Monthly Archives: December 2017

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

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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

Data journalism’s AI opportunity: the 3 different types of machine learning & how they have already been used

I understand that you want me to explain how Ava works (from Ex Machina)

This week I’m rounding off the first semester of classes on the new MA in Data Journalism with a session on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Machine learning is a subset of AI — and an area which holds enormous potential for journalism, both as a tool and as a subject for journalistic scrutiny.

So I thought I would share part of the class here, showing some examples of how the 3 types of machine learning — supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement — have already been used for journalistic purposes, and using those to explain what those are along the way. Continue reading

Local journalism is getting more data-driven — and other thoughts on Data Journalism UK 2017

megan lucero

Megan Lucero of the Bureau Local – photo: Jonny Jacobsen

Last week I hosted the second annual Data Journalism UK conference — a convenient excuse to bring together speakers from the news media, industry experts, charities and startups working in the field. You can read write ups on Journalism.co.ukand the BBC Academy website (who kindly hosted the event at BBC Birmingham), but I thought I’d also put my own thoughts down here…

The Bureau and the BBC: 2 networked models for supporting data journalism

2017 saw the launch of two projects with a remit to generate and stimulate data journalism at a local level: the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Bureau Local project, and the BBC’s Shared Data Unit. Continue reading

Here are all the presentations from Data Journalism UK 2017

Megan Lucero at Data Journalism UK 2017. Photo by Jonny Jacobsen

Megan Lucero at Data Journalism UK 2017. Photo by Jonny Jacobsen

Last week I had the pleasure of hosting the second annual Data Journalism UK conference in Birmingham.

The event featured speakers from the regional press, hyperlocal publishers, web startups, nonprofits, and national broadcasters in the UK and Ireland, with talks covering investigative journalism, automated factchecking, robot journalism, the Internet of Things, and networked, collaborative data journalism. You can read a report on the conference at Journalism.co.uk. Continue reading