SEO in headlines: how the colon became king

Mediterranean migrant deaths EU has moral duty to act

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.

The colon allows you to do both.

Here are just a few examples: Continue reading

Metrics and the media: we can measure it – but can we manage it?

Today I will be chairing the ‘Data Strategy’ track of talks at the Monetising Media conference: individuals in every part of the industry talking about how metrics now inform not just content strategy but revenue, advertising, and customer relations.

As I introduce the day I will be thinking about two pieces of data in particular: research by the Tow Center’s Caitlin Petre into the use of Chartbeat; and Checking, Sharing, Clicking and Linking, a piece of research into consumption. Continue reading

How to: convert XML or JSON into spreadsheets using Open Refine

curly brackets

Curly brackets pattern by Dan McCullough

One of the most useful applications of the data cleaning tool Open Refine (formerly Google Refine) is converting XML and JSON files into spreadsheets that you can interrogate in Excel.

Surprisingly, I’ve never blogged about it. Until now. Continue reading

NICAR launches list for Spanish speaking journalists

Screenshots of La Nacion, ICIJ

The list already boasts journalists from some of the leading data journalism projects in Latin America

A new data journalism mailing list for Spanish speakers has been launched by The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) and its parent organisation, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), reports Barbara Maseda.

NICAR-ESP-L, as it is called, seeks to be the Spanish version of NICAR-L, a mailing list in English that has been active for over 20 years. Continue reading

If you’re worried about the future of FOI, here’s what you can do about it

Independent front page on FOISo, the commission that has been formed to look into Freedom of Information in the UK is worrying a lot of people, particularly journalists. From the selection of its members and lack of transparency to suggestions of vetoes and charges, there’s a strong signal of an intention to curtail the ‘free’ in ‘freedom’.

But there is an opportunity to have an input into the commission, through its call for evidence. This not only allows you to send your opinions on improving FOI to the commission via email, but also has an online form you can fill in.

If you take the form route there are 2 key questions:

  1. What protection should there be for internal deliberations of public bodies
  2. What protection should there be for information which relates to the process of collective Cabinet discussion and agreement
  3. What protection should there be for information which involves candid assessment of risks
  4. Should the executive have a veto (subject to judicial review) over the release of information
  5. What is the appropriate enforcement and appeal system
  6. And is the burden imposed on public authorities under the Act justified by the public interest in the public’s right to know

Whether you think it’s a foregone conclusion or not, this is a key opportunity to have a shot.

Ya se han sumado a la lista periodistas de importantes sitios webs y unidades de datos de la región

NICAR lanza lista de correos en español sobre periodismo de datos

Una nueva lista de correos en español dedicada al periodismo de datos ha sido puesta en marcha por el Instituto Nacional de Periodismo Asistido por Computadora (NICAR) y su organización madre, Reporteros y Editores de Investigación (IRE), radicada en la Universidad de Missouri, Estados Unidos.

NICAR-ESP-L es el nombre de este servicio que busca ser una versión en español de NICAR-L, una lista de correos en inglés que ya acumula más de 20 años de actividad.

NICAR-L tiene actualmente más de 2,300 miembros y un archivo de más de 78,000 mensajes desde su fundación en 1994, según el comunicado de prensa que anuncia el lanzamiento.

La versión en español, al igual que la inglesa, está abierta a suscripción para todos los interesados, sin importar si son miembros de IRE o no, añade el comunicado.

Continue reading

Giving a voice to the (literally) voiceless: data journalism and the dead

Red and blue person icons indicating the dead

In the Bureau’s Naming the Dead visualisation, blue indicates civilian victims and red alleged militants

Giving a voice to the voiceless is one of the core principles of journalism. Traditionally this means those without the power or money to amplify their own voices, but in recent years a strand of work has developed in data journalism that deserves particular attention: projects which give a voice to people who literally don’t have one — because they are dead. Continue reading