The Washington Post has launched its first APIs, all with a political usage. The Washington Post staff created applications over the years that collected a lot of data. Now it’s making the data available, via its Washington Post APIs, to civic hackers.
Building data applications for the newsroom often results in large storehouses of useful data. But we’ve never had the opportunity to make this data available to other civic hackers until today. We’ve decided to “run that baby” and make our data available to you.
Eventually, the portal will include numerous APIs spanning many content categories. However, the portal currently contains only three APIs, all related to the election year: Issue Engine API (stores political speakers’ statements and transcripts), White House Visitors Log API (stores White House visitors dating back to 2009), Campaign Finance API (stores FEC campaign finance data). To stir up interest in the portal, and spark creative integration with Powered by the Post APIs, The Washington Post will host an Election Hackathon in October.
As the print media world continues to fight for position in the massive transition to digital media, embracing the developer community with an API strategy seems an appropriate step for the news giant. Additionally, launching with a Hackathon should prove the Post’s dedication and support for the online news community. Those interested in the API, can register at the developer site.