Author Archives: Paul Bradshaw

From making data physical to giving journalists confidence (and a few other things too): Data Journalism UK 2019

marie segger at data journalsm uk 19

Last week saw the third Data Journalism UK conference, an opportunity for the country’s data journalists to gather, take stock of the state of the industry and look at what’s ahead.

The BBC Shared Data Unit’s Pete Sherlock kicked off the event, looking back at the first 18 months of the unit’s existence. In that period the unit has trained 15 secondees and helped generate over 600 stories across more than 250 titles in the regional press.

Sherlock highlighted two stories in particular to demonstrate how the data unit had helped equip regional reporters in holding power to account: the Eastern Daily Press’s Dominic Gilbert‘s story on legal aid deserts, and JPI Media’s Aimee Stanton‘s report on electric car charging points.

Both stories resulted in strong pushback – from the Ministry of Justice and the electric car industry respectively – but their new data journalism skills gave them the confidence to persist with the story. Continue reading

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I’m organising a data journalism conference next month (come!)

data journalism uk 2018

The Guardian, Times, BBC, Telegraph and Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) will all be speaking at the third Data Journalism UK conference on May 3 at the BBC in Salford.

Tickets are available here including early bird and afternoon-only options. There are also bursaries available for people on low incomes or from under-represented groups.

As well as industry panels there will be practical sessions to help skill up in data journalism.

The event has sold out in its first two years, so it’s worth booking early if you can. Continue reading

Data journalism tips in Albanian (Të gjesh histori në faqet e Excel-it)

Data journalism book Stories with Spreadsheets

I spent some time recently in Albania delivering some training in data journalism to journalists. While I was there, the translator Ermal Como translated two chapters of my data journalism book Finding Stories in Spreadsheets, and a 14-page cribsheet for Excel formulae, into Albanian.

In addition, there is an exercise on learning spreadsheet techniques by finding stories in European Investment Bank data.

With his permission I’ve made the three documents available for anyone who might find them useful. You can find them embedded below: Continue reading

Journalism ethics as a mobile app: why one Turkish student journalist decided to venture into game journalism

Furkan

Game journalism — using games to inform audiences about current news events — has become an established form. But few games are created to simulate the experience of journalists themselves — and even fewer still are launched while the author is still a student. In a guest post for OJB, Sania Aziz spoke to Turkish journalism student Ömer Furkan Aktaş, the creator of one such game: Ethics: Journalist’s Way. Continue reading

Journalism’s 3 conflicts — and the promise it almost forgot

As 2018 comes to an end, in an extract from the introduction to Mobile-First Journalism I look at how the past few years have shaped the current face of mobile and social-native journalism — and what that means for its future.

The mood around mobile and social changed dramatically in 2018. To those working in the field, it could sometimes feel like being caught in the crossfire of a battle. Fake news, Russian trolls, concerns over filter bubbles and hoaxes, censorship, algorithms and profit warnings have all shown that the path to mobile-first publishing is going to be anything but an easy one.

Like any new territory, the mobile landscape is being fought over fiercely. But take a step back from the crossfire and you will see that different actors are fighting over different things, in different ways: and there isn’t just one battle — but three. Continue reading

Data Journalism Awards 2019 open for entries

Data Journalism Awards 2019 logo

The Data Journalism Awards is now accepting entries for its 2019 awards.

It’s the 8th year of the awards. This year the “Best data journalism team” category has been divided into two categories: small and large teams, with the “Small newsrooms (one or more winners)” category making way for the change.

The awards website has also been revamped to include a range of resources for data journalists, a “Community” section (in addition to the existing Slack group) and news on data journalism developments.

The deadline to enter is 7 April 2019. Winners get an all-expenses-covered trip to June’s Global Editors Network (GEN) Summit and Data Journalism Awards ceremony.

FAQ: Do you think that an increase in algorithms is leading to a decline in human judgement?

recipe by Phillip Stewart

This algorithm has been quality tested. Image by Phillip Stewart

The latest in my series of FAQ posts follows on from the last one, in response to a question from an MA student at City University who posed the question “Do you think that an increase in algorithmic input is leading to a decline in human judgement?”. Here’s my response.

Does an increase in computation lead to a decline in human input?

Firstly, it’s important to emphasise that the vast majority of data journalism involves no algorithms or automation at all: it’s journalists making calculations, which historically they would have done manually.

You mention the possibility that “an increase in computation leads to a decline in human input”. An analogy would be to ask whether an increase in pencils leads to a decline in human input in art. Continue reading