RECENT POSTS

Equal Pay Day: How Big is the Wage Gap Between Men and Women?

April 14 is Equal Pay Day, symbolizing the number of days into 2015 (in addition to all of 2014) that the average American woman would need to work in order to match what the average man made in 2014 alone, according to Department of Labor estimates.

Although the the gender wage gap has significantly narrowed in recent decades, it still persists to a notable degree. According to the DOL, women are paid on average 78 cents for every dollar made by a man. That gap is even wider for women of color. Continue reading

Where Does Your T-Shirt Come From? Follow Its Epic Global Journey [Visualization]

[Re-run Alert! A version of this post was first published in June 2013]

Best viewed in full-screen mode (click on button at bottom left corner after loading)

A simple cotton T-shirt doesn’t seem so simple when you begin to trace the various steps in the now-standard vast global process from cotton farm to clothing shop.

The extraordinary success of “fast fashion” giants like H&M, Zana and Forever 21, lies squarely in the ability to produce a massive amount of clothing – billions of garments a year – in the cheapest, quickest manner possible. It may seem counterintuitive, then, to divide the process into manufacturing hubs scattered around the globe.  But when you factor in the dramatically lower labor and material costs offered by suppliers in developing countries, the global supply chain model begins to make more sense. Continue reading

Interactive Map: See How the Ebola Outbreak Spread

It’s been over a year since the worst Ebola outbreak in history began to ravage the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. To date, the highly infectious virus has claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 recorded victims. And although the epidemic’s spread has significantly slowed, with patients confined to a shrinking geographic region, there’s still no known cure and more than 100 reported new cases each week, according to the World Health Organization. In the interactive map sequence below, Frontline traces the epidemic’s spread from its suspected emergence with Patient Zero back in December 2013.

Getting Hot in Here: The Beat of California’s Four-Year Drought

Drought infographicFlorida might not like to talk about climate change, but here in drought-stricken California, the topic’s not so taboo. Mired in year four of the worst drought on record, Californians are witnessing the climate literally change before their eyes. As the state nears the end of one of the warmest, driest winters on record, with Sierra snowpack and statewide reservoir water levels at alarming lows, the evidence is pretty hard to ignore.

Continue reading

Obama Task Force Calls for Reform and More Accountability in U.S. Police Departments

Includes California officer-involved fatality map
Day six of protests in Ferguson (Loavesofbread/Wikimedia)

Day six of protests in Ferguson, MO after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black man. (Loavesofbread/Wikimedia)

President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a report with dozens of recommendations for improving relations between police departments and the communities they serve, including calls for more accurate reporting of officer-involved fatalities and independent criminal investigations of those incidents. Continue reading

Every Police-Related Homicide Reported Last Year in California: Crowdsourced Map and Database

Database and maps by Kari Mah, story by Matthew Green

Timelapse: 156 reported officer-involved fatalities in California, 2014

In a series of highly publicized incidents in late 2014, white police officers killed unarmed black males, sparking widespread concern about the excessive use of force and drawing attention to the lack of reliable data on officer-involved fatalities. Continue reading

America’s Confusing Patchwork of Abortion Laws: Mapping State Rules and Rates

Includes interactive map and chart

Visualization by Lewis Lehe; story by Matthew Green



On Thursday, the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion nationwide, House Republicans had intended to vote on a proposal banning abortions at the 20-week post-conception period. But rather than approving the so-called “fetal pain” measure, the House swapped it for a watered down bill that would weaken insurance coverage for the procedure. It was a last minute switch was made after a small group of mostly female Republican lawmakers came out strongly opposing the more restrictive measure.

All of which begs the question: what are current abortion laws? Continue reading

Despite Hottest Year on Record, Congress’ 170 Climate Deniers Aren’t Breaking A Sweat

Frozen toes and polar vortexes aside, 2014 was the hottest year on record globally, according to recently released data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. In fact, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. Bottom line: climate change is happening; it’s as real as gravity. And among scientists studying the issue, an overwhelming majority have confirmed that human activity is what’s driving the warmth.

But 131 representatives and 39 senators in the recently convened 114th Congress — more than half of all congressional Republicans (including eight from California) — aren’t buying it, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal-leaning advocacy group. Continue reading

How Many Police Officers in Bay Area Cities Live Where They Work?

Database and maps by Kari Mah, story by Matthew Green

The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, all unarmed black males killed in 2014 by white police officers, prompted public scrutiny of police departments around the country and sparked deep-seeded racial tensions in many communities.

In the wake of these incidents, there’s been greater focus on the racial make-up of local police forces, particularly in cities where large minority communities are patrolled by predominately white forces.
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Preview: What Different Stages of California’s High-Speed Rail Will Look Like [Interactive Map]

Even the Golden Gate Bridge, that most hallowed of local landmarks, had its naysayers.

Photographer Ansel Adams worried the bridge would despoil the pristine view (he later made peace with it). Ferry companies lobbied hard to kill the project. And even the Commonwealth Club of California passed a resolution, stating the timing was “inopportune,” according to historian Kevin Starr.

Continue reading