Building the first central database of victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime

Bombings in Barcelona in 1938

Bombings in Barcelona in 1938 (Image by Italian Airforce under CC)

In a guest post for OJB, Carla Pedret looks at a new data journalism project to catalogue what happened during the Spanish Civil War.

125,000 people died, disappeared or were repressed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and during the Franco dictatorship, according to historians. Many of their families still do not know, 40 years later, what exactly happened to them.

Now the Innovation and Human Rights (IHR) association has created the first central database of casualties, missing persons and reprisals during the Spanish Civil War and under Francoism.

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Now available under Creative Commons: my book chapter on data journalism

Finding, interrogating, visualising, mashing

The data journalism continuum from the first edition of the Online Journalism Handbook

When I agreed to write the second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook, I asked that the chapter on data journalism from the 2011 edition of the book be released under a Creative Commons licence. To Routledge’s credit, they agreed. Here, then, I’m making that book chapter available — you can download it from here or access it on Slideshare (embedded below).

It’s always difficult to get publishers to agree to things like this, so if you have any comments or feedback that I can use to make a similar case to publishers in future, please let me know in the comments.

The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Licence

FAQ: How the use of UGC and verification has changed in journalism

The latest in my series of FAQ posts comes from a current MA Online Journalism student, who is writing an article for a German publication.

How has the use of user-generated content from social media changed over the last years in the UK?

The use of UGC from social media has changed enormously in the UK in the last decade. Obviously many of the platforms didn’t even exist a decade ago, so we’ve moved from quoting emails to taking screenshots, to a situation now where it’s common to embed live social media content which users can interact with from the article itself – whether that’s to share, like, follow, or respond. Continue reading

FAQ: Top 3 tips for journalists wanting to get started in data journalism

The latest in my series of FAQ posts comes from the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in Pakistan. As always, I’m publishing my answers to their questions here in case it’s of use to anyone else.

Q. What would you say to convince journalists — especially journalists working in developing countries where even the acquisition of public records is often a tedious task — about the importance of data journalism?

If you believe that journalism has a duty to be factual, accurate, and to engage an audience in subjects which have a clear public and civic importance, then data journalism is going to be very important to your work. Continue reading

What changed in 2017 — and what we can expect in 2018 (maybe)

Because he sends me an email every December, Nic Newmanhas a tag all of his own on this blog. So as this year’s email lands in my inbox here’s my annual reply around what I’ve noticed in the last 12 months — along with some inevitably doomed predictions of what might happen in the next year…

Surprising in 2017: horizontal storytelling and Facebook disappointments

The rapid spread of horizontal storytelling (‘tap to advance’) struck me particularly this year. 2017 saw it become the default for new launches, from Facebook’s new ‘Messenger Day‘ feature and Medium’s Series, to Instagram‘s Carousel feature and WhatsApp‘s Status feature, while the BBC news app’s videos of the day feature used the same approach too. Continue reading

All my data journalism ebooks are $5 or less this Christmas

data journalism books

The prices of my 3 data journalism ebooks — Data Journalism Heist, Finding Stories in Spreadsheets and Scraping for Journalists — have been cut to $5 on Leanpub in the lead up to Christmas. And if you want to get all 3, you can also get the data journalism books bundle on Leanpub for more than half price over the same period, at $13. Get them while it lasts!

How we did it: investigating Nigerian football agents

Last year I was part of a team — with Yemisi Akinbobola and  Ogechi Ekeanyawu — that won a CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year award for an investigation into Nigerian football agents. The project, funded by Journalismfund.eu, and also available in an immersive longform version, combined data journalism and networked production with on-the-ground reporting. Here are some of the lessons we drew from the project… Continue reading