In response to the situation of Covid-19 in Taiwan, the Taiwan government has made corresponding policy changes at any time. Therefore, we break up the news content into a database that can be updated at any time, and make various possible situations into a query device through the program, so that each user can see the news content they need according to their own situation through the Q&A method.
This query-style report has been used a lot since it published, and many users have left positive feedback, saying that this query format allows them to get sufficient information after they are diagnosed, or when they suspect that they may be diagnosed. And then know how to deal with it in the future, so as not to panic. The government policy continued to undergo rolling revisions after this story published. For these amendments, as a database-supported query engine, we also continue to update it, so that users are not afraid of getting unupdated information. This part also allows users to share this query engine with their friends to expand its influence power, and to avoid the panic of the general public.
The report uses PostgresSQL for data storage, Node.js contains the query itself and related logic, and uses React.js as the front-end page generation tool.
Context about the project:
The first difficulty is that we must update the latest policy status in real time. This difficulty arises because we must grasp various conditions and related combinations. Taking “PCR positive” as an example, the elderly, young people, and babies need different responses. How to list the permutations and combinations of different identities and different situations is difficult, let alone keep updating them. Therefore, we have designed a set of logic that allows reporters to update the conditions at any time without an engineer. At most, more than 200 combinations can be generated.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
As conveying correct information has always been an important part of news, but how to convey it correctly and appropriately seems to have always had a fix frame, so a report full of words can be regarded as a report for most reporters. However, with the development of digital methods, there are actually more possibilities for the interaction between news and readers. In the traditional thinking of a reporter, a query website may not be considered a report, but considering the original purpose of news, perhaps other reporters can think more about the way the news is presented.