About Vanessa Franko
VANESSA FRANKO has harnessed the lessons from KDMC's Digital Storytelling Workshop and brought them back to the newsroom of The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif.
As the Digital Content Developer, she's been a digital leader in curating and data visualization not only as a reporter, but has led training sessions for her colleagues as well.
Vanessa also covers local music with her daily blog and weekly column.
Prior to becoming a digital leader in the newsroom, she covered music, casinos, dining, entertainment and pop culture for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA since 2006.
She writes for the paper, its blogs, apps and social media, managed the iGuide entertainment website and spearheads annual coverage of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and the Stagecoach Country Music Festival.
Franko started taking photos for fun while she was earning her undergraduate degree at Boston University. Photography has now become one of her favorite parts of the job.
Influenced by the golden age of MTV's "Unplugged," Franko also hosted a video series with interviews and acoustic performances by local bands.
Franko’s newspaper career started in her hometown of Annapolis, MD, where she was a general assignment reporter for The Capital. Her work has also been published in Australian Rolling Stone and the Boston Phoenix.
She enjoys palm trees, video games and watching sports with her husband, who is also a reporter.
December 2011 Digital Storytelling Workshop Project:
- Occupation: Digital Content Devleoper/Staff Writer
- Organization: The Press-Enterprise
- Location: Riverside, CA 92507 USA
- Website: http://blog.pe.com/audio-file
- Twitter: vanessafranko
- Facebook: iguidemusic
- Was accepted for Dec 11-16 2011 Digital Storytelling.
Digital media stories published elsewhere by Vanessa Franko:
- COACHELLA 2013: When does Coachella announce the lineup? 
I cover the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival every year. My audience grew as the anticipation for the lineup announcement grew. Since so many people found my content by searching when the organizers would announce the lineup, I looked at historical data and made two graphics--one charting when the lineup had been released in prior years and one that was a simple bar graph looking at the frequency of which days of the week were the most popular for the lineup release. I then took the images of the charts and added them in Thinglink to create more engagement opportunities for the reader. It has been shared more than 2,500 times on social media.
- INTERACTIVE MAP: The manhunt for Christopher Dorner 
A map tracking the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, a rogue ex-LAPD officer who is suspected in three slayings. The search for Dorner has spread across Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Northern Mexico.
- BASEBALL: Minor league batting statistics 
I am working with our sports staff to create searchable databases of our area's minor league baseball players. It was our first time using and publishing freeDive on the website.
- Coachella 2012: Interactive artist map 
With more than 100 artists performing at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, I used what I learned at the KDMC Digital Storytelling workshop to create a fusion table with information about each artist. Each point on the map is dynamic and gives you another link for video and more on the artist. As the concert draws closer, the individual points will be updated with interviews, videos and more.
- NEW YEAR'S EVE: Ring in 2012 in the I.E. 
This is an interactive Google map combining all of our entertainment-driven New Year's Eve advance coverage into one place for readers. The different pin markers identify what kind of event it is--movies, performance, party, dining, etc. When you click on an entry, the hyperlinks take the user to the individual stories about the events.
Content on this site written by Vanessa Franko (includes contributory writing):
- Guerilla Cafe
- During our six-day workshop, fellows produce videos that spotlight local businesses in the UC Berkeley area. This video was produced as a part of the Knight Digital Media Center's December ...
Fantastic. This took me to the next level from what I learned at KDMC's Multimedia Storytelling session in December. I was comfortable enough with what I took from that session that when I returned, I felt confident in my data skills enough to let my mind be blown by everything I can do with these new tools. I also have a whole new appreciation for our meager graphics department.