Tag Archives: book

Britain does a great job of opening its data, except for what journalists really want

Fighting with inflatable hammers? Image by Joe Shlabotnik. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Journalist SA Mathieson has used open data in Britain to put together an impressive new ebook. In a guest post for OJB he looks at the country’s strengths when it comes to open data — and the problems still facing journalists who want to see how the public’s money is spent.

It is tough for a British journalist to admit that their government does something well, but here goes: when it comes to openly releasing data, Great Britain (in other words England, Scotland and Wales) is second only to Taiwan according to the Global Open Data Index.

Westminster gets maximum marks for releasing data on the government’s budget, national statistics, administrative boundaries, national maps, air quality and company registers. Continue reading

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The new edition of the Online Journalism Handbook is now out!

online journalism handbook 2nd edThe second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook has just been published. It’s an almost complete rewrite from the first edition — and 50,000 words longer to boot.

Among the changes are new chapters on writing for social media and chat apps, liveblogging and mobile journalism, and finding leads and sources online.

The chapter on UGC is now focused instead of community and social media management, while the history chapter has been expanded to cover business models and issues facing the future of online journalism.

There’s more to be written about those changes and what they say about online journalism itself. But for now, it’s here!

Free book: social media, online campaigns and polls in the UK election 2015

UK election analysis 2015 report

 

 

A month ago I blogged an extended version of a chapter I was invited to write for an edited collection by the Political Studies Association.

That collection is now out. It features over 70 contributions on everything from the role of social media in the election (including specific focuses on gender and UKIP) and media influence to analysis of reporting and, of course, those polls.

The book is available as a free PDF and a website.

Data journalism ebook now on Amazon’s Kindle Store

Data journalism book Data Journalism Heist

My short ebook Data Journalism Heist is now available on Amazon for Kindle (US link here – also available on other countries’ Amazon sites).

The book is an introduction to data journalism and two simple techniques in particular: finding story leads using pivot tables and advanced filters.

The book also covers useful sources of data, how to follow leads up, and how to tell the resulting story.

You can also buy it from Leanpub, where it’s been live for a couple months now and is available in PDF, mobi and ePub formats. Comments welcome as always.

New ebook now ready! Learn basic spreadsheet skills with Data Journalism Heist

Data journalism book Data Journalism Heist

I’ve written a short ebook for people who are looking to get started with data journalism but need some help.

Data Journalism Heist covers two simple techniques for finding story leads in spreadsheets: pivot tables and advanced filters.

Neither technique requires any formulae, and there are dozens of local datasets (and one international one) to use them on.

In addition the book covers how to follow leads from data, and tell the resulting story, with tips on visualisation and plenty of recommendations for next steps.

You can buy it from Leanpub here. Comments welcome as always.

Web security for journalists – takeaway tips and review

Web security for journalists - book cover

Early in Alan Pearce‘s book on web security, Deep Web for Journalists, a series of statistics appears that tell a striking story about the spread of surveillance in just one country.

199 is the first: the number of data mining programs in the US in 2004 when 16 Federal agencies were “on the look-out for suspicious activity”.

Just six years later there were 1,200 government agencies working on domestic intelligence programs, and 1,900 private companies working on domestic intelligence programs in the same year.

As a result of this spread there are, notes Pearce, 4.8m people with security clearance “that allows them to access all kinds of personal information”. 1.4m have Top Secret clearance.

But the most sobering figure comes at the end: 1,600 – the number of names added to the FBI’s terrorism watchlist each day.

Predictive policing

This is the world of predictive policing that a modern journalist must operate in: where browsing protesters’ websites, making particular searches, or mentioning certain keywords in your emails or tweets can put you on a watchlist, or even a no-fly list. An environment where it is increasingly difficult to protect your sources – or indeed for sources to trust you.

Alan Pearce’s book attempts to map this world – and outline the myriad techniques to avoid compromising your sources. Continue reading