Dante Chinni, co-author of the book "Our Patchwork Nation" and director of the Patchwork Nation project, will visit the College of Journalism and Mass Communications Jan. 28 to discuss the project and talk about what he has learned about our country.
Patchwork Nation aims to explore what is happening in the United States by examining different communities over time. Founded in 2008 by Chinni and James Gimpel, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Patchwork Nation covered politics in the 2008 election.
Patchwork Nation uses an interactive map that divides America's 3,141 counties into 12 community types. The community types are based on demographic characteristics such as income, racial composition, employment and religion. Since the 2008 election, Patchwork Nation has evolved to allow users to examine national demographic data on the economy and culture in addition to politics. For instance, Chinni created an economic misery index (that The New York Times copied), and can show which counties are buying the book "Cleopatra."
The Patchwork Nation reporting project is a collaboration of the Jefferson Institute, the Christian Science Monitor, NewsHour, Politico and WNYC Radio.
Based in Washington, D.C., Chinni has been covering politics and the media for more than 10 years. He has worked as a reporter-researcher at Newsweek and a senior associate at the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He has written for publications including The Economist, Columbia Journalism Review and The Washington Post Magazine. He is a native of Detroit, Mich., and graduated from Michigan State University.