Civic engagement? Most readers spent more than 30 minutes on the liveblog
On Monday I was involved in a fascinating experiment in civic engagement: 10 hyperlocal blogs all agreed to embed a liveblog of a hustings which would give inhabitants of the largest local authority in Europe an insight into the next council leader.
The liveblog itself was to be maintained by student contributors to the Birmingham Eastside news site. The decision to offer it out to hyperlocal sites across the city seemed obvious – so why aren’t publishers doing this regularly? Continue reading →
Ben Fry published his book Visualizing Data in 2007, before the term ‘data journalism’ had entered the professional vocabulary. Since then, Fry has been developing Processing, an open source “language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts”, and he is a principal at Fathom, a Boston design and software consultancy which has created visualisation projects for National Geographic; Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Catalina George asked him a few questions about his current work and his advice to aspiring data journalists.
Visualisation, a reinvented tool
For a better view of the world calories consumption, the user can see how much this differs from China to the UK @Fathom
One of your Fathom projects was a data visualisation for National Geographic’s “What the World Eats”. The graphic part can play a great role to enrich our perception and understanding of reality. But what does the development of visualisation mean for journalism?
I think what’s called “visualisation” has been around a long time for journalism. Otto Neurath was doing this in the 1920s. I think it’s been receiving more attention in recent years because we have the means to more easily distribute interactive works, which is a boon for more sophisticated takes on data. Continue reading →
Pizzas and footballs are both round. That’s enough justification for us. Image: Adam Kuban
Next Friday (November 13) I’ll be holding a day full of activities in Birmingham for anyone interested in digging into the world of football agents.
You won’t need any special skills – you can take part by doing basic internet searches, or you can bring your data journalism mojo and play with the data we’ve already gathered.
And we’ll also have people on hand to show you a range of useful techniques if you’re interested.
The special hackday is part of an investigation I’m doing, and we’re also working with OpenCorporates as part of their #FlashHacks series to build open data on football agents, identifying the biggest operators and their ownership structures.
If you can’t make it for the whole day feel free to drop in for part of it. Oh, and there’ll be pizza, stickers and t-shirts.
Someone, somewhere, ought to be doing some research on the increasing use of the colon in news article headlines online. That simple character has already become the go-to option when it comes to fixing your headline for search engine optimisation (SEO).
One of the ‘rules’ of SEO is to make sure you get key words in your headline. A second rule is to try to get those words at the front of your headline.