MediaShift, a PBS blog tracking transitions in the news business, features Aaron Ritchey and his explots prominently in a new post about what they call "news programmers." The Star Tribune's Matt Thompson makes a compelling case for the necessity of bringing digital skills into the newsroom -- not only for presentation, but also to plumb the depths of information that make up stories like Enron (See The Press' New Paradigm on his blog Snarkmarket.)
Here's a taste from MediaShift:
[Adrian] Holovaty has repeatedly called on newspaper editors to hire programmers, and many of them are finally heeding his advice and considering ways of getting computer programmers onto their news staff and out of the trenches of tech support or doing work on web classifieds. Inspired by Holovaty’s comments at a convention, Dave Zeeck, executive editor for the Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune, hired Aaron Ritchey as a “news programmer” who has helped streamline the work for reporters and page designers while also creating online databases and map mash-ups for readers.
P.S. You can learn more by tracking the website Journerdism, described by founder Will Sullivan as "A news and commentary website for journalists and nerds to kick it and discuss the craft journalism, multimedia storytelling, web 2.0 development, web and print design, social content and all things nerdy online."