Aaron Geiger

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Bob Britten

Committee Co-Chair

David Smith

Committee Member

Jon Stone

Committee Member

Steve Urbanski


When data mining meets the rhetoric of maps and crowdsourcing in the age of digital journalism, we can use the abundance of data to change, modify or reinforce particular reporting behaviors or journalism policies. We also live in an age of overlapping boundaries of technologies, algorithms and human interfaces---it is within these overlaps that we find anomalies, "glitches", and digital errata that can expose different perceptions of the same artifacts and algorithms. The overlapping of the heterogeneous network, as James Bridle calls it, is known as The New Aesthetic. It is not a movement, but "a series of artifacts ... which recognize differences, the gaps in our distant but overlapping realities". One real life example is the exploration of Chicago crime reporting via the Chicago Tribune, compared to the police-sourced, and how metadata might reshape the nature of how crime is reported, using digital crime mapping analysis and digital rhetorical analysis to find glitches and anomalies---where our communications with the mathematical, visual and computational facets of technology often produce surprising results. In turn, the public will receive a new perspective and offer a feedback loop to the newspaper. Crowd-sourced citizen reporting augments police reports, creating a collaborative set of data, change the face of sensationalism and return crime reporting to a basic data-driven level. In short, crime reporting will become organic, and one outcome might be that the citizens will put more trust back into established newspapers for the production of mass data and innovative practices. Additionally, the use of digital cartography is explored here as yet another tool to engage the social media user, while benefitting the news media source.