Marxism in 1989

I was very excited about this week’s assignment, which was to work with data and APIs and create some sort of visualization using p5. My original idea was to grab data from the New York Times API tool and get all the articles from the day I was born to present day containing the word “Marxism”. The choice of this particular word is mostly related to my personal and academic interest. It is a word with much power, as well as historical baggage, both in the west and the east.

The NY Times API is easy to use in terms of getting the data. However, because of my programming ability(or the lack of it), I was not able to work directly with it and create something interesting. I got as far as getting all the articles and listed out their headlines, publishing dates and snippets. Here is what I did:

After you open the page, you can click on the screen to generate more articles in a chronological order.

In order to create something more visual, I later decided to go with a more labor intensive route and copy the data I need into a local JSON file. This way I could easily retrieve all article names without worrying about page numbers (NY Times API sets a 10 articles per page limit for their results). Because I was doing this semi-manually, I only worked with all the articles from the year 1989, a year of turbulence and excitement for the world. Below is a screen shot of what I did with the data:

Here is the p5 code:

The sketch simply lists out all the “Marxism” articles published by NY Times in 1989, with arrows for you to navigate through the headlines. You can also navigate to articles of a specific month by hovering the mouse over the months at the bottom of the canvas. The red bars behind the months visualizes how many articles were published each month. Eventually, I would like to do that for the years 1850s to 2017, so one can better see if Marxism has been a trending topic in any specific decade.

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