from journalist to developer

data visualization + wordpress development + game designer

About John Osborn D'Agostino


John Osborn D’Agostino is an award-winning Davis-based web developer, data journalist and game designer. He’s passionate about using games to tell stories, building interactive projects for the web, working in the open government space and generally trying out new things. Having worked in both the media space as a data journalist and the digital communications space as a developer, John has a hybrid skill set and perspective that understands the needs of anyone who is interested in telling their story online, whether it’s an individual looking for a new portfolio website, a non-profit organization engaging in advocacy, a media company interested in innovative storytelling, or a public agency looking to modernize their digital presence.

Working with Non-Profit Media

For three years, I worked at EdSource, an Oakland-based non-profit organization that covers California education issues and policy. As the Digital Communications Manager, I built data-driven web interactives and visualizations, administered and customized our WordPress CMS, developed technological solutions to augment the work of reporters, and assisted in the development and execution of the company’s digital strategy. Currently, I have been working with non-profits, like CalMatters and The Hechinger Report, to develop tools for their CMS and assist in other web development projects.

Experimenting with Games and Journalism

As people get more acquainted with interactive data-driven web apps and casual gaming, I think games will become a more viable medium to tell stories in journalism. Games are a powerful medium for storytelling and to convey complex topics, likes climate change or the political process. While I’m approaching this from the journalism perspective, game designers have been making games for years now that cover real world topic matter for either entertainment or educational purposes. I’ve created a directory of games that serves this purpose.

Teaching Others About Digital Storytelling

I worked at the UC Berkeley Knight Digital Media Center (now known as the Advanced Media Institute) teaching data visualization workshops for journalists and public sector employees. I also taught an online journalism class at San Francisco State University in the Fall of 2016, where we covered how to utilize the web to better report and tell stories.

Helping Make Public Data More Public

For several years, I volunteered with Open Oakland, a Code for America brigade that works with city officials to develop an better ways for the public to interface with government. Specifically, I helped create a web application that educates the public on campaign finance issues and a broader effort to link up other brigades across the state around data issues.

Looking to build or modify a website? Hit me up.