Alex Duner

I am a journalist and a developer studying at Northwestern University. I am also a Student Fellow at the Knight Lab and the Webmaster at North by Northwestern. I have interned at BuzzFeed, The New York Times and at the Texas Tribune.

Selected Writing

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Selected Projects

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Caught in the Crossfire

Medil News ServiceI reported, edited and produced this story on the Dark Web. I deployed a Tor server so that we could serve the story on the Dark Web as a Tor Hidden Service to let readers feel comfortable accessing the Dark Web themselves.

The Outlaw Oceans

The New York TimesUsed React to improve email subscribe widget for investigative series and scheduled newsletters. Worked with audience development team to build a tool (made in Flask, deployed using Docker) to make it easier to add inline styles to HTML for email newsletters.

Parade Photo Stream

The New York TimesFor the Women's World Cup Ticker Tape Parade we revamped the "photo firehose"—a live photo slideshow that updates using WebSockets. I also built a widget that displayed the same feed on the homepage of This live stream is no longer live but we made the creation of new streams easier for future events.

Stillbirth: Your Stories

The New York TimesBuilt an Express application to display user-generated stories. The app parses JSON published by a lightweight CMS so editors could copy-edit submissions and also integrates with the Times' form builder and submsission system. The app was later used for "A Conversation On Race" which was nominated for an OJA.

Housing Guide

North by NorthwesternImproved and published annual Housing Guide. I upgraded app to the latest version of the NPR App Template, redesigned the maps to use Mapbox's newest styles and added reefers to other NBN stories that might interest freshmen. We open sourced our work. Here's the 2016 version of the same app.


Knight LabJuxtaposeJS is an open-source tool to make comparing frames easy and seamless. Juxtapose has been used by ESPN, Amnesty International, the Boston Globe and more! I wrote about what I learned making it. Check out the source code and contribute.

Finding Closure

Class ProjectWorked on designing and developing a story with a team of reporters, videographers and photographers. I created an exploratory data visualization of Chicago forclosure rates after analyzing the data with Python. I contributed reporting as well.


North by NorthwesternDesigned and built an audio narrative about racial passing on campus. Worked with reporter to keep focus on the personal narrative, rather than on the students' appearences. Here's a link to the GitHub repo.

Diversity of Chicago Public Schools

Class ProjectI mapped how the diversity of the Chicago Public Schools has changed from 2000 to 2014 using Mapbox/Leaflet.js. I used csvkit to combine three different datasets into a geoJSON file and a script to geocode each school using the Google Geocoding API. Check out this project's source code.

No Miracle Here

Texas TribuneNo Miracle Here tells the story of six Texans who have been left out of the state's economic growth. We used photos, small maps, and a responsive design to tell their stories.

Government Salaries Explorer

Texas TribuneThe Government Salaries Explorer is a Django app that lets readers review the compensation of hundreds of thousands of state and municipal employees in Texas. I did the front-end design work in Sass, worked a bit on the back-end, and used d3 to create to the histograms (which also required creating an API for the data).

Decade of Degrees

North by NorthwesternThe centerpiece of this story on the popularity of majors at Northwestern is this interactive data created using d3.js. The search field lets users search for and compare majors. I also reported and editited stories about specific trends we wanted to highlight.

Pizza by the Hour

North by NorthwesternIn adapting this story from print to the web, I recognized that, unlike a sheet of paper, a computer knows what time of day it is. The graphic recommends the best place to order pizza based on the time of day.

Evanston Restaurant Guide

North by NorthwesternI built this restaurant guide for Evanston using Leaflet and Mapbox. I also added a price filter. I used the same code for this satirical campus map.