher addresses the media during a press conference of the anti-hydro-fracking group Frack Free Genesee and environmental activists prior to the DEC hearings last week in Dansville.

By Les Bowen for Genesee Country Express   |   Nov. 23, 2011   |   Original source

[T]here’s not much middle ground when it comes to New Yorkers’ views on the possibility of large-scale hydraulic fracturing entering the state, as evidenced in Dansville by people who lined up last Wednesday to comment at the first of four hearings across the state hosted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Some 1,550 people attended the two hearings at Dansville’s former middle school; less than one-10th of those spoke at the microphone during three hours in the afternoon and another four hours in the evening.

At question were more than 1,500 pages of regulations drafted by DEC officials to govern hydo-fracturing, a process of drilling into the Marcellus shale, detonating an explosion and using millions of gallons of water mixed with thousands more gallons of various chemicals in an effort to release natural gas trapped within the shale. Continue reading Divergent views clash at Dansville fracking hearings