INN Labs is issuing a major update to the Pym.js Embeds WordPress plugin, formerly known as the Pym Shortcode plugin, that improves presentations of data journalism.
As data journalism gains importance, this plugin can substantially increase the readership for news reports that feature data and save journalists time in presenting it.
The plugin enables news consumers to seamlessly engage with data journalism interactives across all devices using responsive design.
It has been difficult for journalists to present data—charts, maps, quizzes or data visualizations that support a story—in a way readers could see across any type of device. Many data features were only readable on a desktop. Workarounds to show data across all devices were time-consuming and often created security vulnerabilities on a site. For readers, these challenges meant they often couldn’t see the data that makes it easier to understand an investigative or in-depth story.
The Pym.js Embeds plugin makes a better experience for the reader with embeds that scale to fit the story and reduces workflows for data journalists.
Jake Kara, data editor at CT Mirror, said NPR’s Pym.js library is a must for news graphics. WordPress often mangled the scripts used to put Pym.js graphics into stories, and that created anxiety for the newsroom whenever they tried to edit a story with graphics, he said. The Pym.js Embeds plugin makes inserting data much easier.
“Now the whole staff is empowered to place and rearrange our custom graphics as easily as they place copy,” Kara said.
Pym.js Embed Examples
The examples below show embedded interactives displayed across multiple devices using the Pym.js Embeds plugin. Click the images to see live examples.
INN originally created the Pym Shortcode plugin to make it easier to use Pym.js embeds in WordPress and we’re happy to announce that it now supports WordPress’s new Gutenberg editor.
Learn more about Gutenberg and try it out for yourself here.
This update provides several new features, first and foremost being compatible with Gutenberg, WordPress’ new post editor. Pym.js Embeds provides a block for use in Gutenberg, allowing sites to embed Pym.js child pages without using the legacy shortcode.
This release also includes a number of other improvements. For more information, please see the release notes.
How to Get Started
Anyone currently using the plugin will be interested in the documentation and advice on testing the plugin in a staging or development environment before upgrading the plugin on a production site.
This release of the Pym.js plugin is part of INN Labs’ Polyjuice project, which unlocks the best features of the Largo news theme so they can be used by journalists on any WordPress site, and leverages the new WordPress Gutenberg editor to improve the tools journalists can use without coding to present their stories and data.
The Polyjuice Project improves how publishers can present news to consumers by lowering technology costs and giving newsrooms more control in news design and reader engagement.
The Institute for Nonprofit News and its INN Labs, which supports hundreds of newsrooms with web technology and products, is working to leverage new software advances to strengthen and update the presentation of journalism and enable these newsrooms to reach more people.
This plugin would not have been possible without the support of NPR’s Visuals Team and the Gutenberg maintainers, developers and documenters, and the generous financial support of Schwab Charitable’s Present Progressive Fund.
About INN Labs
INN Labs develops open source news software and provides technical advice and programming for hundreds of news websites. It operates as a social enterprise within the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN).
INN Labs generates tools, design, and code now used by more than 200 news sites, serves as the shared service and development staff hub for more than 50 news sites and supports an active community of more than 700 people working or interested in news technology.
To provide feedback or request support for the plugin, contact the INN Labs team by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.