Michelle Minkoff

Position: Interactive Producer
Location: Washington, D.C.
Started at AP: 2011
Originally from: Chicago

Active in the data journalism community and also an avid blogger, Michelle Minkoff had already made contact with AP interactive staff before there was even an opening in the department. When a position opened up, she jumped on the opportunity. Prior to joining the AP, Minkoff graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism before working as a Data Producer at PBS and an intern at the Los Angeles Times' data desk.

Minkoff creates data-driven Web projects and visualizations for news designed to capitalize on the Web's interactive nature. She describes her job as working jointly with reporting teams in D.C. and a worldwide interactive team to tell Washington-based stories about policy and politics in alternative story forms. Recently, she has focused on political applications and mapping. 

What attracted you to a job at the AP?

A mentor of mine in grad school told me you want to go to a place where you can learn. That is what the AP is all about. There are a variety of people here that have technical levels that far exceed mine. It's not about writing code; it's about writing better code. People here are very patient, they know how you can improve, they help you improve, they don't put you down and we do it all on deadline.  

What piece of work are you proud of?

Two of my interactive colleagues and I built a live results map for election results, listing out results by county for each state in the U.S. presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races. Users could drill into the data they were interested in. We enabled people to learn interactively by paying attention to what they were interested in. It was also a strong technical feat. I'm always pushing myself to learn more and this was punching way above my weight. 

What is it like to work with the staff in D.C.?

Journalists in Washington have very specific subject-expertise. It's absolutely fantastic working with them; it's hands down one of the best parts of the job. It's like having a personal college professor you could go to with any conceivable question. Not only do they know the answers, but they are extremely passionate about it. They want to get the information out as much as you do and respect you for what you bring to the table. 

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