Correcting charts, collaborating with consumers, and chronicling crime: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

The year in pictures:

Keeping with tradition, the New York Times has collected the best photojournalism from the past year, so you can look back (in high quality and stunning detail) at all of the major moments from 2015.

Don’t let your Facebook friends fool you:

We’re all journo-nerds here, so it should go without saying that accuracy isn’t just important– it’s everything. Here’s an article that demonstrates how often heavily-circulated charts can be extremely misleading– and, oftentimes, downright incorrect.

Your audience makes you:

I think we can all agree that consumers are pretty important when it comes to journalism; you can write all the articles you want, but without an audience to read them, you’re just typing to an empty void. It turns out consumers may play an even bigger role than we realize– certain facets of journalism are relying on collaborative reporting by taking data from their consumers to create a more detailed story. Colorado-based news project iSeeChange is entirely formatted around non-journalists reporting on the climate, weather patterns, and other environmental changes in order to get a more thorough depiction of the weather in that area. Viewing your audience as valuable contributors in addition to reliable readers could lead to even better reporting, so don’t discount those who aren’t familiar with AP style when it comes to collaborating on your next big story.

Is storytelling synonymous with journalism?:

Documentary-making is its own unique form of journalism; Sarah Koenig, a journalist by trade, found significant success in the making of the Serial podcast, where she tried, like any good journalist would, to remain objective, present the facts, and tell a story. Following the success of Serial came Netflix’s new (and heavily discussed) documentary Making a Murder, a ten-episode series following the trials of Steven Avery. But where does the true journalistic presentation end and entertainment begin when it comes to documentary filmmaking? It’s a thin line to walk, and this Time article breaks down what happens when you mix facts with melodrama.

These things also happened this week:

Kanye West auditioned for American Idol.

We can all feel slightly more validated thanks to Spotlight being named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics.

The new Star Wars themed Monopoly excluded the film’s main character from the game entirely, and all fifty people who still enjoy playing Monopoly were not pleased.