Category Archives: online journalism

See all the presentations from Data Journalism UK 2016

If you enjoyed the first Data Journalism UK conference on November 22, or followed from afar, I’ve gathered together all the presentations from the day on a special Slideshare account here.

The BBC’s Dan Wainwright has written about his session on data journalism on this blog, Anna Noble wrote about some of her work on The Information Lab, there’s a brief summary in the Media Mill email newsletter here, and you can also read a write-up of the event by Benjamin Cooley on Journalism.co.uk:

We’re already starting to plan ahead for Data Journalism UK 2017, so if there are sessions or people you’d like included, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

7 platforms who became publishers in 2016

We've got work to do

In 2016 Tumblr got angry

If there was always a suspicion that it would happen eventually, this year it was confirmed: in 2016 platforms from Facebook to Snapchat, Twitter to Tumblr, all took significant steps towards becoming fully blown publishers. Here are 7 things that happened this year that swung it. Continue reading

How the BBC England data unit scraped airport noise complaints

heathrow-noise-story

This news story used scraping to gather data on noise complaints

BBC England Data Unit’s Daniel Wainwright tried to explain basic web scraping at this year’s Data Journalism Conference but technical problems got in the way. This is what should have happened:

I’d wondered for a while why no-one who had talked about scraping at conferences had actually demonstrated the procedure. It seemed to me to be one of the most sought-after skills for any investigative journalist.

Then I tried to do so myself in an impromptu session at the first Data Journalism Conference in Birmingham (#DJUK16) and found out why: it’s not as easy as it’s supposed to look.

To anyone new to data journalism, a scraper is as close to magic as you get with a spreadsheet and no wand. Continue reading

Telegram launches chat-optimised format – and an anonymous CMS

Chat app Telegram was ahead of the curve on bots – has it just kicked off another race to create chat-optimised publishing formats?

Instant View, launched overnight, is Telegram’s answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles (added to Messenger in July), Google’s AMP and Apple News: a way for publishers to make sure content loads quickly.

For now it’s only being used by publications using Medium, and TechCrunch, but the announcement promises:

“Eventually we want to provide Instant View pages for every story on the Web”

If you’ve watched the shifts in user behaviour from web to social, and then from social to chat, you can see what might be coming next: another battle to optimise for where the eyeballs are.

telegram-instant-view-optimised-for-chat

This is what an Instant View article looks like within the Telegram app

…And an anonymous publishing platform

As well as announcing its new article format Telegram has launched an anonymous publishing CMS: Telegra.ph.

One of Telegram’s major selling points is its security and Telegra.ph is a perfect extension to that.

I’ve used the new CMS to write more about how it works.

Too many election tweets? Some simple Tweetdeck techniques for filtering the information overload

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Tonight many journalists will have Tweetdeck or similar social media dashboards ‘tuned in’ to coverage of the US election, typically by creating columns to monitor activity on key hashtags like #Election2016. But on a big occasion like this, the volume of tweets becomes unmanageable. Here then are a few quick techniques to surface tweets that are likely to be most useful to reporters:

Picking the right hashtags: Hashtagify

Hashtagify is a tool for finding out the popularity of certain hashtags. Type a tag into the search box and you’ll get a network diagram like the one shown above — but you can also switch to ‘Table mode’ to get a list of tags that you can sort by popularity, correlation, weekly or monthly trend. Continue reading

When chatbots talk about politics: 3 effective approaches

Since the trend is to use Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger rather than downloading new apps, the media is investing in chatbots to engage with the audience. They keep users awake and speak the same language.

There have been several examples of chatbots for cooking, shopping or travelling. However, politics chatbots are quite new. In a post first published on her blog, Maria Crosas Batista shares three effective approaches when it comes to cover elections or represent politicians:

1. GloBot · Canada

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Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has built a Facebook Messenger chatbot for the American elections that shares text, audio, and video from their website. Continue reading

Vine is gone. Here are 5 great ways it was used for datavis

After Vine’s announcement to discontinue the mobile app in the coming months, Maria Crosas Batista pulled together 5 good stories on data visualisation (first published on her site Dinfografia).

1.Legal vs illegal weapons in the US

2. The evolution of global warming

Continue reading